In symptomatic patients, enlarged labia minora causes chronic irritation, discomfort and rubbing during sexual intercourse, and when wearing tight fitting clothing. Labiaplasty involves the removal of the extra or uneven labia minora (inner vaginal lips).
Normal Sized Labia Minora (right), Enlarged Labia Minora (left)
In many instances, patients with enlarged labia minora also have an enlarged clitoral hood. The clitoral hood, or prepuce, is the skin that drapes over the body, glans, and erectile tissue of the clitoris. Enlarged clitoral hoods can result in difficulty accessing the clitoris during stimulation. Treatment for these patients often includes a clitoral hood reduction. In some patients, the hypertrophic or enlarged labia extends to the posterior fourchette which is the bottom opening of the vagina. We recommend posterior fourchette reduction in these patients.
Labiaplasty may be performed for symptomatic patients, as well as for cosmetic reasons. Dr. Shashoua currently performs over 150 labiaplasties a year. Major complications are extremely rare – less than 1%. The most frequent major complications are bleeding and infection. The most frequent minor complication is a superficial opening of part of the incision. This is managed with topical care. At times, especially when a large amount of labia is removed or when the labia are uneven prior to the procedure, the two sides do not heal symmetrically after the procedure. When this is the case, some patients elect to have another minor procedure to have additional labia removed.
Office labiaplasties take anywhere between one to two hours to perform depending on the particular patient’s vulvar anatomy and her desired results. Learn more about the Office Labiaplasty.