The labia minora are flaps of skin on the sides of the opening of the vagina. A labiaplasty is a surgical procedure to reduce the size of the labia minora.
The procedure may be done for cosmetic reasons to change the appearance of the female genitals. It may also be done to correct damaged labia or large labia that cause pain and discomfort.
Cosmetic procedures should not be done in those under age 18 years. The genital area is still developing and surgery may interfere with this process.
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications such as:
Leading up to your procedure, you will need to:
To prepare for your surgery:
Anesthesia options include:
There are 3 labiaplasty methods:
Talk to your doctor about which procedure method might be right for you.
Pain during the procedure will be managed through anesthesia. You will have some pain after the procedure. Ask your doctor about medication to help with the pain.
After the operation, you will be taken to the recovery room for observation.
At the Care Center
Right after the procedure, the staff will monitor your recovery. Pain medication will be given.
Most people are able to leave the care center the day after surgery.
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection such as:
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chance of infection such as:
It will take a few weeks for swelling to go away. Certain activities will be limited during recovery. For example, sexual intercourse should be avoided for up to 4 weeks. You can generally return to work within a week if it does not involve vigorous activity.
Call your doctor if any of these occur:
If you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Congress of Obstetrician and Gynecology
American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Committee opinion No. 662: Breast and labial surgery in adolescents. Obstet Gynecol. 2016 May;127(5):e138-140.
Labiaplasty. Brigham and Women’s Hospital website. Available at: http://www.brighamandwomens.org/Departments_and_Services/surgery/services/PlasticSurg/cosmetic-procedures/body/body-labiaplasty.aspx. Updated July 29, 2016. Accessed November 28, 2017.
Labiaplasty. NHS Choices website. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/labiaplasty/Pages/Introduction.aspx. Updated May 19, 2016. Accessed November 28, 2017.
What are the types of labiaplasty procedure? Health Development Advice website. Available at: http://www.hda-online.org.uk/cosmetic-surgery/labiaplasty/types-of-labiaplasty.html. Accessed November 28, 2017.
Last reviewed November 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board James Cornell, MD Last Updated: 7/12/2016