As many of us know, the female body seems to constantly change. And unfortunately, it’s not always for the better. Take, for example, the labia. The labia, or vaginal lips, can become saggy, enlarged, and/or distorted looking. Sometimes one side is larger than the other. This can lead some women to be unhappy with the appearance of their vagina and have decreased self-esteem. Others complain of pain during intercourse and athletes can experience discomfort when they exercise.
The sagginess and distortion which can be mild, moderate, or severe can come from tearing and stretching during childbirth. In addition, aging and other injuries can cause the labia to become distorted. This can cause rash, irritation, poor hygiene, and an uncomfortable feeling in tight clothing or bathing suits.
Any one of these reasons can steer women in the direction of finding an answer to their problem. Many are now choosing labiaplasty. Labiaplasty refers to plastic surgery on the small inner lips of the vagina. A labial reduction involves trimming excess tissue from the labia. This can cause lips on the right and left sides to look more even in appearance. A labiaplasty can remove tears that occurred during childbirth. The small cuts are usually hard to see. Different plastic surgeons can perform labiaplasties differently. Some use lasers during the surgery. Labiaplasty is typically performed in an outpatient surgery center with local or slight general anesthesia.
After surgery, some women experience mild discomfort and inflammation of the tissues. This usually subsides and disappears within one to two weeks. Most of the swelling is gone after a few days, but patients can still be uncomfortable for a week.
Patients typically can go home after the procedure and many are able to engage in light activities on the same day as surgery. When to resume sexual intercourse is based on your doctor's advice. Some say it can be resumed as early as seven days, whereas others recommend waiting for up to six weeks. Tampon use and douching may be delayed for up to six weeks after surgery as well.
Like all surgeries, there are risks.