Labiaplasty2019-06-19T22:38:04+00:00
labiaplasty surgery scotland

Labiaplasty | Labial Reduction

Leading labial reduction / labiaplasty in Edinburgh with Quaba…

Arrange A Consultation

A labiaplasty or labia reduction is designed to decrease the size of the labia minora, or ‘inner lips’ of the vagina

Call us in confidence on 0131 346 0020 to discuss the options

Labiaplasty can be an embarrassing topic to discuss. However, there is greater awareness about the potential benefits of the procedure, and it is known to have a high satisfaction rate. Labiaplasty can be combined with clitoral hood reduction when needed.

Find out more about our labiaplasty procedure below…

You may be thinking about having a labiaplasty for several reasons:

You may be self-conscious about the appearance of your labia minora, and this may have been the case for some time.

Your labia may have enlarged after childbirth or with the natural ageing process.

You may experience discomfort with certain sporting activities or when wearing tighter clothing.

The cosmetic appearance of your labia minora is affecting your sexual confidence.

What is normal and why the controversy?

Labia minoras come in all shapes and sizes, and there is no definition of what is “normal” or “abnormal”.

Useful further information on vulval anatomy.

There is some controversy around labiaplasty, and it can be referred to as “designer vagina” surgery. We have a useful section exploring the main issues around this type of surgery. Please see commonly issues surrounding labiaplasty below.

The procedure itself

Labia minora reduction is a surgical procedure. We use the wedge excision method which avoids leaving scars over the outer edge of the labia. Most of the sensitive labial tissue is left behind, and it is the extra, loose skin, which is removed.

Surgery is carried out under local or general anaesthetic as a day procedure. There is some discomfort for a few days after the surgery and swelling is expected to last no more than 7-10 days.

We do not post before and after images of labiaplasty on our website. You will be shown several before and after images including images immediately after surgery during your consultation.

Your care

Please be assured that we will treat you with a level of professionalism, discretion and sensitivity expected of UK trained (FRCS Plast) NHS plastic surgeons practising at reputable, accredited private hospitals in Edinburgh. We all have expertise in gynaecological reconstructive plastic surgery. Please take the time to read more about the process below…

Why do women have labiaplasty?2019-05-14T23:10:08+00:00

Several reports have shown that there has been a significant increase in the number of women seeking labiaplasty procedures both in the NHS and in the private sector. In the United States, there was a 49% increase in demand for labiaplasty from 2013 to 2014 and similar trends have been documented in other Western countries, including the UK and Australia.

Labiaplasty most commonly involves reducing the size of the labia minora, with the goal of achieving minimal or no protrusion of the labia minora beyond the labia majora. It may also be performed to correct asymmetry.

The procedure remains controversial for some, and this article is designed to discuss some of the main issues surrounding labiaplasty.

Research shows that cosmetic concerns are the primary motivation for women seeking to undergo labiaplasty, followed by physical issues of both a sexual and non-sexual nature. For example, a study of 163 labiaplasty patients in 2000 showed that cosmetic dissatisfaction with labia (87%), discomfort when wearing clothing (64%) or when taking part in sports (26%), and painful sexual intercourse (43%) were the main reasons for having surgery. A more recent study of 35 women showed that 71% had concerns with appearance, 69% with physical (non-sexual), 60% with sexual function and 45% with psychological symptoms such as self-esteem.

Designer vaginas or Designer vulvas?2019-05-14T23:11:46+00:00

Labiaplasty is referred to by some as designer vagina surgery. The labia form part of the external genitalia and anatomically speaking the labia minora are part of the vulva and not the vagina. Therefore the term designer vagina should not be used to encompass labiaplasty.

Female Genital Mutilation2019-05-14T23:13:05+00:00

labiaplasty FGM

FGM is defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. Some commentators have used this to describe labiaplasty in consenting adults as a form of FGM.

