Overview of a Labiaplasty or Vaginoplasty
A labiaplasty, or vaginoplasty/vaginal reconstruction, is an operation designed to reduce and reshape the excess labia minora tissue of the vagina. Women seek vaginal reconstruction surgery for multiple reasons. The reasons which women normally describe being associated with the excess of the labia minora tissue include discomfort and/or pain with certain activities such as prolonged sitting, cycling and sexual intercourse (Dyspareunia).
Many women experience this pain/discomfort but due to the private nature of these concerns it is a problem that is frequently not discussed. Labiaplasty is usually carried out on the labia minora. The labia minora is regarded as the “inner” lips on either side of the entrance to the vagina.
Cosmetic concerns regarding the appearance of the labia may have been present since early teenage years. Labia minora elongation is a natural phenomenon which takes place over time and can be exacerbated by pregnancy and subsequent childbirths.
What to Expect with a Labiaplasty or Vaginoplasty
If performed for medical reasons, a vaginoplasty can attract medicare rebates. A percentage of your surgeons, anaesthetist and hospital fees may then be claimed from both Medicare and your private health fund if you have cover. You will need a referral from your general practitioner if you wish to claim.
Women will usually consult with the surgeon about their particular needs and goals for labiaplasty. Consultations involve a detailed discussion and an external examination.
Surgery is usually performed with a general anaesthetic (fully asleep). Local anaesthetic is injected into the Labia Minora and Labia Majora to reduce bleeding and discomfort both during and following the surgery. During surgery the excess tissue is removed from the labia minora so that they no longer protrude beyond the margin of the labia majora. Absorbable sutures are used to repair the wound which means that sutures do not require removal following surgery. A change to the appearance of the vaginal area is immediate and permanent.