Plastic surgery has the power to improve a person’s appearance as well as their confidence and overall outlook on life. With that concept in mind, one of the most personal aspects of a women's body image can be the appearance of the labia and its effects on the appearance of the vaginal region as a whole. A dysmorphic or asymmetric appearance in this area can be the source of embarrassment and even discomfort when engaging in certain activities, particularly intimate or athletic ones.
Fortunately, there is a procedure known as a labiaplasty designed to improve and enhance the appearance of this anatomic region. Most commonly, women are troubled by the appearance of asymmetric or enlarged labia minora (the inner vaginal skin folds that surround the entrance to the vagina), especially when they protrude far outside of the labia majora (or outer vaginal skin folds outside of the labia minora).
For optimal patient comfort, labiaplasty is performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. During the procedure, the excess or asymmetric labial skin is meticulously trimmed and a careful closure is performed to minimize the appearance of any scarring. Following the procedure, a feminine pad is usually worn under usual clothing for about 2 weeks as a small amount of spotting may occur. Strenuous exercise (including intercourse), tampons and very snug clothing are restricted for several weeks, but there is little else in the way of limitations. Some discomfort and swelling is common, but is usually very well tolerated and successfully treated with oral pain medication. Within a few weeks, the swelling and discomfort subside and the appearance of the labia begins to take on its final form. Labiaplasty has the power to potentially restore both form and improve confidence, often helping to make a woman feel “whole” again.