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Labiaplasty (also known as labioplasty, labia minora reduction, and labial reduction) is a plastic surgery procedure for altering the labia minora (inner labia) and the labia majora (outer labia), the folds of skin surrounding the female vulva.


There are two main categories of women seeking cosmetic genital surgery: those with congenital conditions such as intersex, and those with no underlying condition, but who experience physical discomfort, (typically when wearing tight clothing and jeans, or when doing sports such as cycling) or wish to alter the appearance of their genitals because they believe they do not fall within a normal range.


The size, colour, and shape of labia vary significantly, and may change as a result of childbirth, aging and other events.


A 2008 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine reported that 32% of women who underwent the procedure did so to correct a functional impairment; 31% to correct a functional impairment and for aesthetic reasons; and 37% for aesthetic reasons alone.


According to a 2011 review, also in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, overall patient satisfaction is in the 90–95 percent range.


Risks include permanent scarring, infections, bleeding, irritation, and nerve damage leading to increased or decreased sensitivity.  With the advent of newer techniques, these risks can be significantly reduced.


Surgery is usually performed under local anaesthesia with light or deep sedation, and patients are able to go home a few hours after the operation.  It is imperative to avoid any strenuous exercise for approximately 3-4 weeks after the surgery in order to allow the tissues to heal, and also to avoid sexual intercourse for 3-4 weeks.


Meticulous hygiene is key to minimizing the risk of infection and Dr. Schoenfeld will advise you as to what to do after your surgery.


The tissues are repaired using dissolving stitches and there is usually no need for special dressings. A light sanitary pad until the wounds have sealed up is usually sufficient and this may take approximately a week.


This procedure has grown tremendously in popularity in the past few years with a lot of woman now realizing that a simple solution to their personal and often unspoken problems exists!


If you re considering having labioplasty surgery, please contact Dr Schoenfeld to make an appointment for a consultation at her rooms in Howick on 033-330 4727 / 4.


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