This definition fails to take on board the fact that the procedures listed by the WHO refers to ones which include partial or total removal of the clitoris or deliberate narrowing of the vaginal opening designed to prevent sexual intercourse. The vast majority of such procedures are carried out on unconsenting children against their will. Labiaplasty does not fall into this category.

A fourth category cited by the WHO includes: all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes. The critical term here is “harmful”. Labiaplasty has one of the highest satisfaction rates amongst all cosmetic surgery procedures. The risks of the surgery are well known, and a reputable surgeon will inform prospective patients of these risks. All cosmetic surgery procedures by definition carry a risk of adverse outcomes. To say that labiaplasty falls under this fourth category by the WHO is akin to arguing that all cosmetic procedures are harmful.

Pornography and media exposure2019-05-14T23:20:41+00:00

pornography designer vagina surgery

There have been many ill-informed opinions on the reasons for the increased demand in labiaplasty. For example, an article published in the Observer Newspaper in 2011 blamed the increase in labiaplasty surgery on pornography. Many other commentators have expressed similar concerns. While the increased availability of pornography and its idealised portrayal of women’s external genitalia may have affected women’s perceptions of their labia it is essential to look at the available evidence.

A recent study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal in 2006 by Sharp and coworkers looked at factors that Influence the decision to undergo labiaplasty.  They compared a group of 35 women seeking to undergo labiaplasty to a control group of 30 women who were not. The two groups did not differ on their exposure to female genitals on television and in their exposure to pornography. The authors did, however, demonstrate more significant exposure to media images of female genitals in the labiaplasty group, specifically via the Internet and genital cosmetic surgery advertising. The authors conclude that – the issue with mainstream media being women’s primary source of information regarding female genital appearance is that the mainstream only displays a very narrow range of labial appearances. For women who are already concerned about their genital appearance, seeing images of female genitals on the Internet (some of which have been air-brushed) may confirm to them that they are “abnormal” and require surgery to become “normal”.

There is no doubt that increased awareness of cosmetic surgery and reality TV shows such as Embarrassing Bodies have contributed to an increased acceptance of cosmetic surgery procedures. While the increased availability of pornography may have an influence, the evidence is lacking, and it certainly does not explain the whole picture.

Labial Pride Movement2019-05-14T23:29:26+00:00

The labial pride movement is a feminist movement to raise awareness of the regular appearance of the vulva and to defy the trend towards cosmetic surgery on the female genitals.

labia pride movement

The London-based feminist group UK Feminista organised “the muff march” through Harley Street, an area synonymous with its private medical providers, in December 2011. More than 320 women paraded the street, with slogans like: “Keep your mitts off our bits!”, “There’s nothing finer than my vagina!”, and “Harley Street puts my chuff in a huff”.

Other groups have encouraged women to release images of their vulvas by posting photo submissions of anonymous vulvas on their websites. For example, visit the labia library — the aim being to establish a sphere for women to get realistic impressions of normal vulvas. Others have criticised such campaigns for giving the false impression that protruding labia are the anatomical norm and small inner labia are the adaptation to beauty standards.

“In an effort to make “real women” feel better about themselves, some labia proud ladies are taking shots at girls whose labia look like the imaginary “Barbie” ideal. It turns out, some girls are actually born like that. Labia, like boobs or entire bodies, come in all shapes, sizes, colours and textures. Shaming one to make another type feel better is bad news. Think of it in terms of thin women who are often shamed or shunned in support of body image advocacy for larger girls.” Jessica Sager 2013 

What is normal?2019-05-20T00:13:51+00:00

We inform all of our prospective patients that there is no definition of what is normal when it comes to labia minoras. Labia come in all shapes, sizes and colours.

