Many women are plagued by labia minora that are hypertrophic, protruding beneath their labia majora. They have no idea that this common nuisance can be dramatically improved with a relatively simple procedure.
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Patients have complained that grossly enlarged labia minora commonly interferes with intercourse, is a hygiene problem in terms of perpetual wetness and is frequently irritated by day-to-day activities 1-5. Some are self-conscious that it is obvious in a bathing suit, ballerina tights, and other form-fitting attire. Understandably, many women feel that this malformation is a problem both aesthetically as well as functionally.
Unfortunately, many candidates are embarrassed to inquire about this personal surgery but we have had several patients through the years that have requested labia minora reduction, or vaginal reconstruction in Austin. Every one of our patients has been delighted with the results. We had a bathing suit model that came to us and was very embarrassed about this problem and had never had a serious relationship until after this procedure. Shortly after her vaginal cosmetic surgery in Austin, she sent us a wedding announcement to a Golf Pro.
This is a procedure that is safe and easy to perform and provides universal satisfaction. Other surgeons have experienced similar success with the results of the procedure and, just as importantly, the satisfaction of the patient.
Without complication, a recent study has shown over 90% satisfaction in over 150 patients receiving vaginal labiaplasty. Such a safe and effective procedure should be added to every surgeon’s arsenal and made more accessible to patients.
After the area has been prepped and draped (shaving is not necessary) the labia minora are injected with about 5 ccs of 2% Xylocaine with Epinephrine on each side. The labium is gently retracted with forceps and a Kelly Clamp or similar hemostats may be used to cross-clamp the labia in a gently curved path approximately parallel to the labia majora. (Fig. 2) No effort is made to remove all of the labia minora but only that which protrudes beyond the labia majora. After the clamp is in place for a minute or so, the excess labia is excised either with curve scissors or a blade. It is rarely necessary to cauterize this area at all because the clamping leaves it relatively hemostatic. It is then possible to suture the internal and external edges of the labia with 5.0 Vicryl continuous locked stitches. No dressing is applied. A W-shaped incision may be used depending on the preference of the surgeon 5. The patient is instructed to shower daily and antibiotic ointment is applied to the suture lines.
Over the years we have performed this vaginal reconstruction in Austin many times without a single complication and patients that are always delighted with the results. Both aesthetic and functional integrity is returned to the labia within a month experiencing only minimal discomfort for the first couple of weeks. All of our patients were delighted with the result and recommend the procedure to those in need.
Labia minora reduction is a safe simple vaginal cosmetic surgery procedure that can be performed under local anesthesia and as an outpatient with minimal sedation. The nature of the surgery has caused it to be less publicized than other aesthetic procedures leaving patients with this unnecessary crisis. Surgeons need to be responsible for making the option available as an independent procedure or one to be incorporated with other aesthetic surgeries.
1. Kato, K., Kondo, A., Gotoh, M., Tanaka, J., Saitoh, M., Namiki, Y.: Hypertrophy of labia minora in myelodysplastic women. Urology I31: 294, 1988.
2. Alter, G.J.: A new technique for aesthetic labia minora reduction. Ann. Plast. Surge. 40:287, 1998.
3. Hodgkinson, D.J., Hait, G.: Aesthetic vaginal labiaplasty. Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 74: 414, 1984.
4. Rouzier, R., Louis-Sylvestre, C., Paniel, B.J., Haddad, B.: Hypertrophy of labia minora: experience with 163 reductions. Am. J. Obstet. Gyn. 2000 Jan;182(1 Pt 1):35-40.
5. Maas, S.M., Hage, J.J. :Functional and aesthetic labia minora reduction. Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 2000 Apr; 105(4):1453-6.
6. Ersek, R.A.: Valium ketamine sedation for safety sake. In Press.