How to Say It: Lay-be-uh-plass-tee
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
A labiaplasty is surgery to reduce the size of the labia minora. These are the flaps of skin on the sides of the opening of the vagina.
Reasons for Procedure
The procedure may be done for cosmetic reasons to change the way the female genitals look. It may also be done to correct a damaged labia or a large labia that causes pain and discomfort.
This surgery should not be done in people under age 18 years of age. The genital area is still developing and surgery may cause problems with this process.
Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:
Things that may raise the risk of problems are:
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
The surgical team may meet with you to talk about:
The doctor may give:
Description of the Procedure
There are three ways this surgery may be done:
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
Pain and swelling are common in the first few days. Medicine and home care help.
Average Hospital Stay
Most people can go home the same day. If you have problems, you may need to stay longer.
At the Care Center
Right after the procedure, the staff may give you pain medicine.
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to lower your risk of infection, such as:
There are also steps you can take to lower your risk of infection, such as:
It will take a few weeks for swelling to go away. Some activities will be limited. Sex will need to be avoided for up to four weeks. You may need to delay your return to work.
Call Your Doctor
Call the doctor if you are not getting better or you have:
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: https://www.brighamandwomens.org/surgery/plastic-surgery/procedures/labiaplasty. Accessed August 19, 2021.
Labiaplasty (vulval surgery). NHS Choices website. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cosmetic-procedures/labiaplasty. Accessed August 19, 2021.
What are the types of labiaplasty procedure? Health Development Advice website. Available at:
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Accessed Accessed August 19, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board James Cornell, MD
Last Updated: 8/19/2021
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