Vaginas come in all shapes and sizes and no two are the same. But for some women the lips inside (called the labia minora) can cause discomfort during sex, cycling or even walking.
Other women are self-conscious about their shape and size. Whether you are unhappy with the way you’ve changed after childbirth or you’ve always felt this way, we can help.
Labial reduction is the term used to describe a range of surgical procedures that reduce the size and prominence of the lips of the vagina. Some women feel self-conscious about the size of theirs, while others experience pain and discomfort.
Labial reduction is a relatively straightforward procedure that is usually carried out as a day case under a local anaesthetic.
If you decide to have your treatment with us, you will be looked after by an experienced multi-disciplinary care team.
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Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They'll be with you every step of the way.
All of our consultants are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.
Our consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-specialty surgeries. Many of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field.
Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see and when you want. They’ll be with you every step of the way: from giving advice at your first consultation, through to offering on-going support after your surgery.
All of our cosmetic surgeons are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well equipped hospitals. A cosmetic surgeon’s reputation, qualifications and experience are vitally important, so we only work with consultant grade specialists. These are highly experienced consultants who have completed years of medical training. All our consultants are on the specialist register of the General Medical Council (GMC), and many are also members of the UK’s leading cosmetic and plastic surgery associations.
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For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.
Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.
We understand that surgery can be a cause of anxiety – even if it’s a relatively straightforward procedure like this one. That’s why our experienced and caring medical staff will be there for you every step of the way.
The operation usually takes one to two hours and you won’t feel anything. Depending on the extent of the surgery you may be put under a general anaesthetic, which means you’ll be asleep throughout, though most procedures are performed with a local anaesthetic.
The surgeon will cut away the unwanted tissue with a scalpel or laser and the loose edges left behind will be sealed with dissolvable stitches. Any cuts will be carefully placed to avoid painful scarring along the rim of the labia.
Labial reduction is usually carried out as a day-case, with no need to stay overnight in hospital.
After this, you will be taken to your room or comfortable area where you can rest and recuperate until we feel you’re ready to go home.
You will probably experience some pain and swelling for a few days after the operation. This is normal and your symptoms will start to improve over the next few weeks.
We will provide you with a supply of all the medicines your consultant feels you need to take home with you after you've left hospital, up to 14 days. This may be at an additional cost to some patients.
You will probably need to take some time off work to rest and recover. When you get home you’ll need to take things easy at first. Arrange around a week off work and plan to spend the first few days in bed until you are comfortable. Gently applying ice packs during the first 24 hours will help with the swelling.
You'll gradually be able to return to normal activity within a couple of weeks but you shouldn’t do any vigorous activity for four to six weeks.
Once you’re ready to be discharged from hospital, you’ll need to arrange a taxi, friend or family member to take you home, as you won’t be able to drive. You should also ask them if they can run some light errands for the first week or two, such as shopping and cleaning, as you won’t feel up to it at first.
Even after you’ve left hospital, we’re still looking after you every step of the way. Your consultant will typically want to see you after your procedure to see how you are doing. A follow up appointment will be made before you leave the hospital.
The chance of complications depends on the exact type of operation you are having and other factors such as your general health. Your consultant will talk to you about the possible risks and complications of having this procedure and how they apply to you.
If you have any questions or concerns we’re ready to help.
We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.
The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.
Spire Thames Valley Hospital is only a 10 minute drive from both the M4 and M40 motorways and we are less than half an hour from central London by train.
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