Labiaplasty when stitches dissolve
"It is completely normal for the labia minora to protrude above the large ones"
Doctors newspaper:Where does the increasing trend towards labia lifts come from in Germany?
Dr. Marita Eisenmann-Klein: The topic is boiling up, especially through the articles in lifestyle magazines. New norms are being set for the size of the labia, which young girls in particular can use as a guide during puberty. And that is very worrying.
Doctors newspaper:When are the labia too big?
Eisenmann-Klein: The external genitals are very variable in their formation. When it is said in lifestyle magazines that the small labia must not protrude over the large ones, then I think that is extremely problematic. Because it is completely normal for the small labia to protrude over the large ones.
Doctors newspaper:Is there an indication for a tightening of the labia at all?
Eisenmann-Klein: The procedure is indicated if there is a pronounced asymmetry of the labia or if the patient complains of irritation due to the greatly enlarged labia, for example when wearing trousers or when riding. Otherwise, I always advocate making it clear to women that everything is within the norm for them. I also recommend this approach to general practitioners and gynecologists, who are often the first point of contact when it comes to cosmetic surgery in the genital area. In my experience, it relieves many patients when they hear from a professional that they are normal. Often it is possible to change the mind of women in this way. In addition, patients should be fully informed about the possible risks of such an intervention.
Doctors newspaper:What are the risks?
Eisenmann-Klein: One can expect infections, for example, since one primarily operates in an area colonized by bacteria. There is also the risk that too much will be removed from the labia because the scar shrinkage has not been taken into account. After a labia operation, permanent impairments can also occur, for example persistent scar problems such as pain and feelings of tension, especially when having sex. Sensitivity disorders can also occur, as one practically always severes sensitive nerves in the area of the labia.
Doctors newspaper:Some women cannot be dissuaded from their desire for a labial tightening despite a lack of indication and information about the risks ...
Eisenmann-Klein: In such a case, a psychologist or psychosomatic specialist should clarify whether the patient has a mental disorder, such as a body dysmorphic disorder. These are women who, in spite of their appearance that deviates little from the norm, consider themselves unsightly. But there are women who may refuse psychological treatment and still find a colleague who will operate on them via the Internet, for example.
Doctors newspaper:What does a labia reduction cost and what about the assumption of costs?
Eisenmann-Klein: An operation under local anesthesia costs 600 to 800 euros. In the case of general anesthesia, there is an additional 300 to 400 euros. If there is a strong asymmetry of the labia or a strong mechanical irritation, you can submit an application to the health insurance company to cover the costs. But the cash registers are also becoming more and more restrictive here.
Ingrid Kreutz conducted the interview.
Dr. Marita Eisenmann-Klein is the director of the Clinic for Plastic and Aesthetic, Hand and Reconstructive Surgery at the Caritas Hospital St. Josef in Regensburg. The plastic and aesthetic surgeon is also Secretary General of the World Association for Plastic Surgery (IPRAS). Until two years ago she was President of the German Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons. (ikr)
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