Labia reduction

The protection of your privacy: a conversation from woman to woman

The function of the labia minora is to protect the vagina from dehydration and to control the flow of urine. To fulfil this function, the labia minora must be at least 10 mm wide. As with all body characteristics (e.g. height, weight, etc.), there are differences between women and women that have no disease value. Complaints during sexual intercourse, when wearing tight clothes and swimwear or during sports can be successfully treated. On the other hand, some patients wish to improve their appearance in a self-determined way. The complaints are analysed in a professional consultation from woman to woman. Discretion and privacy are a matter of course for us. Careful planning is carried out before all procedures.

What is labia reduction?

The average width of the labia minora is two centimeters, measured from the midline to the edge. The average length of the labia minora is six centimetres. Small and symmetrical inner labia are a characteristic of youthfulness and beauty of the female vulva. The causes of an enlargement of the labia minora are unknown. Enlarged inner labia are subdivided according to the protrusion of the inner labia in relation to the outer labia. Larger labia often have a pronounced clitoral foreskin. In the case of labia reduction, the disturbing protrusion of the labia minora is removed. Together with a labia reduction, an asymmetry of the labia is often corrected and the clitoral mantle is tightened. The most common labia reduction techniques are edge resection, wedge resection, Z-plasty, deep epithelialization and W-plasty. The surgeon adapts the techniques individually to the needs in order to achieve a harmonious result.

How is labia reduction performed?

Each procedure is carefully prepared. The surgeon, assistant, anaesthetist and the specialist surgical nurses are a well-rehearsed team. Nevertheless, they all check several times routinely whether all the necessary precautions have been taken for your maximum safety. Only when the checklist is complete can the operation begin.

During a twilight sleep you will be given medication that will relieve your anxiety and reduce your sensitivity to pain. The surgeon applies an anaesthetic cream so that you do not feel the anaesthetic injection. Within five to ten minutes, the surgical areas are numb. A long-acting local anaesthetic ensures that you do not feel any pain after the operation. If you are not already sleeping deeply, you may feel something happening on the surface of your body.

Dr. Santos Stahl operates with magnifying glasses for detailed vision and maximum precision. The surgeon draws the excess tissue to achieve exact symmetry. The injected adrenaline anaesthetic solution (tumescence technique) prevents bruising and provides the best visibility. These are the basic prerequisites for gentle (atraumatic) surgery. The excess tissue is removed with great sensitivity. The surgeon desolates the smallest vessels and closes the edges with fine threads, which dissolve themselves after about three weeks. Each movement is performed with a steady hand, great sensitivity and perfectionism.

The outpatient procedure lasts about 45 minutes. Immediately after the operation you will be continuously monitored in a recovery room. You can drink something after the complete awakening and, if you tolerate it well, eat something. During your first visit to the toilet you will be supported by our nursing staff. Before you leave the practice, check-ups are arranged and the behavioural measures are discussed with you in detail. You will receive a comprehensive written report and a telephone number. In an emergency, the surgeon is available 24 hours a day.

Before, after and even during the operation you can watch movies or your favourite series with virtual reality glasses. Not only is this entertaining, the distraction is also proven to reduce sensitivity to pain.

How can you prepare for labia reduction?

  • All your questions about possible complications and alternative treatments should be answered before surgery.
  • The time of surgery should be far from the time of menstruation.
  • The genital area should be free of infections, genital warts or inflammations.
  • Intimate shaving with a wet razor may cause skin irritation or injury. Use an electric hair clipper the week before surgery to minimize the risk of inflammation.
  • Keep nicotine and alcohol consumption to a minimum.
  • The intake of hormone-containing medication (pill) should be temporarily stopped.
  • Blood-thinning medication (e.g. ASA, Thomapyrin®) must be discontinued ten days before the operation after consultation with your doctor.
  • Stop taking vitamin preparations (A, E) and dietary supplements (e.g. omega-3 fatty acids, St. John's wort preparations) four weeks before the operation.
  • Surgery limits the ability to travel by air. Do not plan any professional or private air travel during the four weeks following the operation.
  • Take out follow-up insurance before an aesthetic operation.
  • On the day of the operation, shower with a disinfectant soap (e.g. HiBiScrub® Plus, Octenisan® Wash Lotion, Prontoderm® Shower Gel).


