What is a labia reduction?
A labiaplasty is a surgical procedure to reduce the size of the flaps of skin either side of the vaginal opening (labia minora).
Patient eligibility criteria:
This procedure is restricted to patients that meet a set, eligibility criteria for the treatment. This is because there is a lack of research and clinical evidence to show how effective this procedure is. This means there is no guarantee it will achieve a long-lasting desired effect, and there are short and long term risks to consider.
Therefore, except where the criteria is met, surgery to reduce the size of the vaginal skin flaps (labia) is deemed to be a cosmetic procedure. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) state:
- The patient must be fully informed and advised accordingly
- Clinicians who perform labia reduction surgery must be aware that the clinicians are operating without a clear evidence base
- Labia reduction surgery should not normally be offered to patients below the age of 18 years due to changes in the patient’s body during puberty
- Labia reduction surgery should is not normally funded by the patient’s local NHS commissioning organisation unless the surgery is medically advised.
The clinician in charge of the care of the patient’s specific condition, usually a hospital doctor, can assist the application, if there is exceptional clinical need for the treatment to be funded. The patient’s clinician must evidence clinical exceptionality and must be supported by the patient’s local NHS commissioning organisation. See separate leaflet for more information on Individual Funding Requests (IFRs).
Advice and further guidance:
- For more information search for ‘labiaplasty’ at www.nhs.uk
- Choosing Wisely UK is part of a global initiative aimed at improving conversations between patients and their doctors and nurses.
Treatment policy for patients covered by NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG