A woman’s labia, folds of skin framing the vaginal opening, can vary greatly in shape, size and color. When labia is enlarged or asymmetrical, either due to genetics, childbirth or aging, it can cause pain or discomfort during physical activity, sexual intimacy or when wearing tight clothing. In addition, large or darkly colored labia may make women feel self-conscious, affecting their confidence and romantic relationships.Labiaplasty, the surgical reduction of the inner (and sometimes outer) labia, is a vaginal rejuvenation technique that can improve a woman’s physical and mental wellbeing. There are 3 different types of labiaplasty, each of which offers unique results and benefits. Learn more about labiaplasty and which technique might be best for you.
The trim technique is the original form of labiaplasty and as such, has been performed for longer than any other technique. This makes the procedure well known and relatively risk free. This method reduces the size of the inner labia, improves labial symmetry and can lighten dark labia.
How it’s Performed:Trim labiaplasty is performed by removing extra skin with a linear incision along the outer edge of the inner labia. The incision is closed at the edge of the labia, reducing the visibility of scarring. In rare cases, this scar might heal as a ridge, leaving an edge that looks less natural.
Results and Benefits: Trim technique results in a symmetrical inner labia which is protected by the outer labia, reducing chafing and visibility. The technique removes skin from the outer edge of the labia, which also tends to be darkest, thus resulting in inner labia that are lighter in color.
The wedge method is a newer labiaplasty technique which has been gaining in popularity because of its natural-looking results. The procedure has been in use since the 1990’s and is well-practiced among most plastic surgeons.
How it’s Performed:With the wedge technique, a V-shaped wedge of skin is removed from the widest part of the labia. The two exposed edges are then stitched together, resulting in labia which protrudes far less, while keeping the outer edges intact.
Results and Benefits:Choosing the wedge method allows women to maintain the natural outer edge of their labia. It also avoids incisions near the clitoris, which keeps folds of skin near the clitoris intact, eliminating risk or discomfort that may arise from a trim labiaplasty.
The de-epithelialization method also preserves the natural outer edges of the labia, but by removing tissue from the inside face of the inner labia.
How it’s Performed:With de-epithelialization, a wedge or diamond-shaped area of tissue is removed from the inner face of the labia. The area is then closed with stitches, reducing the overall size of the labia.
Results and Benefits:The result of de-epithelialization is a smaller sized labia with its natural outer edges intact. Scars exist inside the labia only, not on the outer edges or outer wall.
Each of the above methods are performed as outpatient procedures using only local anesthesia. You’ll return home the same day as your surgery to heal in comfortable, familiar surroundings.The first few days following surgery, bruising and swelling may be significant. Itching is also common while incisions heal. It’s important to keep the area clean and closely follow your doctor’s post-surgical instructions.Most patients feel comfortable returning to light activity within 2-3 weeks of their surgery. Incisions will be fully healed at approximately 6 weeks. It may take up to 6 months before swelling completely reduces and final results are revealed.Learn more about labiaplasty recovery
Which labiaplasty technique is best for you depends on your current anatomy, your desired goals, and the skills and experience of the surgeon you choose.If hyperpigmentation is an issue for you, you may want to choose a trim technique, which removes darkened outer edges.