Are you thinking of undergoing labiaplasty or another form of vaginal rejuvenation here in Boston? You’re certainly not alone! Although labiaplasty recovery is a sensitive topic, I want to make sure my feminine rejuvenation patients are well-prepared. In this blog post, I want to start a candid conversation about what recuperation after labiaplasty is really like. Let’s explore everything you’ve wanted to know, but were afraid to ask, about the days and weeks following labiaplasty.
After Surgery: What’s Normal, What’s Not
The labiaplasty healing process creates some naturally occurring, anticipated physical symptoms. But some sensations shouldn’t be overlooked.
Swelling: This occurs when your body sends its resources to an injured area to facilitate the healing process. Swelling and inflammation in the immediate days after surgery are normal. You may find relief from these symptoms with a cold compress (do not apply ice directly to your skin). Swelling that persists or is accompanied by warmth or drainage from your incisions should be evaluated by your surgeon.
Spotting: Most women have experienced “spotting” at some point in their lives, typically caused by hormonal fluctuations. However, the spotting that occurs after labiaplasty isn’t really spotting at all–it’s blood resulting from your incisions. A little bit is normal, but excessive or continuous bleeding isn’t.
Discharge: In the same vein as spotting, some discharge is common after vaginal rejuvenation surgery and comes from your incisions–not your vagina. Pay attention to the amount, color, and odor. If it’s excessive or foul-smelling, see your surgeon.
Discomfort: “Discomfort” is such a general term that it can be difficult to determine what’s normal. After labiaplasty, soreness and tenderness are to be expected. However, these symptoms are relatively short-lived. Many women find that over-the-counter pain medications help to keep them comfortable. If your pain is intense or doesn’t respond to medication, it’s time to call your surgeon’s office.
Labiaplasty isn’t as invasive as other surgeries, and most women return to work within 2 to 4 days after the procedure. But you’ll still have some restrictions on activities. You can expect to shower the day after surgery, but avoid baths or otherwise submerging the area for a couple of weeks. Although it can be difficult, it’s imperative to abstain from sex for at least 6 weeks after surgery–this includes masturbation and non-penetrative sexual activity. Although most women can comfortably sit and stand within the first few days after surgery, I advise that you avoid strenuous activity for at least 4 weeks.
If you start your period during the recuperation process, use pads instead of tampons or a menstrual cup. Be sure to wear loose-fitting clothing and undergarments to reduce friction and allow the area to heal undisturbed. Finally, stay away from waxing or shaving while you heal. Although hair removal is typically limited to the vulva, not the labia minora, it’s not worth the risk of additional injury or irritation while you heal. Be sure to ask your surgeon if you have any other questions about recovery after a vaginal rejuvenation procedure.
Still curious? Visit my gallery of before-and-after labiaplasty photos to visualize what’s possible.