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Wedge vs trim labiaplasty: which one is right for you?

Wedge vs trim labiaplasty: which one is right for you?

Labiaplasty Lake Norman, Davidson, Cornelius, Mooresville, Charlotte

Some women are bothered by symptoms of labial hypertrophy. This is a condition in which the labia minora, or “inner lips” of the vulva, are overly large. Symptoms can include irritation or pain when wearing tight clothing, uncomfortable tugging or twisting of the labia, pain with intercourse, and discomfort when doing certain activities (such as bike riding, horseback riding, or even running).

In order to address these symptoms, labiaplasty is an option. This is a surgical procedure to reshape the labia minora. There are different techniques for accomplishing this, including wedge and trim labiaplasty. How can you know which one is right for you? Is this decision made by the patient or the plastic surgeon?

Trim labiaplasty

The trim labiaplasty technique is the most commonly used. With this technique, a strip of tissue is removed at the outer edge of the labia.

Trim labiaplasty is preferred for patients who are bothered by hyperpigmentation, or darkening of the skin at the outer edge of the labia. The inner tissue is generally more pink in color, and removing the outer part of the labia tends to leave this pink portion visible along the outer edge.

A common response of the body to chronic irritation is for the skin to become somewhat rougher and thicker. Women with labial hypertrophy usually experience irritation of the outer part of the labia, and it may become rough or thickened in response. The trim technique is preferred for removing this rough skin and leaving the outer edge of the labia smoother.

Good surgical technique is extremely important during a trim labiaplasty. One possible complication is that this technique can result in an uneven transition where the labia minora meet the clitoral hood, if good technique is not used. Dr. Miles uses good techniques to avoid this issue.

Wedge labiaplasty

The wedge labiaplasty technique is another option. In this technique, a wedge of tissue is removed from the labia minora, and the two edges are brought together. The wedge will be placed around the area of greatest labial enlargement, to create a pleasing and natural shape of the labia.

The wedge labiaplasty maintains the natural edges of the labia. For women who are satisfied with the characteristics of the skin at the edge of their labia minora, a wedge labiaplasty can preserve these, while still reducing the size of the labia.

Many patients also prefer the scar placement with a wedge labiaplasty. With a trim technique, the resulting scar is along the outer edge of the labia, where it may be more noticeable. With a wedge, the scar is perpendicular to the edge of the labia and is mostly hidden inside the body, so it’s more discreet. This technique also avoids the risk of creating an uneven transition between the labia minora and the clitoral hood, since that part of the labia is left untouched.

Which one works better?

Studies have shown that both wedge and trim labiaplasty have very good results, and are able to greatly reduce or eliminate symptoms of labial hypertrophy in the vast majority of women. Neither technique is overall better than the other; the results are similar from both. 

Which technique is chosen depends on the specific concerns that the patient has about her labia. The patient and the plastic surgeon work together to determine which technique would be better for addressing her specific problems. The trim labiaplasty technique is generally more commonly used by most plastic surgeons; studies show that about 80% of patients have a trim labiaplasty. However, a wedge labiaplasty may be a better choice for those seeking more natural results. It’s a very individualized decision.

Labiaplasty Lake Norman, Davidson, Cornelius, Mooresville, Charlotte

If you’re bothered by symptoms of overly large labia, then you might be considering labiaplasty. In order to decide which technique would be better in your case, then you’ll need to have a consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon. After an exam and a discussion of your needs and goals, your surgeon will be able to advise you about which technique would likely get the results that you’re looking for. 

If you’re in the greater Charlotte area, we invite you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Miles to discuss your options. He’s a very compassionate surgeon, so you’ll feel as comfortable as possible when having this sensitive discussion. He also has excellent surgical skills and extensive experience with labiaplasty surgery, so if you choose to go forward with the procedure, you’ll be in very good hands. Please contact our office to schedule a consultation.

Dr. Erik J. Miles
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