Recovery after Labiaplasty

The labiaplasty procedure can correct the appearance, function and/or comfort of the labia minor and/or the labia major by reducing labia of excessive size. The labia minor, the inner folds of skin surrounding the vaginal opening, is the usual target of the procedure, but the labia major, the outer folds of skin, may also be reduced in appearance. After the procedure, you will need to practice a few instructions for a safe and successful recovery.

Immediately after the Procedure

The labiaplasty is usually an outpatient procedure, so you should be able to return home the same day. Your cosmetic surgeon may keep you in the hospital or clinic for a few hours after the procedure, especially if you were put under general anesthesia, to ensure your safe reaction to the procedure. However, if your procedure was minimal, you may be able to leave after less than an hour.

You may remain numb in the area after the procedure for a period of around two hours if you received local anesthetic. After the anesthetic wears off, you will experience some pain and discomfort. You will be started on a regimen of pain pills to reduce your discomfort and antibiotics in order to reduce your chance of infection.

The First 48 Hours

The first two days after your labiaplasty, you should rest at home. You should continue taking your pain medication and antibiotics and can use an anesthetic spray to numb the area a couple of times per day. You can wear a maxi pad or sanitary napkin in order to absorb fluids and small amounts of blood that may appear after the procedure. Do not wear tight underwear or pants; wear loose underwear, including male boxers, skirts or loose-fitting pants.

You should clean the area by taking sitz baths once or twice a day. Do not rub the area excessively. You can dab the area with a wipe several times a day in order to clean off any discharge. You may also apply an ice pack to reduce swelling.

Two to Four Weeks after the Procedure

You will continue to be sore for at least a week after the procedure. You may be able to return to work a couple of days after the procedure if the work doesn't require physical labor, although some surgeons recommend that you take a week off from work. You should avoid heavy lifting, swimming and physical activity that involves excessive bending.

Avoid sexual intercourse and using tampons or any other items (besides potentially estrogen cream given to you by your surgeon) in your vagina, unless your surgeon says you may return to regular activity earlier. (Some procedures allow this after two weeks.)

Six to Eight Weeks after the Procedure

Most labiaplasty patients can return to sexual activity, rigorous physical activity and using tampons sometime six to eight weeks after surgery. You may also be instructed to begin vaginal stretching exercises in order to make your new labia comfortable and flexible. You may still experience odd-colored discharge and odor.

Be sure to follow any additional instructions for your labiaplasty recovery that your cosmetic surgeon provides. If you suspect infection or have any excessive pain, be sure to see a doctor immediately.

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