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What is it about?
Labiaplasty, also known as "cheiloplasty", is an intimate surgical procedure. More and more women want to reshape the external appearance of their genitals, which for congenital reasons, age or pregnancies tend to have changes in their natural shape creating psychological discomfort.
Why is the intervention used?
The most requested labiaplasty operation is the reduction of the labia minora - those who resort to this solution can do so for aesthetic or functional reasons - or the increase in volume of the labia majora and the reduction of the clitoris. Small labia that are too voluminous or excessively protruding can create not only embarrassment, but also difficulties during sexual intercourse and considerable discomfort due to rubbing against clothing, causing irritation and severe pain. In these cases, labiaplasty allows you to remove excess tissue, improve the symmetry of the labia minora, reduce their length and improve the quality of life - aspects related to sexuality included. In other cases the labia majora appear flattened or toneless. This is a natural consequence of aging which can be remedied with an intervention aimed at increasing volume with autologous fat grafting.
What should be done before the surgery?
Before labiaplasty it is important to take care of intimate hygiene in order to avoid infections, which are contraindicated at the time of surgery. For this reason, gynecological douching and inguinal hair removal are recommended. Furthermore, it may be necessary to stop taking some medications (such as aspirin) and it is advisable to stop smoking some time before the operation. The operation is not recommended close to menstruation.
How is the surgery performed?
Generally, labiaplasty surgery is performed on a day hospital basis under local anesthesia possibly associated with sedation. Reduction interventions can be carried out in different ways:

- by direct resection: the excess tissue is removed surgically; at the same time it is possible to reshape the contours of the clitoris.
- with central half flap resection: allows you to preserve the natural folds of the labia minora and hide the scar. To increase the size, however, you can resort to the use of a filler based on hyaluronic acid (which is generally injected without having to resort to any anesthesia) or the transfer of autologous fat (i.e. taken from other areas of the patient's body ).
What happens after the operation?
Generally, after labia minora reduction surgery there may be pain and swelling in the treated area; furthermore, a temporary reduction in sensitivity is possible. The patient will have to use bandages and apply betadine (vaginal solution) for 7-8 days. You will also have to rest for a period of a few days, which varies based on the work you do. The first few weeks you will not have to wear tight clothes; for this reason it will be better to prefer skirts. After a month you can resume having sexual intercourse.
The intake of drugs is minimized by the use of local anesthesia. If necessary, the pain can be relieved with non-steroidal anti-inflammatories. To prevent the risk of infections you may need to take antibiotics. Additionally, the use of local antiseptics may be suggested.
The scars?
The suture may require the application of absorbable stitches, which disappear in 15-25 days.
The results?
All patients declare themselves completely satisfied with the operation: in addition to alleviating particular symptoms, it helps increase their self-esteem.
What are the possible risks?
Labiaplasty is rarely associated with risks: the rarest one is asymmetry, while others (such as bleeding, infections, hematomas or delayed wound healing) are common to all surgical procedures. Chronic dryness, pain during intercourse and scarring in the vagina are associated only with the most aggressive reductions. An important evaluation concerns the patient's age. In fact, undergoing a labiaplasty during adolescence is generally not a good idea; at this stage of life changes in the size, shape and symmetry of the labia minora are perfectly normal and only rarely indicate the presence of a possible problem. The risk of obtaining unsatisfactory results for such a young patient is high; for this reason it is best to limit the use of labiaplasty to only those cases in which it is necessary to remedy significant deformities and other serious problems.
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