Labiaplasty (labioplasty) has recently been classified as part of Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery.
Each woman is different anatomically. Easy online access to images of women’s genitalia lead many women wonder if they are normal. Unfortunately many of these online images have been digitally altered, creating an unrealistic expectation of what normal anatomy looks like.
In Australia the number of labiaplasty operations has recently decreased to about 1200 operations a year (these are just the operations that attract a Medicare rebate, meaning they have been classified as ‘medically necessary’).
Although there has been a lot of controversy surrounding this kind of surgery, there are women out there suffering from real problems, many of them have not felt comfortable enough to seek help.
For some women, their labia can be a problem with sports such as bike riding or horse riding. For others, they can be uncomfortable wearing tight-fitted clothing. More often than not, women feel self-conscious about their large labia and find this can interfere with intimate relationships and make intercourse painful.
This procedure reduces tissue around the inner or outer lips using an electronic scalpel (which minimises tissue inflammation).
It is usually performed in clinic under local anaesthetic, but there is the option of general anaesthetic in a licensed operating theatre.
Most women can return to work within a week. Sexual activity can usually resume after 3-4 weeks.