Labiaplasty (also known as labioplasty, labia minor reduction, and labial reduction) is a plastic surgery procedure for altering the labia minora (inner labia) and the labia majora (outer labia), 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 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, sexual intercourse, aging, and other events. Conditions addressed by labiaplasty include congenital defects and abnormalities such as vaginal atresia (absent vaginal passage), Müllerian agenesis (malformed uterus and fallopian tubes), intersex conditions (male and female sexual characteristics in a person); 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. The risks of the procedure include permanent scarring, infections, bleeding, irritation, and nerve damage leading to increased or decreased sensitivity.