The labiaplasty procedure reduces the size of the inner and/or outer folds of skin surrounding the vaginal opening (the labia minor and the labia major). You may decide to undergo the procedure to improve the appearance, comfort or function of the labia. There are a number of steps you can take to adjust to the large temporary and small permanent changes to your lifestyle.
Lifestyle Changes during Your Recovery
Depending on the extent of your labiaplasty procedure, you may experience a number of large changes to your lifestyle for a period of between two and eight weeks. If the surgery was minor, you may be back to most normal activity after two weeks, but most labia surgery requires a number of large changes to your lifestyle for a period of six to eight weeks.
During this recovery period, changes to your lifestyle may include:
- No sexual activity
- No use of tampons
- No insertion of anything into the vagina except estrogen cream (if prescribed)
- Taking sitz baths up to twice a day for a few days instead of bathing
- No excessive bending, heavy lifting, swimming or rigorous physical activity
- Staying home from work for a period of two days to a week after surgery
- Avoiding wearing tight-fitting underwear or pants for a few weeks
Maintenance during Your Recovery
During your recovery, you will be required to clean your vaginal area as the tissue heals. As well as taking sitz baths, you may need to wear sanitary pads or maxi pads in order to absorb excess blood and discharge. You should gently wipe the area of any white film that accumulates several times a day.
Lifestyle Changes in the Long Term
If the labiaplasty surgery goes well, you can expect little lifestyle changes in the long term. If you had excess labia tissue removed because of discomfort, you should feel more comfortable without the long labia getting pinched when wearing tight clothing or when engaging in physical activity. If you had the labia removed because it impeded in the function of the vaginal area, you should experience less pain and discomfort and perhaps more sexual arousal during orgasm.
Maintenance in the Long Term
Post-labiaplasty maintenance in the long term may include instructions to complete daily vaginal stretching exercises in order to increase the flexibility of the new tissue. However, you may not be able to begin these exercises until six to eight weeks after the procedure in order to give the tissue time to heal. You may still experience odd-colored discharge and odor even as many as eight weeks after the procedure; this is normal. However, if you have a fever or the vaginal area still seems excessively swollen, red or painful, you may have an infection.
If you experience discomfort or pain in the long term after your labiaplasty procedure, you should discuss your symptoms with your cosmetic surgeon. You may require additional surgery, as is the case in a minority of labia surgeries.