Labiaplasty / Vulvaplasty
Labiaplasty is a cosmetic genital surgical procedure that reduces the size or changes the shape of the small lips on the outside of the vagina (labia minora). A significant number of women are born with large or irregular labia. Others may develop this condition after childbirth or with aging. The appearance of the enlarged labia can cause embarrassment with a sexual partner or loss of self esteem.
Lots of women feel uncomfortable or irritated when wearing tight clothing, having sexual relations or exercising due to their large/thick labia. Women whose labia become irritated and painful will often find relief after surgery. Labiaplasty surgery can greatly enhance the cosmetic appearance of the outer vagina giving many women greater confidence and making them feel better about themselves.
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If you are experiencing sexual dysfunction or embarrassment because your labia (labia minora) are over-sized or asymmetrical, this surgery may be the solution you have been looking for. At the same time, women who have long or hanging vaginal lips/genetalia can benefit from a labia reduction. Some women have always been this way, whereas others develop the problem after childbirth or as they get older. Simultaneously, women who dislike the large size or shape of their labia, which may cause inelegance or awkwardness with a sexual partner, can also be candidates for this surgery.
There are no age requirements for undertaking a labiaplasty, however, you may want to wait until after having children because this can lead to further stretching of the labia.
The surgery may include the reduction of the labia major (outer lips) or labia minor (inner lips) or both. In general terms, the whole procedure can take up to 2 hours. It is performed under local anaesthesia or under general anaesthesia, whichever you prefer. You just need to let you doctor know about your preferences and he/she will make the whole process more comfortable for you.
Your HCR surgeon will remove excess tissue of the labia minora. The labia majora, on the outside of the body, can be reduced with either surgery or liposuction if needed.
Post-Op – After Surgery
You can expect the labia and surrounding area to be slightly bruised. Patients can expect swelling for several weeks. Oral medications can be administered to reduce pain and at the same time, oral antibiotics may be prescribed by your doctor to reduce the risk of infection. Generally, you will have to avoid heavy exercise for at least 3 weeks and you will have to refrain from any sexual activity for at least 6 to 8 weeks. It is recommended for patients not to use tampons until 10 days after the procedure.
During the first week or so, you may be given an inflatable donut cushion to make sitting more comfortable. You can expect some swelling during the first 3 to 4 days and it will gradually disappear over the next couple of weeks.
As with any type of cosmetic surgery, complications are unusual, but they sometimes do happen. However, they are usually minor and can be reduced by precisely following your doctor’s directions before and after the procedure.
One of the most regular complications related to labiaplasty is temporary numbness or infection. But you must keep in mind that it is extremely rare. Other risks can consist of excess scar tissue build up (appearing as lumps on the treated area), haematoma (break in blood vessel causing localized blood filled area or blood clot), puckering or creases of the skin or sensitivity loss in the treated area. However, you must keep in mind that the treated area does not play a part in sexual sensation. Some patients may experience asymmetry between the inner and outer labia lips. There can also be variances in pigmentation, thickness and uneven edges of the labia.
Make sure to ask your surgeon concerning any risks you might have to face when undertaking this surgery. However, you must keep in mind that our certified group of doctors in Costa Rica works full-time to prevent such scenarios from happening, since we value the health of our patients above anything else.