The correction of labial enlargement in women is now a common aesthetic procedure. No longer must women endure embarrassment or hygiene issues from overgrowth of the labia minora which causes a visible protrusion beyond the labia majora. Reduction of the labia minora is known under single moniker of labiaplasty which represents a diversity of surgical techniques.
These include various modifications of linear excision or amputation methods. These straight-line excisions amputate the extra labial tissue parallel to the edge of the labia minora. While effective, this method distorts the natural shape of the labial edge and may result in scar exposure and contracture. Newer techniques of labiaplasty are evolving that take a non-liner excisional approach for improved aesthetic results. A V-shaped wedge technique removes a central wedge of redundant labia that, when put back together, allows the natural contour of the labial edge to be maintained.
In the August 2013 issue of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, a paper entitled ‘Posterior Wedge Resection: A More Aesthetic Labiaplasty’ was published. It describes the results of this newer posterior wedge resection labiaplasty in 22 patients over a three year period. The average age of the women treated was 35 years old and only two minor wound healing complications occurred. None of the women reported any subsequent problems after healing with pain, numbness or problems with intercourse.
Good healing of the labia minora is almost always assured due to its very robust blood supply. Because it is mucosal tissue, it usually heals without any noticeable scar. The concern with labiaplasty surgery then is how to improve the aesthetic result. The posterior wedge resection method allows the labial minora edge to maintain its natural color, texture and pigment. Such a technique improvement will continue to keep labiaplasty as a highly satisfying procedure.
Dr. Barry Eppley