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A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia [Internet]. Atlanta (GA): A.D.A.M.; 2013.

A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia.


Last reviewed: August 11, 2013.

The vulva is the external female genitalia. It includes the "lips" or folds of skin (labia), clitoris, and the openings to the urethra and vagina.


  1. Katz VL. Reproductive anatomy: Gross and microscopic, clinical correlations. In: Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, Katz VL. eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2012:chap 3.

Review Date: 8/11/2013.

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  • Comparison of surgical procedures for women diagnosed with precancerous changes of the vulva (high‐grade vulval intraepithelial neoplasia)Comparison of surgical procedures for women diagnosed with precancerous changes of the vulva (high‐grade vulval intraepithelial neoplasia)
    Vulval intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN) is regarded as a precancerous condition of the skin of the vulva that may further develop into vulval cancer. The condition is usually treated by surgery. The various surgical techniques currently available are either ablative (where the lesion is removed by destruction of tissue using an energy source) or excisional (the lesion is simply 'cut out'); sometimes a combination of the two may be used. There is currently no consensus as to which surgical technique is the most effective and safe. The treatment options available to the individual with VIN are currently based on the preference of the treating physician and his/her skills, and these vary both nationally and internationally. Because there is a high risk of the condition recurring after surgery, multiple treatments may be required. Hence, various conservative surgical and medical modalities of treatment are currently being explored.
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