Christopher J. Davidson, MD
Fraser Medical Building
332 Washington Street, Suite 100
Wellesley, MA 02481
Phone: (781) 237-7700
Monday–Friday: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

What Is Labiaplasty Recovery Really Like?

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.

Activity Restrictions

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.

55 Responses to What Is Labiaplasty Recovery Really Like?

  • Elizabeth says:

    It has been almost a month this Friday since my labiaplasty. I haven’t within the last week had little to no pain. I have noticed two small sutures fall out . I have been seeing a little spotting when I lightly dab the area after using the restroom . Is this normal ? Also when I move sometimes I get a sharp pain and it feels like my stitches are going to pop out is this normal?

    • cjd-admin says:

      Thank you for your questions. Typically the sutures dissolve about 6-8 weeks post-operatively so it is fine that you still have some left. Also, some pains – sharp or otherwise – are perfectly normal at this point. Hang in there!!
      Dr. Christopher Davidson

  • Alicia says:

    Hi, I had labiaplasty on January 9 and am about to get my period within the next few days. I asked my doctor if I should better use tampons or pads and she told me to use tampons, so that the blood doesn’t run down the wounds. What do you think about this?

    • cjd-admin says:

      It is my opinion that pads are better for the first month postoperatively. Best of luck.
      – Dr. Christopher Davidson

  • Christiana says:

    Hello, i had my labiaplasty 2,5 weeks ago. The swelling is almost gone and it looks great but when i spread my
    Labia majora to see my labia minora it looks really botched. It looks like i have 4 labia minoras and some stitches are gone and i have an open wound (little holes). My doctor is on a vacation so i can’t see her.
    Is this normal? Should i be concerned or just let it heal.

    • cjd-admin says:

      Thanks for your comment/question. Sorry but I cannot be very helpful without seeing you for an in person physical exam. Feel free to call my office for an appointment if this would be helpful.
      Dr. Christopher Davidson

  • xaaraa says:

    hi i have done my procedure before a week
    but my sutures still bleed and 2 yellow pimple grow on sides these are not painful. i am worried
    is it normal please tell me

    • cjd-admin says:

      Thank you for your question. It is difficult for me to give you helpful advice without examining you and/or knowing more of your medical history. I would definitely suggest that you circle back to speak with your plastic surgeon. Best of luck.

    • cjd-admin says:

      Thank you for your question – the price of this procedure varies by surgeon, surgeon experience and qualification, place of surgery, and technique used. My advice would be to meet with a board certified plastic surgeon to discus the different options. Best of luck!

    • cjd-admin says:

      Thank you for your question – the price of this procedure varies by surgeon, surgeon experience and qualification, place of surgery, and technique used. My advice would be to meet with a board certified plastic surgeon to discus the different options. Best of luck!

  • Angie Centola says:

    I just had this surgery yesterday and I’m in severe pain when I use the bathroom to go pee. Like I’m about to pass out from how bad it hurts. Is there anything I can do to help this? I tried using a spray bottle, but it’s not really helping.

    • cjd-admin says:

      I am so sorry you are experiencing these symptoms. You should definitely check in with your plastic surgeon. In the meantime I would definitely consider alleviating the pain with some ice. Best of luck.

  • Ronda Parker says:

    I had labiaplasty and vaginaplasty 13 days ago . Some of my stitches came undone and I have a smalll open wound. I started my menstrual cycle last night . Will my menstrual cycle make my wound worse since it will stay wet ? How can I speed up the revovery ? Please help me

    • cjd-admin says:

      So sorry to hear about your difficulties. I would definitely check back in with your plastic surgeon so as to ensure that things do not open up more or get infected. Best of luck!

  • Isabel velazquez says:

    I have never had a surgery done in my life until a few hours ago when I had my labiaasty procedure. I’m in a lot of pain and am spotting. Is this normal?

    • cjd-admin says:

      Thank you for your question. Typically I use a long lasting local anesthetic that will keep you comfortable for at least 8 hours after your procedure. Probably best to check in with your plastic surgeon to double check that everything is as expected.

  • Chelsea says:

    Hi there. I had a labiaplasty a week and one day ago. I stopped bleeding a few days after surgery, but started up spotting again yesterday. Is this normal? I know it’s not my period and I’m not really in severe pain. Thank you!

    • cjd-admin says:

      Thanks for your note. It is hard to answer your question without an examination and more information. I would suggest that you follow up with your plastic surgeon as soon as feasible.
      Best regards.
      Dr. Christopher Davidson

  • Anyya says:

    I had this surgery to remove this small cyst like thing that was forming. I’m on day 5 and some white clumpy discharge has come out of nowhere from the wound. I’m confused on what’s going on and if that’s normal

    • cjd-admin says:

      Thank you for your question. These symptoms are not typical and as such I would recommend that you follow up with your surgeon.

