What to Expect After Labiaplasty
- Posted on: Jun 13 2019
Recent trends have brought labiaplasty and vaginal rejuvenation into the spotlight. More women than ever are asking their doctors about changing the appearance of their vagina. The vulva of each woman is unique, but if your labia make you feel embarrassed or cause discomfort, then a labiaplasty may bring some relief and make you feel more confident. If you think that a labiaplasty is right for you, Dr. Orna Fisher and her team at Elite Transformations can answer some of your biggest questions about what to expect after your surgery.
What is Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure meant to improve the appearance of the female genitalia by reducing the labia majora or minora, the lips that surround the vagina. This is often done for cosmetic reasons but sometimes the labia are too large or uneven and the excess skin can cause undesired complications. Some of the issues a labiaplasty can address include:
- Pain during intercourse and physical activity
- Hygiene concerns
- Difficulty using tampons Irritation or chafing
- Feeling self-conscious
- Decreased sexual sensitivity
For many women, labiaplasty can alleviate these symptoms, resulting in more confidence, less discomfort and improved intimacy.
What can I Expect?
Dr. Fisher will use general anesthesia or sedation to help you feel more comfortable during the procedure. The surgery will last at least two hours, but procedure time may vary, especially if it involves a clitoral hood reduction or other vaginal rejuvenation treatments. Dr. Fisher uses a more detailed approach than many other cosmetic surgeons to reduce the risk of complications and ensure that your labiaplasty produces the best aesthetic outcome.
Immediately after your surgery, you may experience some pain and swelling as your anesthesia wears off. A labiaplasty is done by trimming or removing the excess skin, so bruising, swelling and soreness are completely normal but temporary results of surgery. Dissolving stitches are used so there won’t be any sutures that need to be removed. Once the anesthetic wears off, patients are advised to apply ice packs to the area to help with swelling. Dr. Fisher will provide an antibiotic cream to reduce the risk of infection and may prescribe medications to manage pain and discomfort.
What is Recovery Like?
During the first few days, pain and swelling will likely worsen before you start to see an improvement. It can take up to a week for the swelling to subside, but this depends on how your body recovers. Some other things you should be prepared for during recovery include:
- Blood-tinged drainage or discharge
- Pain or discomfort
- Difficulty urinating
Although some of these symptoms may sound alarming, they are all completely normal and can be managed with pain medications, ointments, creams and proper cleansing. Many of these side effects, such as difficulty urinating and discomfort, are the result of swelling and should subside as your labia heal. Most women are able to return to work after about four days, but the use of tampons and strenuous activity or intercourse should still be avoided for up to six weeks. Dr. Fisher will provide you with aftercare instructions to help encourage a smooth, healthy recovery.
How can I aid my Recovery?
After your surgery you will be provided with post-operative instructions that should be strictly followed; Dr. Fisher has extensive experience with labiaplasty and can help make your recovery as pleasant as possible. As a woman, she can also provide additional tips and insight to improve recovery and minimize risks.
- Wear Loose, Breathable Clothing — Your labia will be more prone to irritation and friction while healing, especially from clothing that is too tight. While recovering, it’s recommended that you wear loose, breathable clothing and fabrics to prevent unnecessary rubbing and reduce discomfort.
- Stay Fresh — Keeping the area clean is essential to minimizing your risk of infection and other complications. Your surgeon will advise you on how to cleanse your vulva after the procedure and may provide you with antibiotics, creams and ointments.
- Invest in a Sitz Bath — A sitz bath is a technique for cleaning the genitals using warm water, often sold in kits that comfortably fit over the seat of the toilet. Your genitals are submerged in a small, tub-like container that gently cleanses the area, relieving minor irritation, itchiness and inflammation. A sitz bath also increases blood flow to the area and helps remove any discharge, dried blood or dead skin that may be present, promoting quicker healing and reducing the risk of infection.
- Try Irrigation — Another method for keeping the area clean and minimizing irritation is to avoid the use of toilet paper. How does forgoing toilet paper after using the bathroom help keep me clean, you ask? Instead of wiping, use a squeezable water bottle or sprayer to irrigate the area with warm water and pat dry with baby wipes or a clean towel. Do this after every trip to the bathroom; the gentle irrigation is much easier on the incisions and better at removing any discharge.
- Avoid Intercourse — It’s very important that you avoid sexual activity while healing, as it can lead to painful tugging and pulling that results in injury, causing pain and increasing the risk of infection. Most patients are allowed to resume intercourse six weeks after surgery, but this may differ depending on your progress during recovery. You should also avoid tampons until directed by your surgeon.
- Use a Donut Pillow — Although most patients are able to return to work four to seven days after their labiaplasty, if your job involves sitting for long hours, then the use of a donut pillow is highly recommended. A donut pillow will help keep pressure off the surgical site and make sitting more comfortable.
Some women have also reported that the use of supplements such as arnica or bromelain can help ease labiaplasty recovery, but you should consult with Dr. Fisher beforehand to make sure they are safe. Perhaps most importantly, get plenty of rest and take it easy. Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure and your body needs time to heal. Don’t force it, and if you notice any new or worsening symptoms contact your surgeon right away.
For many women, discussing labiaplasty can be an awkward, uncomfortable experience. Dr. Fisher and her team at Elite Transformations work hard to create an open, relaxing environment that you can feel comfortable in. Dr. Fisher is a caring and understanding board-certified surgeon that takes the time to get to know her patients. She is involved in every step of the procedure, from consultation to recovery. She won’t overpromise results or recommend unnecessary procedures, and patients leave Elite Transformations feeling confident, knowledgeable and excited to proceed. We look forward to doing the same for you and helping you achieve the best possible outcome from your aesthetic surgery! If you have any questions or concerns regarding your labiaplasty or want more information, you are encouraged to contact Elite Transformations today!