The artist Jamie McCartney has focused on female genital anxiety through his work ‘The Great Wall of Vagina‘. The Great Wall of Vagina comprises 400 plaster casts of women’s genitals arranged in ten panels. It is a provocative response to the exponential rise in cosmetic labial surgery. By confronting the viewer and revealing the diversity of female genital appearance, McCartney opposes any notion of a singularly “perfect” aesthetic, thereby forcing society to rethink its relationship with the vulva.

labiaplasty Edinburgh

For any woman considering labial surgery, it is well worth reflecting on this quote,

“Vulvas and labia are as different as faces and many people, particularly women, don’t seem to know that. McCartney hopes this sculpture will help to combat the exponential rise, seen in recent years, of cosmetic labial surgeries. This new fashion for creating ‘perfect’ vaginas sets a worrying trend for future generations of women.”

Cosmetic surgery can be defined as “the intentional alteration of physical features to enhance the appearance“. With some procedures, there are also functional benefits such as relief of physical symptoms which many labiaplasty patients display. The argument that labiaplasty involves the removal or destruction of normal tissue is not valid in this context. Other common plastic surgery procedures such as breast surgery and facial rejuvenation essentially involve the alteration/ removal of “normal” tissue yet there is not the same controversy involved with these procedures.

“Barbie” Labiaplasty2019-05-14T23:36:35+00:00

Dr Alinsod, a gynaecologist from California, developed the “Barbie” labiaplasty. He describes the procedure as a more aggressive reduction of the labia minora to the point of complete excision. According to his website, this is the most popular technique of labial surgery Dr Alinsod performs, and the appearance most wanted on the West Coast.

This procedure is essentially a complete amputation of the labia minora and is achieved using the “trim” method of labiaplasty. While there is no definition of what is normal for labia minora size, what is not in doubt is that it is normal to have some labia minora!

In our practice, we would never perform a complete amputation of the labia minora, and the technique we use (“wedge” method) makes it impossible to remove too much tissue as it would not be possible to close the edges of the wounds together.

Evidence of labiaplasty outcomes2019-05-14T23:34:58+00:00

As mentioned elsewhere, several studies have reported very high satisfaction rates amongst women who have had labiaplasty. These studies have been published not just by plastic surgeons but by gynaecologists and psychologists.

A recent study by Goodman and colleagues published in 2016 supported earlier findings that body, genital, and sexual dissatisfaction shown by labiaplasty patients improved with time following surgery. Over time, rates of genital, body, and sexual satisfaction among study participants became equal to or better than rates for the control group in their study.

A sizeable multicenter study looking at 258 women who had female genital cosmetic surgery found that 91.6% of patients were satisfied with the results of their operation after a 6-42 month follow-up. Significant subjective enhancement in sexual functioning was noted, and complications were acceptable and not of significant consequence.

Trends in shaving/ tighter clothing2019-05-14T23:37:19+00:00

Recent trends in shaving the pubic area have also been postulated to have made women more aware of labia minora which may be protruding. Likewise, the trend in tighter clothing such as skinny jeans may also be implicated in increasing possible discomfort.

Surgery can be carried out either under local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic. Most patients opt for local anaesthesia as the recovery is quicker. Local anaesthesia involves injections to numb the area, and most patients tolerate this well.

The risks of labiaplasty include:

Bleeding – Minor spotting is common after the procedure. Rarely bleeding may occur that causes pain and swelling and may require a return to theatre to stop the bleeding/ remove the clot that has formed.

Swelling – To be expected over the first few days and varies significantly between patients. Usually settles by ten days.

Infection – Relatively uncommon and may require treatment with antibiotics.

Delayed wound healing – Again uncommon but can result in the wound opening and not healing correctly. This can cause notching at the rim of the labia or a hole through the middle of it.

Scars – All scars are permanent. The scars using the “wedge technique” are relatively hidden and tend to settle well. Rarely scars can be sensitive and painful, but this usually improves with time. It is crucial that you massage your scars firmly for several weeks after surgery.

Undercorrection – Not removing enough tissue and Overcorrection – Removing too much tissue.

Asymmetry – Minor degrees of asymmetry are to be expected – this is normal.

Revision – A small number of patients (less than 5%) may require further surgery to correct residual problems.

