Why do women request Labiaplasty procedures?
This has been a controversial question with conflict from both camps mainly fuelled by claims of psychological lability and female genital mutilation. There is no doubt that Labiaplasty falls into the bracket of non essential surgery, as with many plastic surgery procedures, and as such it is off the NHS's menu. However functional problems from enlarged labia minora do exist and they can affect more than just psychological and sexual function. A recent paper in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery has highlighted the different reasons that women seek Labiaplasty (Sorice S.C. et al. Why Women request Labiaplasty. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2017;139(4):856-863).
This is not a designer vagina procedure and anatomical variations from the norm should be embraced. But just as in bilateral breast reduction, physical and psychological symptoms can be addressed. As with all plastic surgery, realistic goals with full understanding of the inherent complications is the key and all women seeking Labiaplasty need to be assessed and counselled on an individual basis.
Victoria Rose, Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Director DRG Plastic Surgery Ltd