Four Questions Women Have About Recovery After Labiaplasty
A labiaplasty is a surgical procedure performed to help remove excess or outstretched labia minora tissue. This is normally an outpatient surgery that requires some downtime and healing. Many women wonder what this procedure actually entails, so we’ve answered some of the most common questions about the surgery and recovery process.
Will It Hurt?
Labiaplasty is typically performed with local anesthesia, but once it wears off after surgery, you may feel discomfort at the surgical site. Swelling, tenderness, and soreness are normal side effects. The swelling usually peaks two to three days after surgery and then recedes in the next couple of weeks. Light bleeding and discharge from the incision area may occur and are part of the body’s natural healing process. If any of these side effects persist or get worse after the first week, contact your surgeon.
How Can I Help the Healing Process?
To help relieve post-operation discomfort, you can apply cooling pads indirectly to the surgical site and use over-the-counter pain medication. If your period occurs during the recovery process, use menstrual pads instead of tampons or a menstrual cup. Avoid immersing the surgical site in water by taking showers instead of baths for the first couple of weeks. If waxing or shaving is part of your normal grooming routine, hold off until you’ve recovered to avoid additional irritation.
When Can I Get Back to My Regular Routine?
Each procedure is different, but you should be able to return to work two to four days post-surgery. One of the best things you can do for your body after a procedure is to rest. Take it easy for the first week; intermittent sitting and standing are fine but avoid traveling or lifting heavy objects.
Do not exercise for one month (four weeks) after surgery and abstain from sexual activity for at least six weeks to make sure your labia heal properly.
Will There Be Scars?
Typically, labiaplasty procedures don’t involve much visible scarring, and the incision spots tend to blend in well against the labia’s wrinkles and folds. Scars will likely be unrecognizable as they soften and settle over the next several months. Since the sutures used in the procedure are typically dissolvable, you won’t have to undergo a post-operation removal that might affect the tissue’s appearance.
Like any cosmetic surgery, choosing to undergo labiaplasty can be a big decision. As a board-certified, female plastic surgeon, Elizabeth A. Kinsley, MD has provided women throughout the Northshore area with a personalized approach to plastic surgery for over 20 years. Schedule your consultation with Dr. Kinsley to see if you’re a good candidate for labiaplasty.