Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure for reducing the size and appearance of the labia minor, which is the skin flap on the sides of the vagina’s opening.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) has reported some concerns about the increasing popularity of this surgical procedure, though. It might lead to people believing that women are undergoing this procedure purely for cosmetic motives, based on their yearning to conform to standards — what they think is more attractive or normal when it comes to the appearance of the vagina. However, this reasoning is simply not true.
Why Women Decide to Undergo Labiaplasty
The shape and size of the labia differ from one woman to another. When the labia is excessively elongated, this excess tissue could easily cause discomfort — even outright pain — when doing otherwise normal tasks.
Surgeons in Utah who perform cosmetic surgery procedures, including labiaplasty, state one good example: Athletes with elongated labia might find their labia sticking to their inner legs when biking. Even sitting on a bike could feel extremely uncomfortable for them.
According to the ASPS, while there are women who have undergone labiaplasty solely for aesthetic purposes, they are not primarily influenced by alleged beauty standards. Some women who see their labia as unusually long might feel self-conscious of their genitalia’s appearance, leading to psychological and emotional distress when wearing tight-fitting bottoms — yes, the dreaded camel toe look — and worse, during intercourse.
What Happens During Labiaplasty
During a labiaplasty, the surgeon will remove the excess tissue so that your labia minora’s lips will be tucked within your labia majora, which are the vulva’s outer lips.
This surgical procedure involves reshaping or shortening the lips using a scalpel — sometimes, a laser depending on how elongated the labia are — and stitching them up with dissolvable stitches. Labiaplasty can be performed under general or local anesthesia. The entire surgery could last for an hour or two, with some women being able to head home right after the procedure.
What to Expect During Recovery
You’ll need to take pain medications for some time following your surgery, and for most patients, recovery is straightforward and swift. Expect to feel sore and have swelling and bruising in the surgery site for a week or two.
Sitting down and peeing might feel uncomfortable, but your pain meds will help ease some of the discomforts. It’s also a good idea to just rest for a week and not go to work following your surgery, wear comfy and loose bottoms, and use a panty liner to catch the bleeding. You should also refrain from having intercourse and wearing tampons or pads if you get your period within the recovery timeframe. You can resume normal activities after a month of recovery, provided that you get the go signal from your doctor.
It’s perfectly natural for women to have visible skin folds down there, and under normal circumstances, this shouldn’t cause an issue. If you’re experiencing severe discomfort, irritation, or emotional issues because of it, consult a cosmetic procedure with ample experience in labiaplasty to see if the procedure is right for you.