  • Mary says:

    Hi I had labiaplasty revision 6 weeks ago due to a couple of holes being visible. I can still not use and vibrating toys around that area as the sensitivity is really tense. Everything looks great down there which is why im worried it doesn’t feel great. Is this normal for me to be so sensitive still? To the point if where it hurts if I put anything down there? I don’t remember being this bad the 1st time round not 6 weeks later I was told at the time I could return to sexual activities

    • cjd-admin says:

      Thank you for your question. It is difficult to answer your question without more information and an in person examination. I would therefore suggest that you follow up with your plastic surgeon to best address these issues and have your questions answered as best as possible. Best of luck.” – Dr. Christopher Davidson

  • Wendy says:

    Hi, I had a single side labiaplasty (wedge resection technique) 5 days ago. Though the stitches and swelling are very uncomfortable, it’s the non-stop burning that is most concerning. Pain meds and icing provide zero relief. I can barely sit. I called my plastic surgeon, who basically commented that every woman has different symptoms during their recovery, from little or no pain to moderate pain and complications. I do have a follow up appointment in a couple of days. I did not tell him this piece of info: that I have genital herpes (contracted over 30 years ago and mostly dormant). I am curious if the burning is related to the virus or nerve damage/surgical trauma. Any insight would be helpful. I can’t be the only patient who experiences this type of post-op discomfort and I’m sure I’m not the only patient with herpes virus. thank you.

    • cjd-admin says:

      Thank you for your note and I am very sorry to hear that you are experiencing these symptoms. It is important to consider the possibility of a Herpes activation when a patient reports a disproportionate amount of pain. Definitely worth checking in with your plastic surgeon and reminding him/her of this medical condition. Best of luck! – Dr. Christopher Davidson

  • Veronica says:

    I had my labiaplasty done 8 days ago and I have a lot of watery discharge. It soaks my underwear. It’s clear and sometimes yellow. Is this normal? There isn’t a bad smell.

    • cjd-admin says:

      Thanks for your question. So sorry to hear that you are experiencing these symptoms. I would definitely recommend that you contact your plastic surgeon to discuss what is going on and to confirm that everything is proceeding as expected. Wishing you the best of luck! – Dr. Christopher Davidson

  • Jo Dee says:

    I’m curious what the results were when your stitches cane out and the wound opened. I had surgery almost 2 weeks ago. 5 days in, I had a blood clot with swelling that completely opened one side back up and they had to restitch it. I am now 7 days out from that. Looks much better, but I am noticing some stitches are coming out and there’s holes/openings in between the stitches that are still there as if it’s not adhesed. My surgeon says this is normal and that everything is laying where it needs to be. I’m just so nervous to move around too much and everything come apart again.

    • cjd-admin says:

      Thank you for your question. Truthfully, in my experience, it is rather unusual for patients to experience wound healing issues/problems after this operation. That being said, if you have concerns, definitely circle back to your plastic surgeon to ensure that everything is healing according to the expected norms. Best of luck! – Dr. Christopher Davidson

  • Catie says:

    I am going on week 4 since my procedure. My body heals faster than the average and I was able to have intercourse with my husband within days after giving birth to my children. That being said I did cave and had intercourse before my 6-week doctor’s visit. What are some of the outcomes that could come of this? So far everything seems to be normal. There was no stitches lost and no incisions reopening. There was no swelling and everything seems fine. Should I be worried?

    • cjd-admin says:

      Thank you for your question. My advice would be to simply suggest that you follow your surgeon’s suggestions and restrictions regarding post-operative care. – Dr. Christopher Davidson

  • Brynna says:

    I just had my labiaplasty performed (wedge technique) 4 days ago, and I woke up this morning with what appears to be a tear with blood, sort of like an open wound. Is this normal? I haven’t done any activities since my surgery, so I don’t know what I could have done to cause this.

    • cjd-admin says:

      Thank you for your question and I am so sorry that you are experiencing these symptoms. I would suggest that you get in touch with your plastic surgeon for an in person exam to determine whether there are any items of concern. – Dr. Christopher Davidson

  • Sandy says:

    I had a labiaplasty almost 2 months ago with a minor clitoral good reduction and sexual intercourse is no longer enjoyable and still hurts a bit. Is it too soon to believe nerve damage is to blame ? I’m worried as my plastic surgeon said sensation should/will return but it could take up to a year.

    • cjd-admin says:

      I am sorry that you are experiencing these symptoms but probably best to revisit your plastic surgeon for an exam and additional discussion. Best of luck. – Dr. Christopher Davidson

  • Maria says:

    I am at about 3.5 weeks post-op & have had an easy time recovering & am already seeing some stitches loose, do you think that is alright? I haven’t been experiencing abnormal pain when/since they came out.

    • cjd-admin says:

      Hard to best advise you. I would suggest that you contact your plastic surgeon for further guidance. – Dr. Christopher Davidson

  • daniela medina says:

    Hi, I had a labiaplasty and clitoral hood reduction 14 days ago and wanted to know how long until swelling goes down completely? Is it possible for one side to swell way more than the other? If its hard does that mean it’s swollen?

