Vaginal reconstruction, also referred to as labiaplasty, is the surgical removal of excess unwanted tissue from your inner lips. Labias come in many different shapes and sizes and therefore a skill set including multiple techniques is required. It is a procedure that requires skill and expertise to finesse the varied anatomy that women have.
Top Reasons Women Want Vaginal Reconstruction
Self-Conscience about a bulge. Whether it be in a swimsuit or yoga pants, our patients want the freedom to be comfortable.
Birth Trauma. During labour and delivery labia can be torn and a dangling piece may be the result.
Prevents you from wearing what you want. Our patients have reported discomfort in thongs, jeans, sportswear and swimwear.
Lack of confidence with intimacy. Many patients avoid intimacy due to embarrassment.
Pain during sex. Long labia’s can be pulled during sexual activity. This friction can even cause tears.
Frequent yeast or urinary tract infections. While not formally studied, our patients have anecdotally reported complete remission or lessening of UTI’s and yeast infections following their procedure.
Chaffing/Skin Irritation. As the long and/or thick labial skin rubs, it can cause darkening and furthering thickening as well as itching and dryness.
Negative Comments. Sadly, many women have reported a history of unflattering comments regarding their hanging labia.
Interferes with sports. Horseback riders, gymnasts, swimmers, volleyball players, runners, dancers, cyclists, and triathletes have frequented our clinic for this reason.
Aesthetically displeasing. Some women just don’t like the way it looks. Sometimes one side is longer than the other and they just want it evened out while other times they want an outie to be turned into an “innie”.
How is Vaginal Reconstruction Performed?
At our hospitals, vaginal reconstruction is performed under a general anaesthetic. If you prefer a local anaesthetic this is ok too. Your skin is cleaned and prepped and surgical markings are made. Then the excess tissue is excised to a better appearance that is desirable to you.
What is recovery like? Is it painful?
Once you have successfully used the bathroom and dressed you may drive yourself home. Once home, you may take prescription pain medication if needed. 50% of patients report no need for prescription medication and say simply paracetamol or ibuprofen provided adequate relief. By the next morning over the counter pain medication is all that will be needed for pain management. Most ladies are very pleasantly surprised by the less than expected pain they encounter during recovery. 4 weeks is the typical recovery time.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What if I start my period near my procedure date?
Periods can be tricky and sometimes the best-laid plans are thrown off by its untimely appearance. No worries, Anna has seen this before and a little menstrual blood does not phase her. You will be instructed to wear a tampon during the procedure which she will carefully remove at the end and then pads will be worn until your period stops. If however, you do not use tampons, your degree of bleeding will be evaluated and your vaginal reconstruction procedure may be rescheduled.
How much time should I take off from work?
This can vary a bit depending on what type of work you do but in general 2-3 days off is all that is needed.
Can I exercise following the procedure?
Please take 1 week off from exercising completely to allow your body to have a head start on healing. Most exercise can resume 7-10 days following the procedure with the exception of cycling, horseriding, swimming, pilates, yoga or wide leg squats.
Will there be any sensations changes?
Most labia have little to no sensation and therefore changes experienced by patients tend to be purely positive. The portion of the labia that does have some sensation is the clitoral area and care is taken not to disturb this area.
Will there be any limitations during my recovery?
While vaginal reconsturion recovery is pretty simple, there are some things to avoid. You can shower the day after the surgery but no soaking in water for 6 weeks. This can make the stitches dissolve too quickly. Be sure to follow the above mentions limits on exercising. No sex nor tampon usage for 4-6 weeks.
Do the stitches have to be removed?
The suture used to close the incisions is dissolvable. There is only a rare case of one or two stitches that hang on until the 4 week follow up appointment where they can be gently and easily removed.