Labiaplasty Methods: Trim or Wedge, Which is Better?

Illustration of a female figure with a heart over the vaginal area.

If you have concerns about the size of your labia (specifically the labia minora or inner lips), you are not alone.

Many women are unhappy with the appearance of their labia or experience some level of discomfort due to their size.

3 Common Problems Caused by an Enlarged Labia

Large or asymmetrical labia can be caused by genetics, pregnancy, childbirth, or aging and can lead to the following issues:

  • Discomfort during exercise and sexual intercourse
  • Embarrassment when wearing tight-fitting clothing
  • Self-consciousness during intimate encounters

Two Ways to Reduce the Size of Your Labia

While modern labiaplasty procedures only began gaining momentum in the mid-1980s, similar techniques have been performed for hundreds of years.

Today, labiaplasty is used to reshape and reduce the size of the labia and is usually performed in one of two ways:

  • The trim method
  • The wedge technique

Both of these approaches are designed to reduce the size of the vagina’s inner lips and produce smaller, smoother, more symmetrical labia, improving its appearance and restoring comfort.

The Trim Method

The trim method is the older approach and is still commonly used in labiaplasty. This technique involves trimming off the edges of the labia minora (inner vaginal lips) to prevent them from protruding past the labia majora (outer vaginal lips) when standing.

While this method effectively removes the darkest part of the labia, it often results in too little or too much tissue being removed, asymmetry, distortion, and scallops.

It also tends to result in long, wide, unsightly, and often painful scars.

Surgeons not specializing in labiaplasty tend to use this approach, with most botched labiaplasties being performed with the trim method.

The Wedge Labiaplasty Technique

Dr. Gary Alter developed the central wedge technique in 1995 to help avoid the unnatural and asymmetrical appearance that often resulted from the trim method.

When a highly skilled and experienced surgeon performs the wedge technique, complications are far less frequent than with the trim method.

Instead of trimming the outer edge of the labia, the surgeon creates a V-shaped "wedge" on both sides of the labia, removes this tissue, and sutures the new edges together.

The wedge technique does not remove all the dark labial tissue along the border but usually removes the darkest tissue. However, keeping the labial edges maintains a more natural look.

Which Labiaplasty Technique Is Right for You?

Having your labiaplasty procedure performed by a specialist is in your best interest, whichever method is used. The labiaplasty specialist can explain the benefits and drawbacks of both techniques and how successful each would be in your specific case.

While the trim method is simpler and more widely available, it comes with a greater risk of complications and the possible need for labiaplasty revision surgery, especially if you didn’t have your initial surgery performed by a specialist.

During your consultation, clearly explain all your vaginal concerns so your specialist can create the appropriate surgical treatment plan to help you achieve the desired results.

When Your Labiaplasty is Botched

If you are dissatisfied with your surgical results, you can opt for revision labiaplasty — in this case, the need for a labia specialist like Dr. Alter cannot be understated.

Labiaplasty and Revision Specialist in Beverly Hills, CA

The creator of the wedge technique, Dr. Gary Alter, specializes in labiaplasty and labiaplasty revision in Beverly Hills, California, and is your best option to perform these procedures. Dr. Alter is currently accepting new patients and invites you to call his Beverly Hills office at (310) 275-5566 to learn more.

In the meantime, check out some frequently asked questions about labiaplasty and labiaplasty revision.