Female genital surgery (Labiaplasty)

Temporary trend – an effort for perfect body – forces women to pay attention also to parts of their bodies that are mainly fully hidden from the eyes of public. For last few years the plastic surgeons have come up with aesthetic modifications even in the most intimate places – external part of female genitalia.

What does female genital surgery consist in?

The female external genitalia consists of vaginal opening, urinary opening and a peak with many sensitive nervous endings – clitoris. This whole part is on sides covered with gentle skin folds of tissue – the inner lips (labia minora) that come together right in the area of clitoris. The female external genitalia is on sides covered with bigger skin folds with fat cushions – the outer lips (labia majora). The outer lips usually cover and close the external genitalia. Sometimes it happens that the labia minora grows into bigger size or length and thus they can protrude between the labia majora. Mostly this overlap is not too big so it doesn‘t cause any discomfort neither aesthetically nor functionally.

If the inner lips protrude too much they can cause discomfort in aesthetic way and also in everyday life. Sometimes it is difficult to fit this abnormally enlarged labis into tight underwear or swimsuit, not even mentioning underwear of “tanga“ type, sometimes it can cause discomfort by sport activities – for example bicycle riding. It can also cause some problems with intimate hygiene and this “defect” can represent also a psychic obstacle during the intercourse. The labiaplasty is then effective with good results. Sometimes the plastic surgeon can meet the request for modification or reduction of outer lips, although these procedures are performed relatively rarely. Sometimes there is even request for hymen reconstruction surgery that can also be performed.

Relatively frequent request for modification or reduction of vagina is although already part of gynecological procedures.

Preparation for the surgery

As a necessary condition for the procedure is an adult patient. Another necessity is thorough consultative examination with plastic surgeon when the patient gets not only the examination itself but also detailed instruction how the surgery will be performed and what is to be expected. In most cases the patient can agree on her requirements for size or shape of the operated area with the plastic surgeon. The date of the surgery should be then scheduled so that the patient will be operated shortly after the ended menstruation. The plastic surgeon has to instruct the patient also about the need of right intimate hygiene in the period after the surgery.

The surgery itself

The labiaplasty is performed almost always under general anaesthesia, on the operational table in gynecological position. The surgeon measures precisely the direction of surgical incisions before the surgery so that the final scars will not be visible and mainly that they will not make any discomfort to the patient. Great attention should be paid to the area of clitoris so the gentle nerves that give special sensitivity to this area will not be corrupted.

Beside very gentle and careful work it is very necessary to cease the bleeding during the surgery. After the modification very tight and also gentle suturing of surgical wound is necessary. To stitch the wound various types of suturing material are used, sometimes absorbable othertimes nonabsorbable (such sutures have to be removed after the wound is healed). Which suturing material is used depends always on the plastic surgeon and his/her experiences. The surgery takes according to the size of the procedure around one hour and is not especially difficult to the patient. Also soreness after the procedure is normally not big, the patients mention only unpleasant but not that strong burning in this area.

After surgical care

The patients after the labiaplasty usually go home next day after the surgery. It is good to stay calm in the next period for about one week, to avoid long sitting, including long car drive and to have the opportunity of perfect hygiene several times a day. We recommend showering and washing with a soup for intimate hygiene or with good and gentle antiseptic soup after each visit of the toilet and to cover the area with pad.

Although some patients heal better if the wound is left on countrary totally uncovered or “free“. The operated area get relatively often quite swelled, but usually the swelling disappears after several days. It is better if you are regularly checked by your surgeon. In any case you should know that the healing process takes minimum 10 but mostly 14 days, sometimes even more. Smaller swelling can stay even for longer time and the operated place gets its final shape approximately after 6 weeks, after this period the patient can start with her sexual life again.

Results

The labiaplasty brings almost always very satisfactory results to the patients. Of course it very much depends on the experiences of the plastic surgeon, so that he/she is able to avoid possible complications that are nevertheless not too common. It also depends very much on the cooperation and discipline of the patient so that she can fulfill all the recommendation in the period after the surgery.

Some doctors – sexologists – don’t like these surgeries too much, they are afraid of possible reduction of sexual sensation in operated women. The experience of last years, when labiaplasty has been performed here, the opposite has been seen. Women who undertook the surgery mention mostly improved sensation during sexual intercourse. Also that by the surgery their psychic problem of their genitalia appearance is removed contributes to global relaxed and improved experiences in their sexual life.