Many women have found vaginal rejuvenation to be of great help in restoring sexual sensation after childbirth. Vaginal rejuvenation surgery helps tighten the opening to the vagina as well as the vagina itself, repairing looseness that often occurs due to stretching and damage that occurs during childbirth. Vaginal rejuvenation can also include labiaplasty, in which the outer lips of the vulva are reshaped using lasers or through standard surgical techniques.
Vaginal rejuvenation is a major surgical procedure. Because of its invasive nature, certain risks and complications are possible. These risks and complications are somewhat lessened if your vaginal rejuvenation procedure has been performed with lasers rather than with traditional surgical techniques.
Short-Term Risks and Side Effects
Many risks and possible side effects of surgery occur in the recovery period immediately after the surgery has been performed. These include:
- Loss of sensation
Except for infection, these side effects are fairly normal. Redness, swelling and bruising should diminish as the healing process proceeds, but if any redness or swelling persists, is more serious than it should be, or occurs suddenly after a period of absence, report this to your doctor immediately.
Excessive post-surgical bleeding or stitches that have pulled free before they are ready to be removed can also cause problems, and should be reported to the doctor. Signs of infection, including excessive redness or tenderness at the incision site, fever or unusual discharge from the incisions, should also be immediately brought to your doctor's attention.
Loss of sensation at the surgery site is also fairly common, and usually resolves itself within a few months, when normal sensation returns.
Long-Term Risks and Complications
In rare cases, long-term complications may occur after vaginal rejuvenation. Again, many of these complications can occur with any major surgery. Among the long-term complications that sometimes occur after vaginal rejuvenation are:
- Long-term or permanent loss of sensation
- Uncomfortable or painful intercourse
- Dissatisfaction with the results of the surgery
- Serious infection or tissue necrosis
Loss of sensation is relatively rare, and usually only occurs at the sites of the incision. If the surgery has made your vagina too tight or the opening too small, uncomfortable intercourse could result.
Perhaps the most common long-term complication of vaginal rejuvenation is dissatisfaction with the results. This is common with most cosmetic surgery procedures, and can be addressed through revision surgery. Be sure to communicate your goals for the surgery to your cosmetic surgeon during your pre-surgery consultations. The more thorough and honest your communication is with your doctor before surgery, the more likely he is to provide you with the results you desire.
Serious infection can be avoided by closely following post-operative instructions and using the full course of antibiotics provided by your doctor. Post-surgery hygiene is also important in preventing infection. Tissue necrosis, though it is extremely serious, is rare. This condition, in which tissue dies and must be amputated, is more common among smokers. Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen that is delivered to body tissues, making it more difficult for a smoker to heal effectively after surgery. Surgeons recommend smoking cessation at least two weeks before major surgery of any kind.