Labia minora are the “inner lips” just outside the opening of the vagina. Some women may have always had one or both enlarged or redundant. Multiple childbirths can also cause stretching. Rarely, chronic irritation, hormones, or aging can cause lengthening and drooping.
Excessive labia minora can be uncomfortable, take extra time and attention to maintain proper hygiene, or lead to poor hygiene. Additionally, there can be interference or self-consciousness when participating in certain physical activities and exercise, as well as during sexual intercourse. Asymmetrical or enlarged labia minora may be more uncomfortable or even visible with currently popular tight clothing. Labia majora are seen when bathing attire is worn over absent or closely trimmed pubic hair and may allow labia minora redundancy to be apparent.
At the San Mateo and Mountain View practices of Dr. Pertsch, patients may undergo labia reduction surgery to help correct this bothersome feature. During a consultation, the patient is examined in order to determine if this is the most appropriate procedure. Because each patient has a unique anatomy and desired outcome, every surgery is personalized to provide the most optimal results.
Labia reduction (also called labia minora reduction, labial reduction, labiaplasty, labialplasty, or “inner lips” reduction) can reduce the hanging or asymmetrical labia minora, yet maintain the normal appearance and clitoral protection. In some cases, the clitoral hood may be redundant and also benefit from some reduction. Reduction results in less feeling of “fullness,” can simplify daily hygiene, and reduce self-consciousness or interference during vaginal intercourse.
The procedure involves removing a wedge of protuberant labial tissue leaving enough behind for normal appearance and function. The labial edges are re-approximated with stitches that dissolve on their own. The procedure is best timed right after menses are completed for a given month. Because every patient has a unique circumstance and feature(s) that she wants to correct, each labial reduction procedure is tailored to the individual preference. Most women prefer that their labia minora not protrude beyond the labia majora and that some clitoral hood remain to protect the sensitive clitoris.
The actual surgery time takes about one to one and a half hours, although there can be additional preparation time on the day of surgery. There is a high success rate and low chance of healing complications or other problems. Women report that a normal genital appearance greatly enhances self-esteem, physical comfort, and puts the genital appearance issue behind them.
Please feel free to schedule an appointment with Dr. Pertsch at either of his practices – Mountain View or San Mateo. During this time, the surgery can be explained in detail and you may have your questions/concerns addressed in order to ease any stress regarding the procedure.