Labiaplasty
(labial reduction / labiaminoraplasty)

What is labiaplasty?

A labiaplasty is an operation usually performed to reduce the size of the labia minora – the flaps of skin on either side of the vaginal opening. It involves shortening or reshaping the vaginal lips, and is usually performed by a gynaecologist or plastic surgeon. The unwanted tissue is cut away with a scalpel or possibly a laser, and the loose edge may be stitched up with fine, dissolvable stitches.

The same term “Labiaplasty” also applies when the outer lips of the vagina, the labia majora, are operated on, but by far the vast majority of operations are performed on the labia minora or inner lips.

To distinguish between the two, operations on the inner lips may be termed “labiaminoraplasty”, while those on the outer lips may be termed “labiamajoraplasty”.

Techniques of labiaplasty (labia minora reduction)

Many techniques have been described and are utilized by different surgeons during labiaplasty. These include straight amputation, V-plasty, wedge resection, de-epithelization, inferior wedge resection with superior pedicle reconstruction and laser labiaplasty. It is not necessary or helpful to describe all these techniques in this section. Most surgeons will choose a technique that they consider best suits the circumstances of their client, or one with which they are especially familiar. 

At the Haumea Clinic, we generally tend to use the straight amputation technique (also called the simple edge technique), usually combined with clitoral hood reduction to maintain a symmetry between the reduced labia minora and the clitoral hood, which would otherwise appear enlarged.

The straight amputation technique removes the delicate margin of the labia minora, and therefore has the added advantage for patients who want the pigmented tissues removed. It is effective for very long and enlarged labia minora, and is especially suitable where there is no excessive clitoral hood tissue. It is arguably less likely to cause complications, although excessive reduction may cause chronic pain during sexual intercourse.

All services are provided at Haumea Clinic for labiaplasty and for designer vagina.

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Recovery From Labiaplasty (please refer to the 'post-op instructions')

Key points

Pain control:

Most women are pain free when they leave our premises, due to the local anaesthetic they have received. This will last some 6-8 hours. However, oral pain killers will also have been given (our standard is a combination of ibuprofen tab 400mg three times a day and co-dydramol two tabs four times daily), and these will render most women comfortable throughout the healing phase if taken according to advice. A local anaesthetic spray may also be used, especially in the first 2-3 days following the surgery.

Wound care:

The use of an ice pack reduces swelling, and can be soothing and helps with pain control. A feminine pad will absorb blood and discharge from the surgical area. Loose under clothes should be worn to minimize rubbing of the surgical area – use so-called “granny knickers” and avoid tight clothes such as jeans. Clean the surgical area with warm moist cotton wool buds after toileting, and dry the area with a hair drier set at a cool setting. Again a local anaesthetic spray will minimize discomfort in the early days.

Activity and time off work:

It is prudent to take 10-14 days off work to allow access to rapid personal hygiene in a familiar environment. Heavy lifting, vacuuming, swimming and jogging should be avoided during the 10-14 days following the operation, but light activity is permissible. It is also best to avoid driving during the first week. We will issue a “sick note” prior to your leaving hospital.

Some do’s and don’ts:

Do not use a tampon or put anything into the vagina (except of course the oestrogen cream you have been prescribed, which you should apply daily for 8 weeks to help the healing). You should avoid vaginal sexual activity for 8 weeks. You should avoid straining at bowel action, and should therefore use a stool softener such as lactulose, which you can buy over the counter. While you will be able to walk normally the following day, avoid strenuous physical (eg jogging, power walking, impact exercises or aerobics) activity for two weeks from the procedure. After two weeks you can gradually and gently introduce these activities. At 2 – 4 weeks the sutures start to dissolve and you may notice bits of thread falling off. Parts of the wound may appear to open up, but since the wound has been repaired in layers it is very rare for it to break down completely. If you are worried you should contact our Nurse Specialist in the first instance, and we are always happy to see you and reassure you. The key always is to continue to keep the area clean and dry.

You can resume vaginal sexual activity at 8 weeks following your surgery. Be sure to use plenty of lubrication (simple KY jelly will do) to start with, and of course start cautiously: if its painful do not force matters, but try again in a couple of days.

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Risks and complications of Labiaplasty

All operations, even the most minor, carry risk and the potential for complications. Fortunately these are unusual following labiaplasty.

The ones that can occur include bleeding, infection, haematoma formation and return to theatre, urinary infections and thrush. In addition, numbness and altered sensation during sex, minor asymmetry and wound problems can also occur. Clitoral injury is also a recognized, but fortunately rare, complication following labiaplasty surgery. All these risks and complications will be discussed with you during your consultation for your procedure, and you will be given an information leaflet that documents them. To put the risks in perspective, pregnancy is associated with far more risk than any cosmetic vaginal procedure.

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What are the costs of labiaplasty

For decades cosmetic surgery has been perceived as the preserve of the rich and famous, but it is now priced for everyone. Patients from all income brackets are now undergoing surgery, including cosmetic vaginal procedures.

One should bear in mind that not all patients are the same, and some will require a slightly different operation from others. At the Haumea Clinic we offer a range of costs in the sections on Labiaplasty and Vaginoplasty. However, you will receive a specific price quotation during your consultation visit.

The amount quoted is usually a package fee that includes the fees for the surgeon, the hospital fees and all of your post-operative care. Laboratory tests, x-rays, and other pre and post-operative tests and medications are not included.

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Professor Isaac Manyonda

Professor Isaac Manyonda
c/o Parkside Hospital, 53 Parkside, Wimbledon, London, SW19 5NX

phone icon Secretary / PA Natasha -
00 44 208 9479877


Consulting Hours

Tuesday: 14:00 – 17:00hrs
Tuesday: 17:40 – 20:00hrs
Thursday: 17:40 – 20:00hrs
Saturday: 08:00 – 12:00hrs

Miss Sahana Gupta

Miss Sahana Gupta
c/o Clementine Churchill Hospital, Sudbury Hill, Harrow, Middlesex, HA1 3RX

phone icon Secretary / PA Pauline -
00 44 7422 502 486


Consulting Hours

Monday: 08:00 – 12:30hrs

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