This review investigates the quality and content of published reports relating to labial surgery for well women. Electronic databases were searched for relevant articles between 1950 and April 2009. Forty articles were identified, 18 of which included patient data. The specification of the study design was unavailable in 15 of the 18 papers; the remaining three were retrospective reports. No prospective, randomised or controlled studies were found. All reports claimed high levels of patient satisfaction and contained anecdotes pertaining to success. Medically nonessential surgery to the labia minora is being promoted as an effective treatment for women's complaints, but no data on clinical effectiveness exist.