Labia Majora Reduction
The outer lips of the female genital area are termed the ‘labia majora’. Just as with the labia minora (inner lips), they may vary dramatically in shapes and size. Youthful labia majora often tend to have fullness and this is considered to be a favourable appearance although some girls prefer a less full appearance. Overly large labia majora can be due to overabundant fat bulging and is often congenital but obesity can also be responsible for very large labia majora.
The labia majora are especially susceptible to change following pregnancy, weight loss, and ageing and the labia majora can lose fat leading to excess skin with wrinkling. This may causes the majora to become ‘deflated’ and hang lower with a degree of so-called ‘redundancy’. Unfortunately, excessively protuberant labia majora can cause an unsightly bulge in clothes which some girls may not like. Thus there are several scenarios that can occur: labia majora protuberance through underwear or swimwear can be from either an overly fatty, full majora or a fat deficient, stretched majora with excess skin. Of course, excessively protruberant labia minora can also contribute to the situation further
Management of labia majora enlargement
Women who may wish to recreate the look of youthful labia majora may undergo surgery. The labia majora can be surgically reduced regardless of whether the cause is due to excess fat or skin, or a combination of both.
Furthermore, Mr Banwell will also listen to other concerns and evaluate whether there is any significant pubic descent or excess pubic fat.
Depending on the clinical findings and assessment of your anatomy, labia majora may be performed in isolation or sometimes in combination with minora surgery.
The incision is usually placed in the sulcus (groove) between the labia minora and the labia majora. As there is a vogue for shaving, waxing or laser depilation of pubic hair, the incision line should be placed as inconspicuously as possible. Surgery is performed by removing a crescent of skin from the inner surface of each outer labium. If fat needs to be removed, it can be excised through this incision line a the same time. The skin is closed with sutures under the skin and with fine dissolvable sutures so that the scar usually settles very well.
Risks and Complications
As with all operations there are risks and complications. These include bleeding, infection, return to theatre, swelling, bruising, minor dehiscence, asymmetry, over correction and under correction. Mr Banwell will discuss these in more detail at consultation. Patients must also be aware that reduction of the labia majora in isolation may result in more prominence of the clitoral hood and labia minora and an ‘unharmonious’ look. In such cases labia majora reduction may later lead to minora and/or clitoral hood reduction.