There is a great deal of normal natural variation in the shape, size and length of the labia in women. Sometimes the flaps of skin surrounding the vaginal opening, known as the inner lips or labia minora protrude beyond the outer lips (labia majora). Some women don’t like this appearance whilst others may find that the labia are painful and chafe when wearing certain clothes, exercising or during intercourse. A labiaplasty procedure involves excising the excess labia minora in order to reduce the extent that the labia minora hang below the hair bearing outer labia majora. It is performed under General Anaesthesia as a day case so you do not need to spend the night in hospital. There are two ways it can be done. One involves simply trimming the protruding edge of the labia and then stitching the wound closed. The other involves resecting a central wedge of labia minora whilst retaining the natural labial edge. In both cases the wound is closed with absorbable sutures so there are no stitches to be removed. Recovery is usually quick and involves one week off work. Initial swelling can be reduced by using regular cold compresses and gentle application of a topical emollient cream to prevent dryness. The use of tampons and intercourse should be avoided for 6 weeks.