Study shows that labiaplasty has a significant functional benefit
For those who are dissatisfied with the shape or size of their breasts or abdomen, they are often aware that plastic surgery could be an option for addressing these concerns. However, many women don’t realize that plastic surgery can also be performed on other parts of the body. Labiaplasty is a procedure that reshapes the labia minora, which are the “lips” of tissue of the vulva (the outer female genitals). It’s performed on an outpatient basis.
Some women choose to have this procedure purely for aesthetic reasons, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, many women who consider having labiaplasty do so because they have functional problems related to their large labia. For example, some women experience discomfort while exercising, twisting or tugging during intercourse, or discomfort when wearing tight clothing, related to the size of their labia.
A study published recently in the scientific journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery offers hope to women suffering from these kinds of problems.
Functional benefits of labiaplasty
The study surveyed a group of women who were about to undergo labiaplasty. They were asked about their symptoms. All of the women had at least one symptom, and the average number of symptoms was more than six. Over half of the women reported having self-consciousness, negative self-esteem, tugging and twisting, negative impact on intimacy, being uncomfortable, and clothing restrictions.
They then had their procedures, and they were surveyed again about a year later. Every symptom had become much less common after the procedure. Many symptoms were no longer reported by any of the women; for example, negative impact on intimacy, feeling less attractive, and tugging with intercourse were all resolved for every patient in the study after their procedure. Most impressively, the majority of the women (93.5%) reported no longer having any symptoms after their labiaplasty.
Types of labiaplasty
The study included women who had undergone both wedge and trim labiaplasty. In a wedge labiaplasty, a wedge of tissue is removed from the labia, and the edges are then brought back together. In a trim labiaplasty, the tissue at the edge of the labia is removed, in order to create the desired size and shape.
In this study, about 80% of the women had a trim labiaplasty, while the rest had a wedge. Neither approach was shown to be better than the other, and women in both groups received similar benefit from their procedure. Which approach is preferred depends on the characteristics of the labia and what the patient would like to change. This issue will be discussed at your consultation, with personalised recommendations from your surgeon.
For women who are bothered by symptoms related to excessively large labia, this study provides scientific evidence that labiaplasty may be helpful in resolving these. If you’re considering labiaplasty as an option, you should visit a plastic surgeon with experience in performing the procedure.
Dr. Sjarif has experience in performing both wedge and trim labiaplasty. You can schedule an appointment to consult with him at any of our three locations in the greater Sydney area. This will give you a chance to get all of your questions answered, so you can make an informed decision about whether the procedure is right for you. To book your appointment, please contact our office.