Why do the labial tissue become wrinkled or prolapse and look deflated?
Our skin gets wrinkled when we age or when we lose weight. Also as hormonal changes occur as in menopause, it affects the connective tissues supporting our skin. Unfortunately it’s a fact of life that we can not avoid. Exercise helps tighten the muscles, hydration helps avoid dryness, and a good diet and vitamin supplements is essential for healthy skin. None however can overcome the ravages of aging.
Genital tissue is not immune to the ravages of aging. Loss of volume in the labia majora from loss of supportive fatty tissue, as well as damage to the connective tissue in the vulvar skin creates sagging and wrinkles.
What are the complaints women have when labia become deflated and wrinkled?
In my practice as a urogynecologist, over the past 25 years, I have heard many complaints as a result of the changes in the labia. Frequently women complain of discomfort, loss of sensation, and dryness, in addition to loss of healthy and young appearance. It adds to the gaps in the vaginal opening that may also increase the risk of recurrent vaginal infections. It gives the labia majora a deflated appearance and can make obstetric vaginal injuries more pronounced.
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What can be done to address these problems?
For this and many more other personal issues women complain about there are fillers. In the past fat transfers were very common and still being performed. This technique uses liposuction from an area such as buttock or the pubic area to obtain the necessary fat which then used to add volume to the labia majora. The downside to fat transfer is the extended recovery, cost, and potential risk of infection, hemorrhage and damage to other organs.
Is there a more simple and safer alternative to fat transfer?
Use of fillers containing hyaluronic acid has been very effective for the right patient to add fullness and resolve wrinkles in the vulvar skin. This is also known as labial puffing. This is an off label use of fillers as FDA has not approved fillers for this purpose.
How is labial puffing using hyaluronic acid performed?
The procedure is simple and outpatient with minimal down time. The area is normally washed with an antibacterial soap the night before and that morning. Two hours prior to the procedure a numbing cream is applied by the patient to the area to be treated.
Once in the office, working with the patient, the area of treatment is marked off to achieve the best possible result. The optimal amount of hyaluronic acid is injected in the areas to be treated slowly and methodically. A very small cannula or needle is used to deliver the filler. Rarely local numbing injection may be necessary to achieve patient comfort.
What are the precautions after the procedure?
Once the procedure is completed, the patient is instructed to avoid rubbing or putting pressure on the vulvar area, to avoid intercourse, and to follow the prescribed hygiene regimen. Patient then returns to the clinic in one week to evaluate results.
Can this be combined with other surgical procedures?
This procedure can be combined with other medical or cosmetic procedures such as incontinence procedures, labia minora reduction, perineoplasty, G spot injection, and other vaginal tightening procedures.
As a urogynecologist, Dr. Tahery has years of experience treating women with functional and cosmetic issues of the female organs. We look forward to answering any questions you may have and recommend treatment options that meet your needs.