The techniques used in performing labiaplasty have changed a great deal over the past few years as new technology and surgical procedures have been developed. This delicate and highly personal surgery has become much less invasive, and changes in technique have made it possible to achieve much more satisfactory results.

Laser Surgery and Labiaplasty

One major advance in labiaplasty techniques is the use of lasers. Earlier techniques, developed in the 1960s, involved simple removal of excess tissue from the labia minora. The edges were then stitched and left to heal. While this technique succeeded in reshaping the labia minora, it often led to stiffness and discomfort along the incision. This method is still used in some cases and is referred to as the "trim" method. The trim method is most useful when your goal as a patient is to remove the outer edge of the labia due to discoloration or other issues, and is often performed in conjunction with a clitoral hood reduction so that both procedures can be achieved with a single incision. However, other options are now available to address your individual needs and goals for labiaplasty.

Modern cosmetic surgeons can now use lasers for labiaplasty that requires removal of small amounts of tissue. This greatly reduces the time needed for the procedure, the time required for healing and recovery, and also allows for very precise work. The final results, after healing is complete, are also far less likely to cause discomfort or stiffness. Since the major goal of labiaplasty is often to reduce discomfort due to the size of the labia minora, laser surgery makes it possible to achieve a satisfactory outcome.

Z-Incisions and Wedge Labiaplasty

The "wedge" method for labiaplasty was developed to reduce the discomfort often experienced by those undergoing a "trim" labiaplasty. In the wedge method, the incision is made across the width of the labia rather than along the edge. For reducing the inner one-third or so of the labia, the wedge method is very effective. In addition, the interior incision means less stress is placed on the sutures and the final scar in most cases. In some cases, however, tension on the scar can be troublesome.

The Z-incision, or z-plasty, is a modification of the wedge procedure that makes use of a zig-zag incision. This modification was developed to address the occasional problems with scar tension and tightening experienced with the wedge labiaplasty. The Z-shaped incision makes the resulting scar even less likely to heal in a way that results in tension and uncomfortable stress on the inner labia.

With any kind of labiaplasty, it is extremely important to be sure the surgeon you choose has extensive experience with this procedure. Patients who work with a less experienced surgeon often must pursue revision surgery later to correct problems with the original surgery. Be sure to consult at length with an experienced, board qualified cosmetic surgeon with specific experience in genital surgery for the best results. Also, be sure to discuss your goals at length and ensure the chosen surgeon's approach to labiaplasty will give you the results you want.