The vagina is composed of labia majora, labia minora and the clitoral head. In labiaplasty, the appearance of the external genitalia, specifically the labia minora are altered. The labia minora are the flaps of skin on either side of the vagina. With age and/or pregnancy, these can become dark, can sag or can enlarge over a period of time. While some women simply are bothered by the aesthetic appearance of it, others might have discomfort as a result of this.
This is where labiaplasty plays a critical role. It can remove the darkened folds and the excess tissue, creating a more symmetric and aesthetic appearance. The accompanying discomfort is also gone, producing both a psychological as well as a physical improvement. However, it is important for a woman to understand that having some folds in this area is quite normal and should not require any intervention. Also, this surgery is not for women less than 18 years of age as growth is not complete yet in these girls.
Once you have decided to go ahead with this procedure, be careful to place yourself in the hands of a good surgeon. Check for their testimonials and get all your doubts cleared. It is advisable to ask if there were failures and how they were handled, how complications that may arise are managed. In the wrong hands, things can go wrong in this surgery. Most doctors would like to set expectations and ask the patient in detail the exact reasons for and the expectations from the procedure. This is very important to avoid dissatisfaction for both the doctor and the patient.
What is done?
Using either a local anesthetic or a general anesthetic, the patient is sedated. The tissue of the labia minor is then reshaped using either a scalpel or laser. The loose ends of the tissue are sutured using absorbable sutures. These sutures will dissolve over the next few days. This procedure takes about 1 to 2 hours and does not require hospitalization.
What should you expect after the procedure?
Complete recovery may take up to a couple of months. During this period, rest from work is advisable. In addition to ample rest, you must follow the suggestions given below:
Complications could range from bleeding, infection, allergic reaction to anesthetic, blood clots, reduced sensitivity of the genitalia, to unsatisfactory cosmetic appearance. These need to be managed between the cosmetic surgeon and the patient.