In most women, the labia minora (the skin surrounding the vaginal opening) are seen only when the legs are separated. However in some women, large labia minora are visible when the legs are not apart, causing embarrassment, self-consciousness, and distancing in relationships. Enlarged labia may also be noticeable in tight fitting pants, and can cause discomfort during intercourse, with clothes or with exercise. Enlarged labias are usually congenital, but may be increased from hormonal changes or childbirth.
How does reduction surgery work?
Labia minora reduction (labiaplasty) is a procedure to correct enlarged labia minora. Dr. O’Brien utilizes various techniques for treating prominent labia minora, which he will discuss with you in his St. Petersburg office.
Labiaplasty can be performed with mild oral sedation and local anesthesia. Typical surgery time is around 60–90 minutes.
How long is the recovery from reduction surgery?
While it may seem that this is a very bad area to have surgery on, in fact, the labia are very resilient and heal speedily. Pain that may require narcotic pain medicine typically lasts only a few days. After that, ibuprofen (Motrin and Advil) is sufficient.
You may return to work within a week, or sooner if you have a desk job. Post-op care involves cleansing several times per day and applying antibiotic ointment for a week. Most of the swelling and all of the external stitches have disappeared by two weeks. You should refrain from intercourse for at least four weeks after surgery, however, even after four weeks the labia incisions may be sensitive and patients need to continue to use caution during the recovery process.