Female Genital Surgery
Why Consider Female Genital Surgery?
While female genital surgery has not traditionally been practiced by many plastic and cosmetic surgeons, these procedures have gained a great deal of popularity in recent years. This is attributable to increased media attention to female genital surgery and a general attitude change both by patients and plastic surgeons. A great many women have concerns about the look of the outer labia and/or the inner labia. Enlargement or other irregularities in these areas can also lead to significant functional problems including pain, discomfort, infection, difficulty with sexual intercourse, and difficulty with wearing certain types of clothing. Other areas of concern regarding the female genital region can be prominence of the pubis (the area of the pubic hairs due to a fat pad) and unusual or excessive hair-growth patterns.
Labiaplasty (Labia Minora Reduction)
Labiaplasty is a female genital surgical procedure designed to reduce the size of the inner labia (labia minora). The technical term used to describe enlargement of this anatomy is "labia hypertrophy". Women with this concern complain of self-consciousness with regards to exposing the area to sexual partners, pain and tenderness when wearing certain types of clothing, during intercourse or other activities (eg. bike riding).
Surgical Technique of Labiaplasty Female Genital Surgery
Traditionally, labiaplasty surgery has been done by a relatively simple procedure in which each labia minora is trimmed from top to bottom thereby reducing its size. This remains a good technique for many patients especially those women whose labia minora are enlarged all along their lengths. Possible issues with this procedure are a somewhat firm scar line along the edge of each labia, and pigmentary changes on the labia minora. Newer techniques and modifications that have been developed for labiaplasty surgery include wedge excision in which a triangular section of the labia minora is removed and stitched. This technique is mostly applicable to patients that have the majority of labial enlargement in the central portion of the labia. Advantages of this technique for good candidates are that the scar line is better hidden and pigmentary changes generally do not occur.
Anesthesia For Labiaplasty Genital Surgery
Dr. Backstein, Toronto female genital surgeon, suggests that labiaplasty surgery is best done under a general anesthestic. Due to the obvious sensitivity of the area, surgery done under local anesthesia, while feasible, may be unpleasant for many patients. For women that would prefer to have the procedure done without going under general anesthesia, Dr. Backstein will arrange with a board certified anesthesiologist to do the labiaplasty under local anesthesia combined with a sedation.
Following labiaplasty, the female genital region will be tender and swollen. This will subside to a great extent after about one week. Dr. Backstein suggests icing the area intermittently for the first 24 hours and a female pad should be worn for several days to keep the area dry. Full recovery can take up to six weeks and exercise and sexual intercourse should be refrained from for 4-6 weeks.
When Can I have Sex After Labiaplasty?
Dr. Backstein suggests waiting about 6 weeks to have sexual intercourse or to exercise vigorously after labiaplasty surgery.
Complications Of Labiaplasty Female Genital Surgery
Complications of labiaplasty surgery can include infection, scarring, sensory loss or sensory changes to the labia area, and pigmentary changes. In rare cases, patients may complain of some discomfort when having sexual intercourse.
Labiaplasty Post-Op Care
You will be extremely swollen in the surgical area and may have trouble walking normally. This will resolve!
1. Shower the day after surgery. The surgical area may get wet. Apply polysporin and a feminine pad after the shower.
2. Use a feminine pad over the area and change as necessary.
3. No sexual intercourse or exercise until instructed by Dr. Backstein.
4. Do not use Advil, Aspirin, Motrin or any other anti-inflammatory as this can cause bleeding. 5. If you have significant concerns, contact Dr. Backstein at email@example.com