You will be up and about straight after your surgery, but it will be a week or two before you are entirely up to speed.

Your mood may fluctuate after surgery – this is normal. A small amount of blood staining on the inside of your dressings is typical during the first few days.

Discomfort/ Pain

Discomfort is typical in the first few days and is to be expected.

Bruising/ swelling

Swelling is to be expected and can be quite severe. It may get worse before it gets better and usually has improved significantly by 7-10 days.

Appearance

The appearance of your labia minora will look very different immediately after surgery compared to what it will look like after a few weeks. This is mainly due to swelling.

Most of the swelling will subside in 1-2 weeks. A small amount of swelling may persist for up to 3 months.

Scars may be red and inflamed for the first few weeks. In time, these usually soften and fade.

Long term outcomes

There is a very high satisfaction rate with labiaplasty and revision rates are very low (less than 1 in 30 patients).

Quaba Labiaplasty Aftercare…

If you have had a labiaplasty with us or are considering it – please find some detailed instructions and advise on aftercare following your procedure.

Before you leave the hospital2019-05-23T22:25:53+00:00

Medications – You will be provided with simple painkillers before discharge.

Change of dressings – We suggest using simple pant liners over your wounds. These should be changed regularly.

Follow up appointments for dressing clinics – You will be handed a card with details of your first follow up appointment and contact details for the ward should you have any concerns once you get home.

Labiaplasty instructions2019-05-21T23:05:56+00:00

Have someone drive you home after surgery.

Get plenty of rest.

Start walking gently as soon as possible; this helps to reduce swelling and lowers the chance of blood clots. Do not overdo things.

Follow a balanced diet. Decreased activity may promote constipation, so you may wish to add more raw fruit and fibre to your diet. Make sure you increase fluid intake. It is essential to avoid constipation as straining may increase the risk of bleeding.

Take pain medication as prescribed. Paracetamol and ibuprofen are usually sufficient during the first few days.

Avoid smoking for at least two weeks, as smoking delays healing and increases the risk of complications.

Avoid alcohol when taking pain medications. Even if you are not taking pain medications, it is advisable to avoid alcohol for three weeks as it can cause fluid retention which may worsen swelling.

When can I go back to work after labiaplasty?2019-05-21T23:06:40+00:00

Return to work will depend on your recovery and job. We would generally advise taking at least one week off work.

Activities after labiaplasty2019-05-21T23:07:45+00:00

Showering/ bathing – You may bathe once you are home. You should bath or shower daily. It may be helpful to have a warm salty bath for a short soak. Use a mild baby shampoo/ shower gel. Dry thoroughly with gentle patting with a towel and then apply the antibiotic ointment you have been provided for the first few days.

Sleeping position – Sleep in a position that is comfortable for you.

ClothingWear loose cotton underwear and avoid tight-fitting trousers.

Tampons – Avoid using tampons until the area is healed.

Driving – We recommend not driving for at least 4-5 days after your surgery as you may be on pain medication and still be experiencing some discomfort.

Exercise – Avoid strenuous activities for 3-4 weeks. Avoid doing things that may cause friction/ rubbing of your wounds.

Intercourse – It is advisable to avoid intercourse for 3-4 weeks or until your wounds are fully healed, and it feels comfortable.

Wound care2019-05-21T23:08:20+00:00

Showering – You may shower when you get home. Use the supplied antibiotic ointment and local anaesthetic gel as directed

Follow up2019-05-21T23:09:01+00:00

Weeks 1-3 after your operation – You will attend a specialist nurse clinic on at least two occasions to have your wounds reviewed. All the stitches are dissolvable but may remain visible for up to 4 weeks.

4-6 months – You will be asked to arrange a follow-up appointment with your surgeon at 4-6 months to discuss the outcome of your surgery and any concerns you may have.

Please note – Some of our patients will get in touch before their 4-6 month follow up appointment, and we are often able to address any concerns you may have over the phone or via email. You are welcome to make an appointment (at no cost to you) before your 4-6 month follow up if you wish to be seen in person to discuss any issues.