    • cjd-admin says:

      Swelling and asymmetry are very common for at least 6-8 weeks post op. In fact – it should be expected. Definitely check in with your plastic surgeon but I suspect that everything will be just fine! Best of luck!! – Dr. Christopher Davidson

  • Thamires says:

    I had the same problem , its been 9 days P/O and some stiches is gone with holes as well And light bleeding. When i take a shower it burns i had to put those ice pack to numb a lil so i could finish my shower…its very delicate unfortunately i am back on antibiotic again my doctor prescribed 2 types and 1 for pain… now im just letting heal and not using underware , with dress 24/7 , but no sign of infection ! Now just wait ;(

    • cjd-admin says:

      Thanks for your posting. It is a little unusual to have so much pain and sensitivity 9 days post-operatively. That said, if you are on a new antibiotic it sounds like you are being closely followed by your doctor. Definitely check in with him/her regularly.

  • FR says:

    Hello, I had a labiaplasty 12 days ago. On the 9th day, I had (and still have) the worst unbearable burning sensation when I went to the toilet and I realized that what seems like 3 or 4 stitches opened and I now have a wound. I called the doctor, but they gave me an appointment in tow more days qnd only because I insisted. They told me on the phone that there was nothing to be done, but just wait for the wound to close.
    Shouldn’t they close the wound with stitches again? Also isn’t it too long of a wait?
    Thank you!

    • cjd-admin says:

      Thanks for your posting. I am so sorry that you are experiencing these symptoms!
      Although one does not typically “re-close” an incision that has opened up after a labiaplasty, that said, non-healing wounds are relatively uncommon in labiaplasty surgery (especially if the shave/trim technique is used). My personal preference is to see a patient having issues as soon as feasible. Perhaps you might consider asking your physician if you could send a photo? Best of luck.

  • Gtb says:

    I had labiaplasty 3 days ago. I think I’m healing well and haven’t had too much swelling, but the entire lower left side of my labia is dark purple. There are also dark purple spots scattered around the right side. Are these bruises? Should I be worried that it’s one entire side?

    • cjd-admin says:

      Thanks for your note. It is difficult to answer your question virtually. That said, it is a very important question and as such I would suggest that you reach out to your plastic surgeon for an in person examination. Best regards! – Dr. Christopher Davidson

  • Kobie says:

    Hallo, I had my Labia pasty surgery 3days ago, the first two day almost no pain. But on the fourth day. I strugle to walk, because off the pain. I did put ice on since the first day. On the one side I notice black purple and red swelling and it is hard. Should I worry about this.

    • cjd-admin says:

      It is not typical to start to have significant pain after four days. And the redness is a bit concerning as well. I would definitely check in with your plastic surgeon ASAP. – Dr. Christopher Davidson

  • Anonymous says:

    I had a labiaplasty two weeks ago and a few days ago my stitches loosened and the wound is opened considerably. My surgeon gave me antibiotics but did not restitch. Will this effect my healing process? The skin that was meant to fuse together is no longer touching and I’m scared.

    • cjd-admin says:

      So sorry to hear of your experience. Not only can it be a bit unsightly when this complication happens I suspect that you are in more pain now. I anticipate that once everything heals your surgeon will need to revise or redo your labiaplasty to improve upon the appearance. That said, I remain hopeful that all will be good in the long run! – Dr. Chrstopher Davidson

  • Kaytee says:

    Had labiaplasty 5 days ago and everything seems to be fine and little to no pain but as of last night the itchyness has been unbearable. Is there anything I can do to relive the itchyness as I am unable to scratch the itch. I was given canestan to use straight from surgery and antibiotics and constantly using ice. I was wondering if this is normal or anything I could do

    • cjd-admin says:

      Thanks for your question. One thing that you might ask your doctor about is whether there is a chance that you have a yeast infection. It is relatively common to get a yeast infection post-operatively, especially in the context of having taken peri-operative antibiotics. Best of luck! – Dr. Christopher Davidson

    • cjd-admin says:

      Thank you for reaching out. It is hard to best advise you since I do not know what kind of sutures were placed. If there are many of them, and a single one came out, that is probably fine. But, there are circumstances where the opposite would be true. Best to touch base with your plastic surgeon. Best of luck. – Dr. Christopher Davidson

  • Amy_Haych says:

    Hello,
    I had Labiaplasty on Friday last week, I didn’t have hardly any pain the first 3 days, but yesterday the pain started and today pain is much worse if anything touches the area, it also looks horribly swollen and lumpy. I’m taking antibiotics, so worried why my symptoms are getting worse instead of better?

    • cjd-admin says:

      Thank you very much for your note. I do appreciate that your symptoms are concerning and should definitely be addressed as soon as possible. My advice would be to reach out to your plastic surgeon ASAP so that she/he can have an opportunity to examine you and see if there is anything that can or needs to be done to palliate your symptoms.

      With best regards,
      Christopher Davidson

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