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A labiaplsty is a surgical procedure to reduce the flaps of skin on either side of the vaginal opening, called labia minora.

Most operations are for cosmetic reason and are done privately. Rarely, where an operation is needed, it will be covered by the NHS. It may be due to damage to the woman’s labia after giving birth, painful or infected labia. The number of labiaplasty operations performed on the NHS has been increasing over the years and the reasons are unclear.

This surgical procedure is not recommended for girls under the age of 18 as the labia continues to grow beyond puberty into early adulthood.

How is the procedure performed? (Labiaplasty)

A labiaplasty can be carried out using either a general anaesthetic (you are put to sleep) or local anaesthetic with sedation. The whole procedure should last one to two hours. The procedure involves shortening or reshaping the vaginal lips. Your gynaecologist will cut away the unwanted tissue with a scalpel or a laser, followed by dissolvable stitches.

How to prepare for the procedure? (Labiaplasty)

If you think you are qualified for a labiaplasty on the NHS, you may require examination from your GP before referring you to a gynaecologist.

If you are unhappy with the appearance of your labia and want to have a labiaplasty, it is a good idea to talk to your GP before paying for the procedure privately. It is worth noting that the operation carries a number of risks and there is a lack of evidence showing how effective this procedure is.

What happens after the procedure? (Labiaplasty)

You can go home on the same day after being taught the proper cleansing of the wound. You may be given antibiotics to apply to the reduced labia. Your gynaecologist may schedule an appointment with you one week after your surgery to check on your recovery progress. You are advised not to use tampons, wear tight clothes and have sexual intercourse for four weeks after the surgery.

Every surgical procedure comes with risks. Some of the risks include bleeding, infection and scarring of the tissue. Some people may also experience painful sex or loss of sensitivity as nerve endings are removed. In cases where there are labial asymmetry and undercorrection or overcorrection, revision surgery may be required.


This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Doctify Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. In the event of an emergency, please call 999 for immediate assistance.