What do you have to consider after a labia reduction?

  • Your well-being and the results of the operation will be checked regularly.
  • Disinfect the fresh sutures after intimate surgery in the morning and evening for two weeks (for example with Octenisept® or Lavanid® Gel).
  • From the first postoperative day, shower with a disinfectant soap (e.g. HiBiScrub® Plus, Octenisan® Wash Lotion, Prontoderm® Shower Gel).
  • Regular cooling keeps the unavoidable swelling to a minimum. The swelling largely subsides after three weeks.
  • As a rule, you can resume your work the day after the operation. However, we recommend that you do not sit much for the first ten days after the operation.
  • Do not use tampons for the first three weeks after the operation.
  • Avoid bending over, lifting heavy loads, swimming, taking a sauna, having sex and doing sports for four weeks. If swelling still exists, a longer period of rest may be advisable.
  • Smoking increases the risk of inflammation and thrombosis. Avoid smoking tobacco and e-cigarettes for six weeks after the operation.


Which patients undergo labia reduction?

The age and reasons for labia reduction vary. Even after the age of sixty, patients decide to have their labia reduced. Since young people's self-confidence is not yet mature, cosmetic surgery should be performed after they have reached the age of majority. The social maturity, educational maturity and self-esteem of some are sooner, of others later. Therefore, each patient is considered individually and the mental and psychological maturity is critically assessed. In principle, the counselling interview is conducted between young people and their parents. The most common problem with adolescents is asymmetry. While one side of the labia minora developed normally, the other side does not continue to grow after puberty.

Most patients who opt for labia reduction want their appearance to improve. Shame or pain during sexual intercourse, skin irritation when wearing tight clothing, hygienic problems and discomfort during sports are other reasons. Especially unilaterally enlarged labia minora can impair the formation of the urine stream.

What can you expect during a consultation on labia reduction?

Dr. Santos Stahl will first of all ask you about your reasons for movement and your wishes for change. Physical and mental complaints are recorded and evaluated. General information about work and leisure time is important in order to plan the recovery phase after the operation. Effects of your complaints on your intimate life are important for the planning of the treatment. All information you entrust to Dr. Santos Stahl will be kept strictly confidential.

Dr. Santos Stahl will ask for information on the following subjects in order to identify and prevent any risks in good time:

  • Preventive examination,
  • Pregnancies,
  • Family planning,
  • Pre-existing conditions and pre-operations
  • Allergies and
  • Medication intake.
  • Please let us know if you smoke or take dietary supplements. These factors have a big influence on your operation.

After a complete and thorough physical examination, Dr. Santos Stahl will discuss your goals with you. She will show you different treatment alternatives and the associated risks and limitations. During the interview you will receive all the information you need to decide which treatment is right for you. It is very important to discuss your expectations openly with your surgeon. Often a poorly informed patient or surgeon is the cause of an unsatisfactory result, even if there are no complications during the operation.

Dr. Santos Stahl will discuss all the details of the procedure with you, including the type of anaesthesia used, follow-up insurance, preparation and post-operative behaviour. She will explain to you in a transparent and comprehensible way how the costs of labia reduction are made up.

If you are unsure or do not feel fully informed, do not hesitate to ask your doctor questions. It is not uncommon for questions to come in the aftermath. At the end of the first consultation we will gladly offer you a second consultation. It is very important to us that all your questions have been answered before the operation.

What are the advantages of labia reduction?

  • Intimate surgery can meet the cosmetic and functional needs of women and improve their well-being.
  • After cosmetic surgery in the genital area, patients report higher attractiveness and sexual satisfaction.
  • Several studies have shown that appropriate and correctly performed labiaplasty leads to increased sexual excitability, more frequent sexual intercourse and stronger and more frequent orgasms.
  • In most cases, the scar between the labia minora and labia majora is barely visible.
  • The operation can be performed on an outpatient basis under local anaesthesia.

What are the risks of labioplasty?

