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The Surrey Park Clinic
Enlargement of the labia can cause great distress and affect a female's confidence to the extent that she may avoid embarking on relationships or wearing certain clothing as a result of anxieties over her appearance. Furthermore, protruding labia can often be a source of great discomfort and prevent the sufferer from participating in the routine activities she enjoys, such as sports and exercise, for fear of aggravating an already tender area.
If this sounds familiar to you, you are not alone. The Surrey Park Clinic welcomes women of all ages to come along and discuss the possibility of surgical intervention with our experienced consultants. As with all surgery, your condition will be properly assessed with a surgeon familiar with performing labia reductions as well as a number of other gynaecological procedures. Our team will provide you with reassurance and advise you on the best treatments available to you. Surgery will only be advised where deemed necessary.
The labia are the folds of skin surrounding the vagina and clitoris; the labia minora (the inner folds or lips of the vulva) and the labia majora (the outer lips). Usually it is the labia minora, which become most protuberant. The cause for this not known but is often familial and there can be a hormonal basis. With age the skin becomes looser and the labia then become less supported and any enlargement is more obvious.
The procedure is performed at The Surrey Park Clinic under local anesthetic or in one of our local Private Hospitals under general anesthetic.
The labia reduction procedure takes around 30-45 minutes depending upon the extent of the surgery. If the surgery appears extensive you will be advised to have this done under general anesthetic, but this will become clear at the initial assessment.
All surgery carries risks, most predominantly pain, bleeding and infection. By observing the correct procedures these risks are minimised.
Following the procedure you will be given antibiotics and told to keep the area clean and dry and you will be given plenty of pain relief in the form of local anesthetic gel and painkilling tablets. Interestingly many women do not find this procedure as painful as one might expect and it is thought that where the labial have been prominent for sometime, constant rubbing has reduced the effect of nerve endings to the labia and they have become “de-sensitised”. Nevertheless, it is important to realise that there will be quite significant pain and discomfort with this, although most women are back to work in two to three weeks and find that the first couple of days are the most uncomfortable following which normal activity can be resumed. Antibiotics should be taken for 5 days as follow-up.
You will be seen by your consultant two to three weeks after your procedure and then again at two months to monitor the healing process.
The team at The Surrey Park Clinic are extremely professional but, most importantly, caring and supportive. The staff are very friendly and approachable and the facilities are fantastic.
The areas that worry you most will be assessed for removal. Very occasionally the clitoral hoods, (skin to the side of the clitoral region), can become enlarged and if these were not removed then there would be a disproportionate “step” if they were not graded to fit in with the rest of the surgery. It is important not expose that region too much as this is the area most heavily supplied with nerve endings and also blood vessels.
If the labia majora are to be reduced (the outer lips), we usually advise that this be carried out under general anesthetic in hospital, as this can be more associated with pain and bleeding and therefore it is a good idea to rest overnight with expert nursing care to administer adequate pain relief.