Scar care2019-05-21T23:10:00+00:00

Healing is a gradual process, and the operated area may remain slightly swollen and sensitive for several weeks.

It is crucial that you massage your scars firmly using vaseline or plain moisturising cream. Massage will help desensitise your scars.

When to call2019-05-21T21:54:38+00:00

If you have increased swelling or bruising which is not settling.

If you notice swelling of one/ both of your legs or feel short of breath – this may indicate a clot in one of your veins/ lungs – Deep vein thrombosis/ Pulmonary embolism.

If you have increased redness along the incision (this may be a sign of infection).

If you have severe or increased pain not relieved by medication.

If you have any side effects to medications; such as, rash, nausea, headache, vomiting.

If you have a temperature over 38 degrees Celsius.

If you have any yellowish or greenish discharge from the incisions.

If you have bleeding from the incisions that is difficult to control with light pressure.

If concerned, please call Beechwood House on 0131 316259 between the hours of 8am-8pm or after that on 0131 334 0363.

Local anaesthesia £2500

General anaesthesia £3000

Consultation £150

All inclusive costs for one year following surgery

Essentials

Labiaplasty | Labia reduction

Type of Anaesthetic

Local or General

Length of Surgery

1 hour

Nights in Hospital

Day case

Recovery

Swelling up to 10 days
7-10 days off work
3-4 weeks before strenuous exercise

Arrange Consultation

Attention to detail and refinement are our key elements to the provision of successful cosmetic surgery

Your care is led by Consultant Plastic Surgeons and is Hospital-Based.

Call us in confidence on 0131 342 0020 to discuss the options

Arrange a consultation

What our customers have to say…

Customer feedback is from external review sites such as Google and RealSelf

Labiaplasty – After much deliberation I decided to undergo a…

After much deliberation, I decided to undergo a labiaplasty procedure as large labia were causing me much discomfort in activities such as cycling and working out. The situation also caused distress and affected my life in other ways such as in my sexual life – in other words, I had to do something about it! After trying creams prescribed by my doctor to reduce discomfort, which did not do a huge amount, I decided to undergo labiaplasty and through thorough research into clinics which offer labiaplasty across the UK, I decided that Dr Quaba was an excellent choice.
I was very nervous about the whole thing and considering my young age was not sure how everything would go down during my consultation. Dr Quaba was very welcoming and reassuring however and explained everything – pre, during, and post-procedure details – thoroughly, which put my mind at ease. He also explained the ‘wedge method’ which he uses rather than the trim method. He also put much emphasis upon the gravity of such a decision and gave a 2 week-long thinking period after consultation for me to think everything over again before making a final decision.
During procedure, Dr Quaba was everything that one would look for in a surgeon and his team were very sweet and chatted throughout the procedure, which took around 1 hour. I was quite nervous before and during but the atmosphere in the operating room was very reassuring and the hilarious stories told by the nurses were a good distraction!
The post-operative care was wonderful, with 2 post-operative consultations and an offer of further costless touch-ups if I was not 100% happy with the results.
This was not required however as the result was exactly what I wanted and 6 months after surgery I am very pleased with the result. Everything was pretty much back to normal in fact after around 5 weeks which is when I could properly evaluate the result. My life is much improved after undergoing labiaplasty and I would hugely recommend Dr Quaba’s as the clinic to go with for this procedure.
Also, as a side note, I did not tell my family that I was undergoing labiaplasty, which Dr Quaba and his team were very good about and made sure that I felt extra safe and comfortable in everything and provided all the support needed!

Labiaplasty – Great service

Mr Quaba is very kind and friendly while still professional and thorough. All my needs before, during and after the procedure were met. I am very happy with the service and the outcome and would highly recommend Quaba plastic surgery.

Plastic Surgery Industry News

Latest Quaba & Industry News…

This website uses cookies and third party services. Find our more about cookies here. Ok