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Why a Labiaplasty May Be Right for You
Labiaplasty is a cosmetic gynecology surgery for women who want to get rid of any extra skin on the inner or outer labia. In some women, this is just an aesthetic concern. However, for others, enlarged labia can cause dryness, irritation, chafing or issues during sexual intercourse. If this is the case, then they may be eligible for labiaplasty.
About the labiaplasty procedure
Genetics, age, childbirth and pregnancy are all factors that can cause excess skin around the vagina. Labiaplasty, also known as labia reduction, is a surgery that decreases the size and length of the labia to make the inner lips (labia minora) align with the outer lips (labia majora).
Before deciding if labiaplasty is the best option, the patient needs to meet with a board-certified surgeon for a detailed consultation. During this meeting, the surgeon will discuss the patient's desired results and give an honest, professional opinion on how to achieve that goal. The surgeon also needs to evaluate the patient to be sure they are eligible for the procedure. They will consider factors such as age, health and medical background — all of which may influence the safety and effectiveness of the surgery.
When medical labiaplasty may be necessary
Labiaplasty done for medical reasons takes into account how the labia minora affects the patient’s life, not their appearance. Depending on the length or size, labia minor can cause pain if they turn into the vagina during sex. They can also lead to discomfort or irritation when the person wears underwear or a swimsuit, performs exercises, or while walking around and handling routine daily tasks. If the labia minora are not interfering with the patient’s life like this, the OB/GYN or surgeon may be reluctant to suggest surgery. The only exception is if there is a type of abnormality of the labia, like a melanoma.
Cosmetic labiaplasty, on the other hand, is more about desiring a specific appearance for the labia, usually shorter and more tucked-in. During the consultation, the surgeon will advise the patient on the basics and normal variations in the shape and size of the vulva.
Although appearance and comfort are acceptable reasons to desire labiaplasty, it is crucial to know that each woman is unique, and there are no perfect labia to achieve. Other physical factors to consider may include problem inserting tampons, whether one part of the labia is more prominent than the other and pain or chafing during sex.
The labiaplasty procedure
A good candidate for labiaplasty must be in overall good health. The type of labiaplasty depends on the desired results. During trim labiaplasty, the surgeon will remove the excess skin and suture it directly. With a wedge procedure, the surgeon will remove a pie-shaped wedge of tissue and restore the natural borders of the vagina.
The procedure can last up to an hour and may be performed under local or general anesthesia. Labiaplasty is an outpatient procedure, and full recovery may take several weeks.
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