Labiaplasty Recovery & Surgery Guide – What To Expect
A labiaplasty is a surgical procedure that changes the appearance of the labia minora or the labia majora. This can be done for health reasons. If your labia gets tucked into the vagina during intercourse, it can cause tears in the vulva. However, a labiaplasty is most often done for cosmetic purposes. Those unsatisfied with the appearance of their labia opt for the procedure to alter its length and overall look.
Any surgery done in a sensitive area comes with unique concerns about recovery. Those considering a labiaplasty often worry about pain and potential side effects. In most cases, recovery is mild and any discomfort is manageable with medication and self-care.
If you are considering a labiaplasty, we will break down what to expect during recovery below.
What Happens During A Labiaplasty?
A labiaplasty is an outpatient procedure, so you can go home shortly after surgery.
Patients either undergo a labia majora reduction or a labia minora reduction. There are two different techniques used for these procedures: the trim technique and the wedge technique.
During the trim technique, your surgeon removes excess skin from the outer edge of the labia to shorten its appearance. During the wedge technique, your surgeon cuts a v-shaped wedge out of the labia and then stitches the edges together.
How Long Does Labiaplasty Recovery Take?
The majority of patients can resume regular physical activity within 2 to 4 weeks and can engage in sexual intercourse after 6 weeks. Every patient is different, so always discuss your specific recovery timeline with your surgeon.
While the recovery process takes around 6 weeks, you may not see full results within this timeframe. Swelling may take a few months to subside, so do not get discouraged if you are initially unhappy with your results. You should see more significant changes with time.
Is Recovery Painful?
Mild pain and discomfort are common immediately after a labiaplasty, but your surgeon will go over post-operative instructions to help you manage these issues. Over-the-counter or prescription medications can help relieve pain after a labiaplasty.
Swelling and itching are also common. In most cases, this is not serious and should subside on its own within a week or two. Some over-the-counter creams and ointments may help with these issues, but always check with your surgeon first.
Some patients experience yeast infections after undergoing a labiaplasty, so make an appointment with your surgeon if swelling and itchiness does not subside or if your experience symptoms like discharge.
Can I Speed Up The Healing Process?
The best way to ensure a smooth and quick recovery is to follow all aftercare instructions closely. Staying off your feet and minimizing physical activity in the weeks following surgery can also promote healing.
Some patients find they can reduce swelling quicker by using cold compresses or witch hazel cooling pads. There is limited medical research on the effectiveness of such treatments, so always talk to your surgeon before attempting any home remedies.
Make sure to attend all follow-up appointments with your surgeon after your surgery. This way, any complications that could potentially lengthen the healing process can be treated promptly.
Will I Have Scars After Labiaplasty Recovery?
Scarring is possible after a labiaplasty, but lasting scars are rare and usually barely visible.
As resorbable stitches are typically used for a labiaplasty, scars should fade within four to six weeks. If you do have lingering scars, the labia’s natural wrinkles and folds make them difficult to see.
Are There Potential Complications?
Every procedure comes with some degree of risk, but a labiaplasty is one of the lower risk vaginal rejuvenation treatment options. While rare, complications can include:
- Decreased vulvar sensitivity
- Pain during sex
Follow-up treatment can often address these complications.
As the labia exists to protect the vaginal opening, some individuals experience more frequent infections after undergoing a labiaplasty.
To reduce your risk of complications, follow all instructions carefully and work with a reputable, board-certified surgeon.
Labiaplasty Recovery: The Bottom Line
A labiaplasty is a low-risk procedure that can have a positive impact on self-esteem and self-image. While surgery in a sensitive area can cause anxiety, most patients do not experience significant pain or discomfort after a labiaplasty.
Recovery from labiaplasty may entail minor pain, discomfort, or itching. These symptoms can usually be managed at home, and the majority of patients fully recover within 6 weeks.
Ready to get started? Leif Rogers is an Ivy League-educated, board-certified plastic surgeon and a standing member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. If you’re considering a labiaplasty, get in touch with his team to schedule a consultation.