Inventors: Dr. Yoram Abramov – Director, Division of Urogynecology & Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery, Carmel Medical Center, Haifa, Israel.
Female genital cosmetic surgery (FGCS) is a growing field of plastic surgery, which involves a variety of procedures designed to enhance or rejuvenate the female genitalia. Surgery to the labium, known as labia plasty, which is surgical modification of the labia minora or labia majora, is the focus of this invention. The vulva consists of the major and minor labia which are generally symmetric, i.e. have identical dimentions on both sides. Some women, however, suffer from symmetric or asymmetric elongation or hypertrophy of the labia minora which may incur pain, irritation, and discomfort with clothing. The psychological problem of not feeling “normal” in comparison to the perceived ideal anatomy cannot be underestimated. The exact cause of hypertrophy of the labia minora is unknown, and therefore a multifactorial etiology is proposed. Genetic factors and hormones can lead to hypertrophy of the labia early in life. Mechanical irritation from bicycling, sexual intercourse, genital piercing, horseback riding, and other factors can cause hypertrophy later in life.
Labia minora hypertrophy/elongation may require surgical intervention called ‘labiaplasty’. The goal of this procedure, which includes excision of the labia minora aiming to remove excessive tissue, is to eliminate functional problems and create labia that are aesthetically appealing. If successful, it can have substantial psychological benefits for patients who are self-conscious about the appearance of their genitalia. Patients may also report decreased pain or discomfort with daily activity and sexual intercourse after the procedure.
Labiaplasty is often performed by gynecologic or plastic surgeons and requires meticulous excision and suturing of the labia in order to assure symmetric and esthetic outcome. Refraining from excessive bleeding is another important goal, as the labia minora are richly vascularized and tend to bleed profusely if adequate hemostasis is not carried out. Vast knowledge of vulvar anatomy as well as high surgical expertise are therefore required from the surgeon, and the procedure may sometimes become prolonged and cumbersome. Unfortunately, not all women are satisfied with the result of their labiaplasty surgery due to inadequate esthetic outcome, such as labial asymmetry and/or scarring. Moreover, hematoma or infection of the labia might complicate postoperative course and require further surgical interventions to resolve them. Other potential complications include loss of sensation, voiding and sexual dysfunction as well as skin dyspigmentation.
Our solution utilizes a minimally invasive technique aimed to achieve shorter operative and recovery time, better esthetic results and lower complication rates.