Excessive Labia Minora
The labia minora (small labia) are folds of mucosal tissue which can become enlarged due to pregnancy, inflammation, or genetically. Ideally, most women prefer to not see their labia minora. So, when these labia become enlarged and hang below the labia majora, they can create a cosmetic problem, both in intimate settings as well as when wearing swimming suits or tight clothing. They can sometimes also create discomfort during intercourse. For these reasons, women are seeking labiaplasty (labia reduction surgery) in greater numbers than ever.
History of Labia Reduction and Current Techniques
The first labioplasty (also called labiaplasty) operations involved amputation of the excessive labia. This led to problems cosmetically (unnatural appearance) as well as functionally: overly tight vaginal opening, irregularities, pigmentary problems, and other problems. As a result, other operations have been developed. The wedge excision became popular because it addressed the problems of irregularities and color issues, but introduced the potential problems of scar contracture (shortening), creating a notch along the free border of the labia minor, as well as breakdown and open wounds. Operations to address these problems have included a modification of the wedge excision, called a z-plasty. In the z-plasty wedge excision, the redundant labia to be excised is zig-zagged in such a way as to avoid unnatural tightening, notching, and wound breakdown. Dr. Zaydon consider this to be the most effective way to achieve the goals of labiaplasty while minimizing the risks of this operation.
The images below show before and after examples of labia minora reduction or labiaplasty.