02 Jan MOMMY SURGERY – UNDERSTANDING LABIAPLASTY
The internet is flooded with advertisements and “infomercials” on “Mommy Makeovers.” While it is well known that procedures on breasts and the abdomen are frequently performed to improve the sequelae of pregnancy and childbirth, the topic of labiaplasty is less-well covered. Even the terminology is not universally understood. The labia or the “lips” to the side of the vagina and consist of the outer labia majora and the inner labia minora. More frequently the labia minora are a concern to women. The labia majora should be full and cover the inner, thinner labia minora; however, during pregnancy there is an expansion of the labia due to increased blood volume. During childbirth, this pressure markedly increases, and the labia reached maximum stretching. This can result in oversized labia and sagging skin, leading to an unsightly appearance or even discomfort in some clothing as well as discomfort during intercourse. Many women slightly don’t like the appearance of having a “package” that is visible to others. A labiaplasty is a relatively simple procedure to reduce the protruding and/or uneven labia minora. It can be performed on under general or local anesthesia with sedation and can be combined with tummy-tuck procedures. There is very little pain with this procedure and the internal sutures simply dissolve. Some swelling can persist for a few weeks during the healing process. The scarring is minimal and a woman can resume full activity, including sexual intercourse, in about one month after the scars have healed. Less often, the labia majora are addressed with fat transfers for flat, deflated tissue, liposuction for overly large, fatty labia majora, or excisional techniques. Each case is different and must be addressed individually.