Labial reduction and correction (labioplasty)
The reasons why a woman may wish for a labial correction can vary greatly, and they may apply at any age. Sometimes our patients are troubled by purely aesthetic deficiencies. For example when there is a unilateral asymmetrical enlargement or a difference between the size of their inner and outer labia.
However, an enlargement and/or slackening of the labia following pregnancy or after the menopause may also be the reason for a visit to our practice. The majority of women in these cases also have functional problems, which express themselves in complaints such as pressure or feelings of tightness or tension while sitting or during sport. Continuous irritation due to constant friction of the labia or problems during sexual intercourse are by no means rare either. Often enough, these patients don’t just suffer from the physical manifestations; the quality of their life is also influenced negatively in the long term by discomfort when wearing tight-fitting clothes, or by feelings of shame when it comes to intimate contact.
Procedure in labial reduction and correction
First of all, we conduct a detailed anamnesis to find out about possible risks and talk to you about your ideas, in particularly with regard to what is actually feasible. Then we examine your genitalia. In doing so, we endeavour to disperse any feelings of unease you may have in a respectful manner and make the examination as pleasant as possible for you. Because we know that you are putting a great deal of trust in us by sharing your most intimate problems with us. We pay great heed to your individual wishes and make sure we take sufficient time to explain the surgical procedure, the costs that will be incurred and the right after-care to you precisely.
Which method might be suitable for you and roughly how long the planned operation will take are also things we will talk about at this meeting.
In a labial reduction, we first correct the inner labia. On the one hand, we investigate the causes of functional problems, and on the other, we look to see where there is a visible excess of skin or tissue. The incision technique is then geared to the configuration of the labia and individually adapted accordingly. It goes without saying that we try to achieve the best possible symmetry, though 100% can never be attained here on account of the anatomical structures of the tissue. A lift of the clitoral hood or prepuce may also be indicated so as to achieve an aesthetically pleasing overall picture.
For the minimally invasive incisions we use a scalpel, staunching local bleeding by means of bipolar thermocoagulation. After that, the surface of the wound is sutured with very fine, dissolving stitches.
Sometimes the protective outer labia are very delicate or the tissue has grown slack. Nevertheless, reducing the inner labia does not always lead to a status in which they are sufficiently well covered by the outer labia. In these cases, the volume can be replenished in a second step with fatty tissue from the patient’s own body, for example by lipofilling. An advantage of this method is that the quality of the tissue and skin also improves in the long term because of the newly imported stem cells in the transplanted fatty tissue.
After a labial reduction or correction
After the operation you will be taken to our recovery room, where you will be looked after and monitored by a qualified member of our staff. Please make sure when you come to us that you bring soft underwear that is not too close-fitting, so as to make things easy on the area in which the surgery has been carried out. In our experience, post-operative pain levels tend to be quite low and very easy to control by means of the pain medication in general use. In most cases, patients do not require more than 1 to 3 days of pain-relieving drugs.
Since as a rule this is an out-patient operation with a local anaesthetic, – though semi-conscious sedation is also possible if you prefer it or if it makes you feel more comfortable – , you can normally go back home the same day. For the next 24 hours, however, you should have a trusted adult at your side who can keep an eye on you and act in an emergency.
The first check-up takes place the very next day.
In most cases, the labia heal up again very quickly. If there are no complications, no antibiotics will be required. The ends of the small sutures are cut short at the second check-up, which takes place one week after the operation. The sutures don’t need to be removed, because the material simply dissolves after a predetermined period of time, remaining in the tissue until then. In general, you should take it easy physically in the first few weeks after the operation, avoiding long periods of standing or sitting and elevating your pelvis as much as possible to minimise congestion problems in the area under treatment. Careful cooling with cool packs can have a pleasant effect and help to reduce the swelling more quickly. We also recommend the use of a disinfectant which is gentle on the mucous membrane. You should apply this to the areas of surgery when you have been to the toilet. Until the surface wounds have healed completely (approx. 1 week), you should refrain from manipulating them in any way or causing any irritation by using the wrong cleansing products.
A further check-up takes place about 6 weeks after the operation, so that the final result can be assessed.
How long does the operation take?
As a rule the operation takes 1 hour, depending on the individual findings.
What kind of anaesthetic is necessary for a labial reduction?
This out-patient operation is performed under local anaesthetic, or in semi-conscious sedation (analgosedation), administered by our anaesthesiological specialists. Before that, we apply a special cream, to which a local anaesthetic has been added, so that you will not feel anything when the injections of local anaesthetic are made in the labial region.
What complications can occur?
There are risks involved in any operation. However, these are minimised by our many years of experience and the intensive care we take of you.
Complications can also occur after the operation, though a labial reduction is, as a matter of basic principle, an operation with a low level of risk.
Swelling and bruising occur frequently for anatomical and gravitational reasons, but they subside in time all on their own with elevation of the pelvis and rest. Infections are rare with the right after-treatment. In individual cases there may be some post-operative bleeding requiring further haemostasis.
Slight sensory disturbances are absolutely normal after the operation and mostly disappear within a few weeks.
You will find a detailed description of the possible complications here.
How long will a labial correction last?
Basically, the tissue in the genital zone also goes through the normal aging process and is altered by hormonal influences (menopause, pregnancy), so that there are variations from patient to patient when it is a question of whether – and if so when – another operation becomes necessary to achieve an aesthetically satisfactory result in the long term.
When can I get back to doing sport?
You should avoid activities that put a lot of strain on the scars or cause vibration in the regions under treatment. Depending on the individual findings, and provided that the bruising has largely subsided, you can start back in with some gentle sport after about 3 weeks. Until then, you should take it easy physically.
How long should I refrain from sexual intercourse?
After a labial reduction you should wait for at least 3-6 weeks.
What does a labial reduction cost?
The costs of a labial reduction start at about €2,000. A clitoral lift costs an extra €500, and for lipofilling you should expect costs starting from about €1,500.
The overall costs depend on the amount of time and medication required. They include the operation itself, the anaesthetic and the post-surgical care.
Will my health insurance provider meet the costs of a labial correction?
No. A labial correction, whether it involves reduction or shaping, is an operation performed for purely aesthetic reasons.
Only in exceptional cases with severe functional impairment will the costs incurred be covered by your health insurance provider.
DURATION OF OPERATION: 1 – 1.5 hours
ANAESTHETIC: local anaesthetic / semi-conscious sedation
PAIN LEVEL: low
AFTER-TREATMENT: cooling, disinfectant and care products, rest
PRESENTABILITY, RETURN TO WORK: after 3 – 7 days
SPORT: after approx. 3 weeks
COST: from €2,000
Ask our advice.
We’ll be glad to provide you with detailed information about this treatment. Simply get in touch with us now and obtain advice at an individual and absolutely personal level.
+49 30 - 94 041 144