The labia minora (inner lips of the vagina) will tend to differ in size and shape; there is nothing unusual about this; but patients may find very large labia physically uncomfortable or aesthetically displeasing. Mr Tare considers this problem as a very sensitive and private issue for his patients. He treats these patients with the highest level of confidentiality.
Why do patients request labial reduction?
The labia may be too large and cause discomfort with underclothes and fitted jeans. Also there may be difficulty with maintaining hygiene during menstruation, and pain during and after intercourse. In some cases, labia may be visible through underclothes and swimwear; the two labia may also be visibly different and cause embarrassment.
What does labial reduction involve?
Surgery is usually carried out under general anaesthetic as a day case. The procedure involves very precise reduction in the size of the labia by trimming excess skin, followed by repair with fine dissolving sutures. An antiseptic dressing is held in place with a panty liner, and then patients are discharged home the same day. A review appointment is made for a week after surgery.
What is the normal postoperative course?
Patients experience minor discomfort for 24 to 48 hours following this procedure; the labia are slightly bruised and swollen for a few days following the procedure. The sutures normally dissolve within two to three weeks, leaving a fine scar. Patients are usually very satisfied with the results.
How much time do I need off work?
Most patients are able to return to work within a couple of days following surgery.
What are the complications of this procedure?
As with all forms of surgery, labial reduction patients can experience minor complications such as bleeding, haematoma (blood clot under the skin), infection and a tender scar, but these are not common. Most patients have mild residual asymmetry; it is most unusual for anyone to be perfectly symmetrical.