Labiaplasty is a plastic surgery procedure for altering the labia minora and the labia majora, the folds of skin surrounding the human vulva. There are two main categories of women seeking cosmetic genital surgery: those with congenital conditions such as intersex, and those with no underlying... MORE
Labiaplasty is a plastic surgery procedure for altering the labia minora and the labia majora, the folds of skin surrounding the human vulva. There are two main categories of women seeking cosmetic genital surgery: those with congenital conditions such as intersex, and those with no underlying condition who experience physical discomfort or wish to alter the appearance of their genitals because they believe they do not fall within a normal range. The size, colour, and shape of labia vary significantly, and may change as a result of childbirth, aging and other events. Conditions addressed by labiaplasty include congenital defects and abnormalities such as vaginal atresia, Müllerian agenesis, intersex conditions; and tearing and stretching of the labia minora caused by childbirth, accident and age. In a male-to-female sexual reassignment vaginoplasty for the creation of a neovagina, labiaplasty creates labia where once there were none. A 2008 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine reported that 32 per cent of women who underwent the procedure did so to correct a functional impairment; 31 per cent to correct a functional impairment and for aesthetic reasons; and 37 per cent for aesthetic reasons alone. According to a 2011 review, also in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, overall patient satisfaction is in the 90–95 percent range. Risks include permanent scarring, infections, bleeding, irritation, and nerve damage leading to increased or decreased sensitivity. The Observer wrote in 2011 that medical experts had "sounded the alarm" about the procedure and its soaring rates, blaming increased exposure to pornography images on the Internet. Linda Cardozo, a gynaecologist at King's College Hospital, London, told the newspaper that women were placing themselves at risk in an industry that is largely unregulated. LESS
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