Labiaplasty and other “below-the-belt” procedures have been steadily growing in popularity for several years. Women choose labiaplasty for a number of reasons, both cosmetic and functional. Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure used to reduce the inner lips (labia minora) or outer lips (labia majora) of the vagina. Why have Labiaplasty surgery? Labiaplasty surgery is becoming a very popular aesthetic procedure worldwide. There are many reasons that patients seek to have this surgery performed. Labiaplasty can be performed to remove the excess labia minora tissue under local anesthesia in the office procedure room setting. There are multiple methods to perform this procedure with the two most common methods being the Wedge Resection Technique and the Edge Removal (Amputation) Technique. Common reasons to have a labiaplasty include: • Enlarged, elongated or asymmetrical vaginal lips may be a source of embarrassment and discomfort for affected women. • A change in the appearance of the labia may occur as a result of childbirth, sexual intercourse, genetics or aging. • The best candidates for labiaplasty will be 18 years of age or older and in good health. • Dyspareunia: Pain with sexual intercourse • Problems in clothing: Women will report a bulge in tight fitting clothing such as yoga pants or bathing suits that they are self conscious about. • Discomfort with exercise: Women will report discomfort when performing exercises such as running or bicycling where the labia rub against one another leading to irritation. • Aesthetic Reasons: Many women are self conscious simply about the way that their external vaginal area looks and do not like the excess tissue that is protruding out. • Asymmetry of Labia: Women can have asymmetry of the labia where on side is much larger than the other. Following labiaplasty patients report a very high level of satisfaction and typically would recommend the procedure to others considering it. What is involved in Labiaplasty surgery? Labiaplasty is an outpatient procedure that is often performed using a local anesthetic combined with sedation. The surgery may take up to two hours. During surgery, your board certified plastic surgeon will use a scalpel, surgical scissors or a laser to shorten the inner lips of the vagina. The exact incision length will depend on the size and shape of your labia. If necessary, liposuction combined with surgical reduction may be used to alter the size or shape of the outer vaginal lips. All external incisions will be sutured with dissolvable stitches. What to expect after surgery? • Your genitals will feel sore, swollen and bruised for several weeks. Oral medication and antibiotics may be prescribed to reduce pain and the risk of infection. • There will be some bleeding following surgery. It may be necessary to wear a pad for up to one week. • Normal activities such as work can be resumed within a week of surgery. Physical exercise should be avoided for three weeks or longer. • Tampons should not be used for at least 10 days and sexual intercourse should be avoided for at least one month. How long does a Labiaplasty last? The results of a Labiaplasty surgery are permanent.