Labiaplasty (Female Genital Surgery)
Labia is a term to describe the female genital “lips.” The female genitals have larger outer lips called labia majora; the labia major are thicker, skin-colored hair-bearing. The inner lips, or labia minora, are colored much in the same way the inside of your cheek is colored.
Women undergo labiaplasty if they are interested in changing the appearance of their labia majora or minora. Most commonly, the labia minora are being reduced because they are too long or different sizes. The labia majora can also be reduced surgically or with radiofrequency tightening.
What is the difference between a labiaplasty and a vaginoplasty?
Labiaplasty is surgery on the female genital lips, either the outer lips (labia majora) or inner lips (labia minora). A cosmetic vaginoplasty is surgery on the vaginal canal itself; patients often seek out a vaginoplasty in order to “tighten up” the vagina after childbirth. Dr. Robey does not currently perform cosmetic vaginoplasties, but nonsurgical vaginal/pelvic floor tightening is offered in the form of a ThermiVA.
What is the recovery period after labiaplasty?
You can expect to have some swelling and discoloration of your tissues after surgery. Some patients will elect to wear a panty-liner for the first week to collect any potential drainage. Patients can return to work in a few days. Soaking in water is allowed after 10-14 days, and sexual intercourse is allowed after 4-6 weeks.
Swelling can persist to some extent for several months.
What is involved in postoperative care?
Routine showering of the surgical site with soap and water is recommended. No scrubbing of tissues. Dr. Robey recommends application of an ointment for the first week after surgery. Do not soak in water for the first 10-14 days; after this time period, baths and swimming in pools is allowed.