What is it?
It is often performed on women who feel that their labia minora are uneven or too large. Enlarged labia minora is a medical condition known as labial hypertrophy, and can cause discomfort while performing certain activities or wearing tight clothing as well as embarrassment with a sexual partner. This can be caused by childbirth, age, and hormonal changes, or it may simply be present from birth. Labia minora reduction surgery does not mean that the enlarged labia is removed altogether. Instead, the labia minora are contoured, reshaped, and reduced in size with as little cutting as possible.
What is involved?
Traditionally, labia minora reduction surgery is performed by gynecologists or plastic surgeons who excise the protuberant labia minora using specialized scissors, scalpels, or lasers and over sewing the raw edge. It's a relatively minor surgery that can be completed in about two hours with relatively little discomfort. Usually the patient is put under using general anesthetic, but local anesthetic can also be used. Complications are minor but can include infection, bleeding, temporary numbness, changes in pigmentation, pain, excessive scar tissue build-up, hematoma, and sexual dysfunction.
Patients can expect to be able to return to work in about five days after undergoing labia minora reduction surgery, although they will be asked to stop any heavy exercise for the first ten days of recovery. The genitals will be swollen and sore for several weeks after the procedure is performed. Patients are advised to wear a pad for one week or less due to the bleeding that occurs. Normal sexual activity can resume about six weeks after the procedure is performed.
Most women who undergo labia minora reduction are very satisfied with the results, thinner and sleeker labia minora that are generally more comfortable when it comes to wearing tight clothing and engaging in certain activities. If performed correctly it leaves no obvious scar on the outer rim, and the labia are left with their natural pigmentation and a youthful look. It is not likely that a sexual partner will be able to notice that there was any surgery performed at all, and there is usually no loss of sensation in the patient.