Women's Institute for Sexual Health

Labiaplasty

Overview

There is often confusion when talking about labiaplasty (or "labioplasty") because it is refers to several different kinds of surgery. For example, there are at least two different ways to make the inner lips (labia minora) smaller and it is also the term used for reducing either a large clitoral hood as well as for changing the size and shape of the outer lips (labia majora).

Reduction of the Labia Minora (Inner, Smaller Lips)

This is the most common form of labiaplasty and it reduces the size and / or length of the labia minora. There are two ways this can be done, and you choose which method to have done based upon what you want these inner lips to look like.

Trim Labiaplasty



 Since many patients request that their labia minora be made smaller (to the level of the outer lips or even lower) and that the dark edges be removed (to give them a pinker, more youthful appearance) the trim method is often used. For this, I’ll trim off a strip of tissue along the edge of the lips. The new cut edge is then sutured so it will heal quickly and form only a tiny scar along the edge. This accomplishes both desires by making the lips smaller and by removing the thick dark margin; you are left with a pinker, more delicate edge that leaves the labia minora just within the natural folds of the labia majora. The new pinker edge does contain a scar that may be overly sensitive in rare cases.


Wedge Labiaplasty


This procedure makes the inner lips smaller by removing a piece of unwanted tissue from the middle. The cut edges of this ‘V’ shaped wedge are then sutured together so that there isn’t a scar along the edge at all. You then have smaller labia that keep their natural dark margins. Because there isn’t a scar running along the edge, there is less of a chance of oversensitivity. However, if you’re unhappy with the dark margin color and / or thickness of the edges, then this method may not be for you.


  
Reduction of the Clitoral Hood

 This procedure decreases the size of the clitoral hood, which is sometimes so large that it interferes with stimulation of the clitoris and therefore orgasm. I can easily fix this by removing a small strip of skin along each side. Clitoral hood reduction is often combined with labiaplasty of the inner lips. In the diagram, you can see an enlarged clitoral hood and labia minora with the incision lines drawn for a trim labiaplasty and clitoral hood reduction.




Reduction of the Labia Majora (Outer, Larger Lips)


Some women dislike the appearance of their labia majora because they are too large or uneven making them self-conscious. They would prefer them to have a smaller contour and be more balanced. If these outer, larger lips or the adjacent pubic area, are bulging because of excessive fat to the point of producing an unattractive ‘camel toe’, I can remove a portion of the skin and fat tissue creating a more natural profile.



Conclusion

Hopefully, this brief discussion of the various labiaplasty procedures has cleared up any confusion you may have had and helps you choose what is right for you. Keep in mind that it is common to combine some or all of the above procedures. Fortunately, all labiaplasties are minor outpatient surgical procedures and are very safe with a quick recovery.


The next step is to schedule a consultation with an examination that will include a discussion of just what can be done to
help you achieve your goals!

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