What to Expect During Labiaplasty
The labia, also known as the vulvar lips, consist of the labia majora and labia minora. The former has skin much like the rest of the body, as well as hair, while the latter is lined with a mucous membrane. Labia may become enlarged after childbirth, as a result of aging, or because of genetics. Many women feel self-conscious if the labia minora hangs below the bigger labia majora, and this configuration may form the infamous “camel toe” when wearing tight clothing. A labiaplasty makes the vulvar lips appear symmetrical.
Along with aesthetic improvement of the vulva, labiaplasty also eases practical concerns for many women. Those with enlarged labia may find certain athletic activities, such as riding a bicycle or horse, painful. Oversized labia can interfere with intercourse, and some women are unable to achieve orgasm because of the labia’s size. Then there is the embarrassment of having large labia fall out of a bathing suit.
A labiaplasty generally takes about one hour to completion. In most cases, the patient can decide whether to have the operation performed under general or local anesthesia. This relatively straightforward surgery consists of the surgeon removing excess labial tissue, then finishing the procedure by sewing the incision closed with absorbable sutures. Many women decide to have additional vaginal rejuvenation procedures performed, such as vaginal tightening, in conjunction with labiaplasty.
Keep in mind that women must abstain from vaginal intercourse for at least six weeks post-labiaplasty. During recuperation, women must not put anything into the vagina, and use pads rather than tampons or cups during menstruation. Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothing. Expect to take several days off work, but the majority of women can return to work a week or so after the surgery. Avoid vigorous exercise until the doctor gives clearance.
The surgeon explains how to care for the area after surgery, including the use of topical antibiotics. Swelling is likely for the first few days, but ice packs should help. After the six-week mark, the doctor examines you and lets you know whether you can resume intercourse and other activities.
After labiaplasty, many women report greater confidence and self-esteem, as well as an improved sex life due to lack of labial irritation. They can also go back to wearing bathing suits without fear of accidental exposure.
To discuss whether you are a candidate for labiaplasty and have your questions regarding the procedure answered, schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Barach. Contact our Albany practice today to speak to a member of our team.