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Labiaplasty

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Labiaplasty

A labiaplasty is surgery to reduce the size of the labia minora – the flaps of skin either side of the vaginal opening.It should not be done on girls younger than 18 because the labia continues to develop beyond puberty into early adulthood.Some women want a labiaplasty because they do not like the look of their labia. But it's completely normal to have noticeable skin folds around the opening of your vagina. In most cases, it does not cause any problems, which is why labiaplasty is rarely available on the NHS.The size, colour, and shape of labia vary significantly, and may change as a result of childbirth, aging, and other events. Conditions addressed by labiaplasty include congenital defects and abnormalities such as vaginal atresia (absent vaginal passage), Müllerian agenesis (malformed uterus and fallopian tubes), intersex conditions (male and female sexual characteristics in a person); and tearing and stretching of the labia minora caused by childbirth, accident, and age. In a male-to-female sexual reassignment vaginoplasty for the creation of a neovagina, labiaplasty creates labia where once there were none.

What to think about before you have a labiaplasty

Having a labiaplasty is a big decision that you should think about carefully. It can be expensive and carries a number of risks.

There's also no guarantee you'll get the result you expected, and it will not necessarily make you feel better about your body.

If you're thinking about having a labiaplasty, discuss it with your GP first.

You may have a condition that's causing discomfort, which can be treated. Or there may be a reason why the operation is not suitable for you.

Your GP may advise you to speak to a counsellor or psychologist before committing to surgery.

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What is the difference between surgery and cosmetic surgery relative to vaginoplasty or labiaplasty?

Reconstructive surgery improves the function of a body part, while cosmetic surgery changes the aesthetics of essentially normal anatomy. You can think of it like a nose job: a surgeon can restructure the interior nasal cavities to help you breathe better or reshape the nose, just for the sake of appearances. It's a critical distinction, because the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists evaluates surgeries and outcomes to fix functional problems, such as urinary incontinence. But ACOG remains skeptical and cautious about cosmetic vaginal surgery because of its risks and lack of scientific data on safety and effectiveness. Some vaginoplasty procedures, for instance, were originally developed as reconstructive surgeries to repair birth defects when the vagina was malformed, too short, or absent (such as in vaginal agensis), so that a girl could grow up to have normal urination, menstruation, and intercourse.

What are some examples of vaginal rejuvenation and designer vagina procedures?

  • "Revirgination." The hymen, the thin tissue at the entrance to the vagina, normally "breaks" the first time a woman has intercourse. A surgery called a hymenoplasty repairs the hymen to mimic its original, virginal state, before a woman was sexually active. Because of the strong religious convictions surrounding the importance of virginity in some cultures, this is among the most controversial of cosmetic vaginal surgeries.
  • Clitoral unhooding. Some surgeons are marketing a procedure called clitoral unhooding, which removes the tissue that normally covers the clitoris.
  • G-spot amplification. The front wall of the vagina, some experts believe, holds the highly erotic G-spot, an especially sensitive stimulation site for female arousal and orgasm. The G-spot amplification procedure involves injecting collagen into the front wall of the vagina, theoretically to increase pleasure.

Size of the labia

The size of labia varies among women: while the labia minora remain hidden between the labia majora in some women (top row), they "stick out" in other women (bottom row), with the protruding labia clearly visible in standing position.

The external genitalia of a woman are collectively known as the vulva. This comprises the labia majora (outer labia), the labia minora (inner labia), the clitoris, the urethra, and the vagina. The labia majora extend from the mons pubis to the perineum.

The size, shape, and color of women's inner labia vary greatly.One is usually larger than the other. They may be hidden by the outer labia, or may be visible, and may become larger with sexual arousal, sometimes two to three times their usual diameter.

The size of the labia can change because of childbirth. Genital piercing can increase labial size and asymmetry, because of the weight of the ornaments. In the course of treating identical twin sisters, S.P. Davison et al reported that the labia were the same size in each woman, which indicated genetic determination. In or around 2004, researchers from the Department of Gynaeology, Elizabeth Garret Anderson Hospital, London, measured the labia of 50 women between the ages of 18 and 50, with a mean age of 35.6.

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Recovery

You may need up to 2 weeks off work to recover. It can take a couple of months for the skin to fully heal.

During this time you need to:

  • keep the area clean and free from infection
  • wear loose underwear and clothes to prevent rubbing
  • avoid sex for about 6 weeks
  • avoid physical activity for 6 to 12 weeks
  • use sanitary towels instead of tampons for a few weeks

What are the side effects

It's normal after a labiaplasty to have soreness, bruising and swelling for up to 2 weeks.

During this time, peeing and sitting may also be uncomfortable. You'll be given painkillers to help with this.

10 common question about labiaplasty

1Are you awake during labiaplasty?
Most labiaplasty procedures last one hour and are performed under either local or general anesthetic, depending on patient preference. ... If the doctor and patient have agreed upon a local anesthetic, the patient is awake but cannot feel the surgery. Under general anesthetic, the patient is asleep during labiaplasty.
2How do you know if you need a labiaplasty?
There are very few situations that call for a medically necessary labiaplasty. Labiaplasties for medical reasons are about how your labia minora impact your life, not how the lips look, Dr. Quinlan says. Depending on their length, your labia minora can cause pain during sex if they get tucked into the vagina.
3How long does it take to recover from a labiaplasty?
Usually, women return to their active lifestyle and fitness routines 2-4 weeks after surgery. It can take 6-8 weeks before the scars are strong enough for you to return to sexual intercourse, but check with your doctor first. A labiaplasty is a gratifying and effective procedure with lasting results.
4Can labiaplasty be done under local anesthesia?
There is risk of airway compromise when labiaplasty is performed under conscious sedation. Labiaplasty has become one of the most commonly performed procedures in my practice as a female plastic surgeon. Almost all labiaplasties have been performed and very well-tolerated under local anesthetic.
5Does labial hypertrophy go away?
Labial hypertrophy can affect both sets of labia, but it is more likely to change the labia minora or inner lips. Hypertrophy in the labia majora may cause them to appear enlarged. ... Labial hypertrophy is harmless. It does not impact a person's sexual health and does not mean they have an underlying medical condition.
6What are the risks of labiaplasty?
The short-term risks of a labiaplasty include bleeding, infection and scarring of tissue. If the desired effect isn't achieved, or there are complications, there is always a chance you will need another procedure to fix this. There's also a risk that sex will become painful after the operation.
7When can I walk after labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty isn't as invasive as other surgeries, and most women return to work within 2 to 4 days after the procedure. ... Although most women can comfortably sit and stand within the first few days after surgery, I advise that you avoid strenuous activity for at least 4 weeks.
8How long does the swelling last after labiaplasty?
While the most distorting swelling is gone by the six-week mark, residual swelling may take six months to disappear. Labiaplasty usually takes about 45 minutes and may be performed under local or general anesthesia. A follow-up appointment is scheduled for two weeks, then two months after the surgery.
9How do you take care of labiaplasty?
Dry clean dressings should be reapplied regularly for at least 5 days or until the wound becomes dry. Sitz baths are also useful during this time to remove dead skin, relieve pain and reduce inflammation in the affected area.
10How old do you have to be to have labiaplasty?
A labiaplasty should not be performed on girls younger than 18.

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