Objective: Vulvar lichen sclerosus (LS) and lichen planus (LP) may cause persistent symptomatic labial adhesions. In the scant literature on this topic, there is no agreement about which operation is suitable, or the role of suppressive medical therapy. We report on simple perineotomy in the context of careful preoperative and postoperative medical suppressions.
Materials and Methods: Thirty-five patients were identified within a referral vulvar practice, with symptomatic labial adhesions due to LS or LP. After sharp dissection of adhesions and injection of anesthesia, patients doubled the frequency of their preoperative therapy and underwent close surveillance until complete healing had occurred. Suppression of the inflammatory process was continued indefinitely with regular review.
Results: Mean age was 57 years. Of the patients, 27 had LS and 8 had LP. Of the 35 patients, 28 (80%) had dyspareunia or apareunia. Mean symptom duration was 9 years. Of the 35 patients, 21 had posterior fusion, 11 had anterior fusion, and 3 had both anterior and posterior fusions. Of the 35 patients, 17 had mild fusion, 11 had moderate fusion, and 7 had severe introital stenosis. At the 3-month review, 31 of the 35 patients had no refusion. Mean duration of follow-up was 2 years (range = 3 months to 7.5 years). Of the 35 patients, 29 had no late refusion during this time. Of the 18 patients with dyspareunia, 8 had no pain, and 9 had less pain. Of the 10 patients with apareunia, 1 could have sex without pain, and 6 could have sex but with pain.
Conclusion: Simple perineotomy is adequate to treat persistent labial adhesions, provided that the inflammatory process is carefully suppressed.