Labiaplasty has grown in popularity, but it remains controversial. Few studies have quantified the change in specific symptomatology from before to after labiaplasty to establish its effectiveness in improving quality of life.
In a prospective study, 62 patients undergoing labiaplasty completed written surveys privately in an examination room preoperatively and postoperatively about the presence of 11 physical and appearance-related symptoms.
Mean patient age was 33.5 years (range, 17 to 61 years). Two patients were of minority age. All patients presented with at least one symptom, averaging 6.5 (range, one to 11). Most (82.2 percent) had a trim labiaplasty, and the rest (17.7 percent) had a wedge. After labiaplasty, 93.5 percent of patients were symptom-free, with the average dropping to 0.23 of 11 symptoms. Symptom-prevalence changes from preoperatively to postoperatively included self-consciousness, dropping from 93 percent to 6.5 percent; tugging (from 66.1 percent to 0 percent); feeling less attractive (from 66.1 percent to 0 percent); negative impact on self-esteem (from 64.5 percent to 1.6 percent); negative impact on intimacy (from 62.5 percent to 0 percent); twisting (from 58.1 percent to 3.2 percent); being uncomfortable (from 56.5 percent to 4.8 percent); clothing restriction (from 54.8 percent to 3.2 percent); visible outline (from 46.8 percent to 1.6 percent); pain (from 43.5 percent to 1.6 percent); and exposure in swimsuits (from 38.7 percent to 1.6 percent). No major complications occurred. Two patients felt their labia were still too long and revision was offered. Average follow-up was 13.3 months (range, 6 to 24 months).
Patients with elongated labia have a high incidence of functional and appearance-related symptoms. Labiaplasty is a safe procedure that yields significant improvement in quality of life.
CLINICAL QUESTIONS/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: