Pregnancy and labour can cause permanent changes to the size, shape and tone of a women’s labia. This can often be a functional concern related to hygiene or an aesthetic concern when wearing more intimate apparel. Labiaplasty reduces the size and shape of the labia minora to address these issues.
It is paramount that this procedure is done using the meticulous surgical technique when handling the delicate labial tissue. The labial edges must be repaired very precisely to leave an almost invisible scar hidden along the natural creases of the labia.
The incisions are closed with dissolving sutures. The sensory nerves relating to erotic sensation in this region are well away from the operative site, and therefore not affected.
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Labiaplasty is performed under a general anaesthetic and is usually a day only procedure. Most women are able to return to normal activities after approximately one week. There is usually swelling and bruising in the genital region for the first few days. and this can be treated with ice packs, rest and simple analgesia.
Patients usually wear a pantyliner to absorb any spotting or light bleeding for approximately a week after surgery. The stitches are self-dissolving so there is no need for physical removal in this delicate area.
Personal hygiene is extremely important for rapid healing and twice-daily showering or salt baths are essential. An antibiotic ointment is applied twice daily to the suture line for the first week. We recommend abstinence from sexual activity for six weeks, to allow adequate healing time. There may be some intermittent sensory disturbance to the labia for up to 3 months and these may be more acutely felt during your first few menstrual cycles.
- A week off work for office-based jobs
- 10-14 days off work for more physical-type work
- Minimal driving for a week following the surgery
Meet the Experts
Dr Rohit Kumar is an Australian trained and fully certified cosmetic plastic and reconstructive surgeon.
Dr Kumar completed his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree in 1995 at the University of Queensland. He subsequently went on to successfully complete a Masters Degree in the field of Burns Surgery in 2004 – MMedSci (Burns)
His advanced surgical training commenced in the specialty of General Surgery in which he trained for four years. This gave him a solid foundation of technical knowledge and surgical perspective upon which he then built his considerable skills, once he commenced his advanced training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. The Australasian training scheme in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is one of the most thorough and rigorous in the world and upon successful completion of this training, over a period of ten years, Dr Kumar was awarded his Fellowship in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – FRACS (Plas).
He thus brings over 15 years of surgical experience to his practice having been involved in over ten thousand procedures in that time.
If you are considering labiablasty, then it is important that you are informed of the potential risks, complications and side effects of this surgery.
While all care is taken to minimise or totally avoid these complications and side effects, complications may and do occur despite the best medical care. It is important that you carefully read and understand the risk factors and they will be discussed in more detail when you have your consultation with your surgeon.
The Risks include…
- Bleeding from the incision site
- Temporary numbness around the incision sites
- Asymmetry of the labia minora
- A haematoma (blood clot) requiring drainage
- Swelling, pain and bruising around the incision site
- Delayed healing
- Keloid or hypertrophic scars
- Surgery to correct some of the above complications