Labioplasty

Labioplasty, also called Labiaplasty, is a procedure which is carried out on the labia minora. The labia minora are two innermost flaps of skin on both sides of the vaginal opening, enclosed by the labia majora. Typically changes occur in the appearance of labia minora due to aging and vaginal delivery.

Labioplasty is used to reshape misshapen or reduce unusually large labia minoras. The procedure contains incisions in the folds in order to remove excess fat tissue and reshape the labia minoras. Other parts, such as clitoris, are not influenced and no loss of sexual sensation occurs.

The different procedures are listed below:

  • Edge resection technique:

The original labioplasty technique was simple resection of tissues at the free edge of the labia minora. One resection-technique variation features a clamp placed across the area of labial tissue to be resected, in order to establish hemeostasis (stopped blood-flow), and the surgeon resects the tissues, and then sutures the cut labium minus or labia minora. This procedure is used by most surgeons because it is easiest method to perform. The advantage of edge-resection includes removal of the hyper-pigmented (darkened) irregular labial edges with a linear scar. The technical disadvantages of the labial-edge resection technique are the loss of the natural wrinkles of the labia minora. Another disadvantage of this method, is that it is unable to excise redundant tissues of the clitoral hood, when present.

  • Central wedge resection technique:

Labial reduction by means of a central wedge-resection involves cutting and removing a partial-thickness wedge of tissue from the thickest portion of the labium minus. Unlike the edge-resection technique, the resection pattern of the central wedge technique preserves the natural wrinkled edge of the labia minora. The benefit of this technique is that an extended wedge can be brought upwards towards the prepuce to treat a prominent clitoral hood without a separate incision. This leads to a natural contour for the finished result, and avoids direct incisions near the highly-sensitive clitoris.

  • De-epithelialisation technique:

Labial reduction by means of the de-epithelialisation of the tissues involves cutting the epithelium of a central area on the medial and lateral aspects of each labium minus (small lip), either with a scalpel or with a medical laser. This labioplasty technique reduces the vertical excess tissue, whilst preserving the natural rugosity (corrugated free-edge) of the labia minora, and thus preserves the sensory and erectile characteristics of the labia. Yet, the technical disadvantage of de-epithelialisation is that the width of the individual labium might increase if a large area of labial tissue must be de-epithelialised to achieve the labial reduction.

  • Laser labioplasty technique:

Labial reduction by means of laser resection of the labia minora involves the de-epithelialisation of the labia. The technical disadvantage of laser labioplasty is that the removal of excess labial epidermis risks causing the occurrence of epidermal inclusion cysts.

After labioplasty normal light activities can be resumed, however sexual intercourse should be avoided up to 45 days after treatment.