Treatment is associated with both opportunities and risks. A temporary swelling is unavoidable after an operation. Due to the delicate nature of the mucous membrane, a gaping of the wound edges is possible despite careful suturing. Hours after the operation, high blood pressure can lead to bleeding in the surgical area. These problems can be easily controlled by a prompt operation. Tissue swelling can lead to urinary retention in the nearby urethra. Urinary diversion through a catheter may be necessary. Severe scarring can also cause discomfort when urinating. When the tissue is dissolved, skin nerves may be severed. The feeling of numbness is usually temporary. In principle, there is a danger that too much or too little tissue has been removed. A careful examination, consultation and planning reduce the risk. Side differences with regard to the size and shape, but also the position and size of the scars can remain. Scar healing takes six to twelve months. Scars as well as sensory disturbances can lead to a reduction of the sexual experience.

What are the costs to be expected for labia surgery?

The following remuneration components must be taken into account when reducing the labia:

  •     Value added tax of 19
  •     Remuneration for Plastic Surgery
  •     Nursing services required within the framework of the treatment
  •     Medical anaesthesia services
  •     Consumables required during the above procedure
  •     consequential cost insurance
  •     The operational wound controls
  •     Long-term operational controls
  •     Permanent availability of the surgeon in the two weeks after the operation
  •     medication to treat nausea or pain in the first two weeks after surgery
  •     Postoperative low molecular weight heparin for the prevention of thromboembolic diseases
  •     Medical thrombosis prophylaxis stockings

Many patients compare different offers before an operation. For a direct comparison, all expenses including aftercare must be taken into account. The training, experience, skills and scientific competence of a physician are more difficult for a layman to compare than the costs. Ask about the qualifications of the doctor you trust. The terms "cosmetic surgeon", "aesthetic surgeon" or "cosmetic surgeon" are not protected. The situation is different with the professional title "Plastic and Aesthetic Surgeon", these physicians have all completed an appropriate six-year training course. This is similar with ear, nose and throat specialists and oral and maxillofacial surgeons, who can acquire the additional qualification "plastic surgery" after two years of further training and are thus qualified for operations in the area of the head. The medical activity also includes research, for example in the context of a medical doctorate or habilitation. The ability to incorporate scientific findings into rational treatment decisions is strengthened by independent scientific work. The professional experience in a leading position strengthens the sense of responsibility and the competence to solve complex and difficult challenges. The costs of treatment are relevant for decision-making, but trust in the doctor should ultimately be decisive.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to give an exact price without an examination because, among other things, the scope of treatment and possible pre-existing conditions and/or pre-treatments cannot be taken into account. We can therefore only tell you the exact costs after an examination as part of the consultation. We will also be happy to advise you on financing options without obligation.

Before and after pictures of a labia reduction in Saarbrücken.

According to § 1 paragraph 1 no. 2 of the Heilmittelwerbegesetz, the comparative visual representation of the success of treatment by before/after photographs may not be published on the Internet. Nevertheless, before/after images may be used to inform patients. We will be happy to show you before/after images as part of a personal consultation in order to show you the possibilities and limitations of cosmetic surgery. It goes without saying that we comply with all legal data protection regulations.

Why a labia reduction in Saarbrücken?

Brazil has been a pioneer in aesthetic surgery for decades and is considered the cradle of cosmetic surgery.

Dr. Santos Stahl completed her specialist training in Brazil with first-class surgeons. Later, Dr. Santos Stahl obtained the German and European specialist qualifications. In addition, Dr. Santos Stahl has expanded her spectrum and knowledge with the most influential plastic surgeons in Dallas, Oakland and Salt Lake City - thanks to a scholarship from the largest professional association of plastic surgeons in Germany (VDÄPC).

Medical decisions and recommendations must be made on the basis of proven efficacy. In order to assess the validity of a scientific proof, the scientific competence of a physician is important. Dr. Santos Stahl has conducted clinical studies herself and regularly attends scientific congresses. Scientific publications are regularly presented and critically discussed in the CenterPlast.

Experience after a labia reduction in the CenterPlast Saarbrücken.

We systematically examine and compare the appearance, well-being and satisfaction of our patients after surgery. Your satisfaction with the appearance and your complaints are recorded before and after the operation. Nonetheless, we also systematically check the possible influence of the procedure on the perceived self-confidence. We encourage our patients to rate us on Jameda and Google. Many patients are willing to share their experience with other patients to help them make the right decision. During the consultation, we will be happy to put you in touch with these patients.

Author's statement

Author: Stéphane Stahl, MD, PhD. There are no financial relationships with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries that could have influenced the above text. Any reproduction, even partial, is permitted for personal use only. All texts used on this website are protected by copyright.


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