There are several different surgical techniques that can be used during a labiaplasty. Some of the common techniques include:
Wedge Technique - Minimizes scarring and produces very natural looking results, while maintaining the natural tissue border of the inner labia. This procedure is best for patients whose excess labia tissue only involves a small portion of the inner labia. Women who wish to achieve the most natural looking labia possible often choose the wedge technique.
Trim Technique - During this procedure, a longitudinal section of the excess labia is removed in order to reduce the labia to an optimum size, creating a perfectly symmetrical shape. This technique has low complication rates that make recovery and healing a simple process for most patients.
Every patient is unique, so during your comprehensive consultation, your surgeon will review the many options available to you and offer their recommendation for the type of procedure best suited to you and your medical goals.
The decision to have plastic surgery is extremely personal, and you’ll have to decide if the benefits of the surgery outweigh the risks and potential complications of surgery.
You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks. It is important that you address all your questions directly with your surgeon.
Labiaplasty surgery is normally done under a local anesthetic. For the wedge technique, the surgery requires a pie-shaped piece of labia tissue to be removed. For the trim technique, the surgery requires extra labia tissue to be removed. Dissolvable stitches will be used on the surgical incision.
Following local anesthesia, it may take 4-5 hours for the numbing effects to wear off – similar to something you would have done at the dentist. You can even eat and drink like normal before your procedure. We just ask that you not consume alcohol 24 hour prior to surgery. You must be accompanied by a responsible adult on your way home, who may either drive you home or take a taxi with you. You may feel pain slowly increase as the numbing wears off. Please ensure you have some acetaminophen or ibuprofen at home to use for any discomfort.
You are able to shower as normal, you are able to use soap and water on the incisions. Please do not bathe or soak your incisions until all incisions have completely healed. It can take up to four weeks for dissolvable stitches to fully dissolve. Swelling and bruising is common following surgery and is to be expected. The swelling and bruising should subside within 2-4 weeks after surgery. We recommend icing for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off to help reduce swelling.
Patients are able to get up and walk around right after surgery. Most patients are back to normal daily activities the next day. However, there should be no vigorous activity such as sexual intercourse, biking or any other sporting activity for at least 4 weeks following surgery to ensure there is no separation of the surgical incisions. Most patients who have sedentary jobs do not take time off work. If your job involves a lot of physical activity be sure to speak with your surgeon during your consultation with regards to how much time off you will need for your specific daily tasks. Most patients are comfortable driving the next day. However, it is not uncommon for a spot along your surgical incisions to open up during the postoperative stages due to increased tension on the incisions with movement or poor healing. This is not a serious complication, and can be remedied with daily dressings, but it does mean a delay in your expected recovery time.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to give us a call at (403) 800-9157 and leave a message as necessary. If you are unable to reach us, and need medical advice please call 811 to speak to a nurse, the line is free of charge and available 24 hours a day. If it is a medical emergency please call 911 or go to your nearest hospital, or call the Peter Lougheed Centre Switchboard at (403) 943-4555 and ask to speak to the plastic surgeon on-call.
A good candidate for surgery is a patient who is relatively healthy and has realistic expectations for post-operative outcomes. It is also strongly advised that you be a non-smoker at the time of surgery. If you are a smoker we recommend you quit smoking at least 3 months prior to surgery as nicotine can interfere with blood supply and potentially cause complications with healing after surgery.