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A labiaplasty is surgery to reduce the size of the labia minora – the flaps of skin either side of the vaginal opening.

Some women require a labiaplasty because they do not like the look of their labia. The size, colour, and shape of labia vary significantly, and may change as a result of childbirth or ageing. But it’s completely normal to have noticeable skin folds around the opening of your vagina.

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What Is The Procedure For Labiaplasty?

A labiaplasty can be done using either a general anaesthetic or a local anaesthetic with sedation. It involves shortening or reshaping the vaginal lips. The unwanted tissue is cut away with a scalpel or laser. The loose edge may be stitched with fine, dissolvable stitches. The whole procedure takes about 1 to 2 hours and you should be able to go home the same day.

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FAQ about Labiaplasty

You may need up to 2 weeks off work to recover. It can take a couple of months for the skin to fully heal.

During this time you need to:

  • keep the area clean and free from infection

  • wear loose underwear and clothes to prevent rubbing

  • avoid sex for about 6 weeks

  • avoid physical activity for 6 to 12 weeks

  • use sanitary towels instead of tampons for a few weeks

Your surgeon may give you more specific advice to follow.

It’s normal after a labiaplasty to have soreness, bruising and swelling for up to 2 weeks.

During this time, urinating and sitting may also be uncomfortable. You’ll be given painkillers to help with this.

A labiaplasty can occasionally result in:

  • bleeding
  • infection
  • scarring of tissue
  • reduced sensitivity of the genitals

Any type of operation also carries a small risk of:

  • a blood clot in a vein
  • an allergic reaction to the anaesthetic

Your surgeon should explain how likely these risks and complications are, and how they would be treated if you have them.

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