What is a Labiaplasty?

A Labiaplasty is reduction and reshaping surgery of the labia. This may be due to patients experiencing discomfort. The patient may request to reduce the length of the labia minor and or major for visual reasons or discomfort. The enlarged labia majora or minor may be due to various reasons such as congenital, childbirth or ageing.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified practitioner.

Who is a candidate and what can you expect after the operation?

Women with long or hanging vaginal lips/genitalia, either congenital, or due to childbirth or ageing.

After the operation, swelling will be present for the first 3-5 days. This swelling will decrease over a few weeks. Patients may experience some discomfort in sitting for approximately two weeks post-operatively.

Soaking in baths may decrease some of the discomfort.

Activities: Sexual relations and aerobic activity may recommence after approximately 2-3 weeks.

What can you expect after the operation?

Swelling will be present for the first 3 – 5 days post-operatively. This swelling will decrease over a few weeks. Patients may experience some discomfort in sitting for approximately two weeks post-operatively.

Soaking in baths may aid in decreasing some of the discomfort.

Sexual relations and aerobic activity may continue after approximately 2 – 3 weeks.

What are the potential risks?

The incisions (scars) will fade over time, and are very fine blending with natural skin creases.

Numbness: There may be some initial decrease in sensation in the labia however this should improve over time.

Haematoma: It is also possible that a haematoma (blood collection) may occur. However, this is a rare occurrence.

Infection: Post-operative infection is uncommon but possible. Our plastic surgeon, Dr Craig Layt, gives intravenous antibiotics during this body surgery, and oral antibiotics after surgery to decrease this risk.

Pre-Operative Instructions

WASHING: Wash the evening prior and the day of surgery paying particular attention to the area to be operated on. This decreases the bacterial count and should decrease the risks of infection.

PRODUCTS: Do not apply moisturisers, make-up, perfume/deodorant, nail polish or hair products after washing. Remove all jewellery.

CLOTHING: Wear loose, comfortable clothing and footwear.

FASTING: You should have nothing to eat or drink for six hours before your operation. If you are required to take medication during this time please speak with your physician to check if this can be taken before the six hour fasting period or after your procedure.

MEDICATION: If you are having the operation as a day case, you will be given a script for antibiotics and pain relief tablets that you will need to purchase from the chemist and bring with you on the day of your procedure. Do not take these prior to surgery. The nursing staff will advise you and your carer after your procedure on how to administer them.

Certain over the counter products and prescription medicines can cause complications before and after surgery. They can reduce the ability of your blood to clot and could increase your tendency to bleed during and after surgery. Do not take any medication containing or related to aspirin two weeks prior to your procedure. This includes NSAID’S, anti-Inflammatory medications, blood thinning medication. Please see your doctor regarding if and when to cease medication.
*This is not an all inclusive list*.

Also avoid Vitamin E supplements and red wine. Stop all herbal medications before surgery. The most common herbs used are Echinacea, Ephedra, Garlic, Ginseng, Ginkogo, Kava, St. John’s Wort, and Valerian. They may adversely effect anesthetic drugs, prolong bleeding and impair healing after surgery. Please consult your physician before ceasing any medication.

SMOKING: Smoking and vaping increases the risks of complications significantly and should be ceased 6 – 8 weeks prior to surgery.

ADMINISTRATION: Unfortunately, paperwork is a necessary evil. Each theatre complex has its own procedures. We have attempted to make it all easy by providing a simple series of steps to follow titled “THINGS TO DO FOR YOUR PROCEDURE” specific to the surgery center you are attending. Please follow these instructions. If you have any queries about this or anything else don’t hesitate to contact us on (07) 5597 4100.

Specific Post-Operative Instructions

POSITION: You will find sitting to be quite uncomfortable for the first week. Try to lie down and keep pressure off the area to help reduce increased swelling.

DRESSINGS: Salt water baths three times daily, apply area with vaseline and wear a pad. Continue this process until your next appointment. (You do not need to wake from sleep to do this.)

Occasionally, if there is difficulty with passing urine then a warm bath will help.

SUTURES: All sutures used are dissolving and are not required to be removed.

ACTIVITIES: Avoid strenuous exercise for at least two to three weeks to prevent irritation of the area.

TED STOCKINGS: You may be required to wear TED stockings for compression to prevent DVT (blood clotting) post-operatively. If required these will be fitted at the hospital on your admission day. The nursing staff will advise you on how long you need to wear these for.

MEDICATION: Take your pain relief and antibiotic medication as directed. Any medication you ceased prior to surgery must not be taken after your surgery until you are completely healed or as directed by your physician.