Removing excess labial tissue to improve the appearance and function of the vulva (female genitalia).
The external female genitalia, or vulva, consists of the hair-bearing labia majora and the labia minora which are the inner hairless, pink folds with the clitoris at the top. There is wide variation in the size, shape and symmetry of the labia minora all of which are normal. In some women the labia minora are excessive in size and cause discomfort in clothing or during exercise and intercourse. For some women the appearance of their labiais a source of embarrassment which can affect clothing choices, hobbies and relationships. “Labiaplasty” is a procedure in which the excess labial tissue is trimmed. This surgery can help to improve the physical and psychological symptoms described.
There are two main labiaplasty techniques: trim and wedge. The trim technique leaves a scar along the free edge of the labia whilst the wedge technique leaves a scar from the edge of the labia inwards. I will examine you and advise you which technique would be better for you, which depends on the shape of the labia. Surgery is performed under a local or general anaesthetic as a day case. I recommend you take a week off work and six weeks off exercise and intercourse. You can shower the next day. I use dissolving stitches under the skin with glue as the dressing. The risks of labiaplasty surgery are bleeding, infection, asymmetry (this is inevitable because of the nature of the labial tissue), bumpiness of the scar, temporary pain, changes in erotic sensation, removal of too much or too little tissue and rarely chronic pain including with intercourse, exposure of the introitus (entrance to the vagina) and occasionally revision procedures are required.
The trim technique of labiaplasty
The diagram shows the general appearance of the vulva which consists of the entrance to the vagina (introitus), the surrounding labia minora and the clitoris underneath it’s clitoral hood at the top.
The dashed line shows where the cut is made to remove the excess labial tissue in the trim technique. It leaves a scar along the free edge of the labia.
This adjacent diagram shows the scar in red along the free edge of the labia.
The wedge technique of labiaplasty
The wedge technique is suitable for labia that are mainly excessive in their middle sections. The dashed blackline shows the incision.
The red line on the adjacent diagram shows the position of the scar after wedge excision labiaplasty. The advantage of this technique is that it avoids a scar along the free edge of the labia. However, healing problems are more likely than with the trim technique.