Ultimate Guide to Recovery after Labiaplasty Surgery
Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure that can help improve cosmetic and health concerns in the vaginal area. It involves reshaping and resizing the labia to improve contour while reducing any discomfort you might have. The procedure can reduce any pain you might be experiencing while having intercourse, wearing tight clothes or exercising. This article covers Recovery after Labiaplasty and contains helpful tips from Dr Carmen – A Female Specialist Plastic Surgeon in Melbourne
Is a Labiaplasty Right for me?
It is an important question to ask yourself. Being in good physical health is vital for you to qualify for the procedure. Your skin needs to have good elasticity. If your labia is causing discomfort, Labiaplasty can be the right procedure for you. You may be eligible for a Medicare subsidy for a Labiaplasty if you meet the specific conditions. The only way to know for sure whether it is the procedure for you or not is by visiting a plastic surgeon.
Recovery Timeline after Labiaplasty
Like any other surgery, Labiaplasty also comes with a recovery period. It involves taking plenty of rest, avoiding activity, and taking care of your incisions. It is important to be aware of the recovery timeline prior to getting into the surgery so you can make adequate arrangements.
You will be allowed to go home immediately after the surgery. Your surgeon will prescribe you a handful of painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications to take after Labiaplasty. Make sure you arrange for someone to drive you home in advance.
By day two and three, your bleeding will completely subside. You can use a cold compress to ease away the discomfort. The cold compress also helps with swelling and ease skin inflammation.
You can start walking lightly around your house. Your vagina will start to look fairly normal again. Continue with the medication and cold therapy to prevent infections and reduce swelling.
You will most likely go up on a follow-up appointment. If you have any removable stitches, they will be removed at this point. Your healing will speed up from this point onward.
Continue with the light walking and keep taking on medications that are given by your surgeon. You can skip on the cold compress as your swelling will significantly go down.
You will be able to sit comfortably and move around the house with ease. You will feel a lot less sensitive and tender. You can start with some other less strenuous exercises.
You can resume all your day to day activities. You can start with your exercise routine. But make sure to confirm with your surgeon.
What Should I Do Before the Labiaplasty?
Pre-surgery planning is an important part of how your recovery will go. Here is what you need to do before labiaplasty surgery:
- First things first, take two weeks off from work so that you can take adequate rest, which is critical to a healthy recovery.
- Avoid taking any blood-thinning medications and herbal supplements a week before the surgery. If you take any medications regularly, it is advised to consult with your surgeon. Vitamin C, weight loss supplements are a big NO.
- Quit smoking for a few weeks before the surgery. It is important as smoking hinders healing.
- The same goes for alcohol; avoid consuming alcohol for at least a month before the surgery.
- Arrange for someone to drive you home after the surgery. If possible, ask a family member or a friend to help you around the house so you can rest.
- If you don’t own any loose, breathable pants, it’s time to get your hands on some. Go shopping now.
- Get all the tests required by your surgeon in advance, so you are not rushing a few days prior to the surgery.
- Buy absorbable pads, ice packs and any additional things you might need after the surgery during a recovery phase.
- Do not eat or drink anything 10 to 12 hours before the surgery.
- Get some rest the night before the surgery so you can wake up refreshed and calm on the day of the surgery.
- If you have any questions and confusions regarding the surgery, clear them out in advance. Before the Labiaplasty, you need to be clear on every aspect of the surgery, including the recovery.
Getting Through the Discomfort Post Labiaplasty
It is common to experience slight pain and discomfort after any surgical procedure, including Labiaplasty. The discomfort will be most prominent in week one. Some women experience itching down there, combined with discomfort.
- It is important to stick to all the medications if you want a pain free recovery.
- Do not wear any tight clothing. Get your hands on some loose, comfortable and breathable trousers.
- Keep the area elevated while resting. Get your hands on a doughnut pillow as it takes off the pressure while sitting and laying down.
- Cold compress is your best friend when it comes to countering pain and swelling. It restricts blood flow and reduces inflammation significantly.
- Avoid any kind of penetration until your surgeon gives you a go. It also means avoiding tampons till you are completely healed.
- Avoiding wiping away with tissue after using the restroom. Use warm water instead. Minimise unnecessary touching wherever you can.
Tips that will Help You Recover Faster Post-Labiaplasty
Now that you have a clear understanding of how week by week recovery will look like, how to manage the pain, let’s get to some actual tips that will help your body heal faster:
1. Adequate Rest
The reason most people are asked to take two weeks off from work is that they need rest post-surgery. It is hands down the most important thing that will help you heal effectively. Sleep 8 hours a day and rest as much as you possibly can throughout the day. If possible, get someone to help you around the house for the first two weeks, so you don’t have to worry about house chores.
