The inner and outer labia are folds of skin that surround the vaginal opening in women. Although it is rarely discussed, labiaplasty is a procedure that changes the shape and/or size of the labia. In most cases, the procedure is performed to shorten the length of the labia minora (inner labia) due to physical discomfort, self-consciousness, or both. This is sometimes called a “trim procedure”.
The surgery itself is usually performed under general anesthesia or oral sedation with local anesthesia. Afterward, the patient will have labiaplasty stitches and will need to rest and take it easy for several weeks.
All in all, recovery from labiaplasty is relatively brief and should not involve much discomfort or swelling. To help you better prepare for your labiaplasty recovery, below, we’ve outlined several things you should know before getting the procedure. These are things that can help you prepare both mentatlly and physically for recovery from labiaplasty.
1. Your labiaplasty stitches may be either resorbable or non-resorbable.
Depending on the details of your surgery and several other factors, your surgeon may choose to use either resorbable or non-resorbable labiaplasty stitches.
Resorbable labiaplasty stitches are self-dissolving. That is, you won’t need to have them removed by your surgeon, which can reduce your overall discomfort. Non-resorbable labiaplasty stitches are “permanent”. That is, they must be removed shortly after your procedure. Generally speaking, resorbable labiaplasty stitches are now more common than non-resorbable stitches.
2. You’ll need to refrain from some of your regular activities for at least several weeks post-surgery.
Labiaplasty may be performed on a small part of the body, but you’ll still need to take it easy after surgery. Most women who are active and like to exercise will need to wait between two and four weeks before returning to their active lifestyles.
Likewise, you’ll mostly probably need to wait at least six to eight weeks before you resuming sexual intercourse and using tampons. Always speak with your surgeon about your timeline regarding these matters as everyone is unique and will have a different recovery experience.
3. Your scar tissue may initially be thicker and harder.
After any type of surgery that requires incisions, there will be scar tissue, and it’s important that this scar tissue softens with time. However, at the very beginning of your labiaplasty recovery, directly after your procedure, you should know that your scar tissue may feel thicker and harder.
This is important to know because you may feel some lumps and bumps beneath the skin, and typically, this is perfectly normal. With time, the scar tissue should become basically unnoticeable and will soften significantly. If it does not soften, however, and you experience painful scar tissue after labiaplasty, be sure to contact your surgeon as soon as possible. An intervention may be needed to help soften the scar tissue and improve your overall comfort post-surgery.
4. Use at-home pain management treatments to help deal with discomfort.
While discomfort after labiaplasty should not last long, you may experience some soreness and pain, especially during the first few days after your surgery. Below are a few tips and tricks that will help alleviate this discomfort.
First, try a cold compress. Cold compresses will help to reduce inflammation on the treatment area and counteract swelling and pain as well. Not only is the feeling of a cold compress soothing to an inflamed area, but it will also help to restrict blood flow, which will reduce swelling.
You should also slightly alter the way you use the restroom. Instead of wiping with toilet paper, use warm water to gently clean yourself after using the restroom. Do this for at least a few weeks until you feel comfortable returning to regular toilet paper.
Finally, try elevating the area when you are seated or lying down. Although this can create a slightly awkward position, elevating the area will help to reduce swelling, ultimately reducing your discomfort more quickly.
5. Any scarring should ultimately blend in well and will become nearly invisible.
The good thing about labiaplasty scarring is that it is almost non-existent. Yes, you will have some scarring. However, because of their location, the scars should blend in seamlessly with the natural folds of your labia. Most women who’ve had labiaplasty say that once healing has completed, they do not even notice it and are unconcerned about it.
FAQ: Labiaplasty Stitches and Recovery
How do you clean labiaplasty stitches?
You will receive detailed cleaning instructions from your surgeon directly after surgery. Whie it’s important to keep the incision sites clean after labiaplasty, you also do not want to tug too hard or agitate the area as it will be extremely sensitive and fragile at this time.
Always follow your surgeon’s instructions first and foremost. However, in general, know that you should only clean your incision sites very carefully. Do so gently, and simply use a mild soap and the running water of the shower.
When does itching stop after labiaplasty?
Itchiness is a common complaint after labiaplasty. For most patients, the itchiness will diminish after the first week of your recovery.
How can I make my labiaplasty heal faster?
For the most part, there is nothing you can do to make an incision site heal faster. You can only do things that will help create optimal conditions for quality healing.
This means eating a nutritious diet, drinking plenty of water, getting lots of rest, and abstaining from prohibited activities including exercise and sexual intercourse. Doing all of these things will help your recovery go as quickly as possible. It will also help provide the best outcome and greatest relief from discomfort.
Schedule Your Labiaplasty Consultation Appointment Today
Want to learn more about labiaplasty? You can feel comfortable discussing your options for labiaplasty with Dr. Aghayan of Après Plastic Surgery. No matter what it is you are trying to amend with surgery, Dr. Aghayan can help you formulate a surgical plan that meets your needs. In addition to labiaplasty, Dr. Aghayan also performs liposuction, Brazilian butt lift surgery, breast augmentations, and other procedures.
Contact us today to learn more about your options and to schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Aghayan.