2. Eat Healthy – Nutrition Counts
The next most important thing after adequate rest is what you put into your body. It is important to eat healthily, avoid junk and drink loads and loads of water. Stick to fibre rich foods. Eat plenty of fruits, veggies and healthy proteins, along with keeping your body hydrated.
3. Do Not Smoke or Drink
Alcohol and Cigarettes can slow down the recovery process, can cause bruising and will result in an uncomfortable recovery. Stay clear of smoking and drinking for four to six weeks before and after the surgery.
4. Keep an Eye Out for Any Infections
Moisture can cause bacteria to build up, which can lead to infections. Keep your wounds clean and dry at all times. It includes changing your dressing as needed, looking for signs of infection, blood and pus. You can also wear an absorbent pad to keep the area clean and dry.
5. Garments – The Right Clothes Matter
Before you even enter the hospital for surgery. Buy some easy, breezy, loose pair of trousers that you can wear during the recovery phase. Choose materials that are breathable and won’t cling to your skin. You won’t be able to wear tight-fitting clothes for quite a while, so make sure to do any shopping in advance.
6. Avoid Constipation
When you are stitched down there, constipation is certainly your worst enemy. Eat plenty of fibre-rich foods, drink loads of water and take over the counter laxatives if needed (after consulting with your surgeon). It will help you avoid any pain and straining after surgery.
7. Skip having a Bath
Remember us talking about keeping the area clean and dry? You have to skip baths as it can increase the chance of getting infections. Stick to shower for the first four weeks post-surgery. As we are on the subject baths, avoid saunas and swimming pools as well till you are fully healed.
8. Take Your Medication and Attend Follow Up Appointments
Never ever skip on follow up appointments. They are as important as the surgery itself. During these appointments, your surgeon ensures that you are healing properly and there are no complications. Also, take all your painkillers and antibiotics on time.
9. Light Walking Helps
After one week, it is important to walk lightly around the house to reduce the chances of getting blood clots. If you feel any pain and discomfort, take a rest and resume it at a later time.
Dr Carmen can give you a lubricant to use after the surgery. It will keep the sutures moist and avoid itching and scab formation. Make sure your hands are clean prior to applying the lubricant.
FAQs People also ask
How painful is labiaplasty recovery?
- Labiaplasty is not considered to be a very painful procedure. It is common to have some swelling, redness and discomfort post-surgery, but it is all very bearable. Moreover, your surgeon will also give you pain killers to counter the pain.
How long does it take to heal after Labiaplasty?
- It will take you around six weeks to recover completely after labiaplasty surgery.
How can I recover faster from Labiaplasty?
- Here are a few tips that will help you recover faster from a labiaplasty:
- Take plenty of rest.
- Take all your prescribed medications on time.
- Do not skip follow up appointments.
- Avoid smoking and drinking for at least six weeks after the surgery.
- Avoid strenuous activities, including exercising.
- Use a lubricant to keep your sutures moist.
- Avoid swimming pools, baths and saunas.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
- Change your dressings on time.
- Lightly walk around the house.
Will I lose feeling if I have a labiaplasty?
- No, you will not lose feeling after Labiaplasty. Once you are fully healed, your sensitivity levels will return to normal.
Can you be awake during Labiaplasty?
- Yes, if the surgery is done under local anaesthesia, you will remain awake during the surgery.
How long after Labiaplasty can you wear jeans?
- You can wear jeans about six to eight weeks after the surgery.
How long does it take for labiaplasty stitches to dissolve?
- Stitches will be gone by week three and four.
What are the different kinds of labiaplasty techniques?
- Following are the two types of labiaplasty techniques: The wedge technique and the edge technique.
- Wedge Technique: This technique causes the least amount of scar tissue and removes the v-shaped wedge.
- Edge Technique: This technique removes the outer edge of the inner labia, making it shorter than the outer labia.
Will my scars be noticeable?
- No, scars from Labiaplasty are barely noticeable after the surgery.
Are there any possible complications after Labiaplasty?
- If you don’t follow the post-operative instructions properly, complications can occur. Some common complications include infections, separation of the suture line, and bleeding. If any of these occur, immediately contact your surgeon.
When can I return to work after Labiaplasty?
- Most people can return to work one to two weeks after the surgery. However, if your job is physically demanding, it is important to consult with your surgeon whether it’s ok to resume working or not.
How long will labiaplasty surgery take?
- It takes around 1 to 1.5 hours to do the surgery.
When can I have sex after Labiaplasty?
- It is advised to wait for six weeks before having sex. It gives your body enough time to heal, and your sutures will be fully dissolved by then.
When can I use tampons after the surgery?
- You can use tampons four weeks after the surgery; till then, stick to pads and panty liners.