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If you are someone considering a labiaplasty, your mind is probably full of doubts and concerns. While there is nothing to be nervous about, considering this kind of plastic surgery, it’s completely natural to wonder how a labiaplasty will impact your daily life: both directly after your surgery and for the rest of your life.
A labiaplasty may be the answer to issues surrounding your intimate life, vaginal atrophy, incontinence, or simply discomfort due to the size or shape of your labia. Being armed with the knowledge of both what a labiaplasty is and what you can expect recovery to look like will set your mind at ease and give you the confidence you crave to move forward with this life-changing choice.
What Is a Labiaplasty?
A labiaplasty is a cosmetic surgery which reduces the size and shape of the outer lips of the vagina (called the labia majora and minora). This is done by trimming the excess, loose skin of the labia and inserting sutures. Another technique is called the “wedge procedure” which cuts away a triangle of loose skin or tissues from the clitoral hood before stitching the skin closed.
What Causes Changes to Your Labia?
There are many influences that can cause the labia to lose their shape and normal look, including weight loss, genetics, pregnancy, childbirth, or some kind of physical trauma. Any of these can cause the labia to look oversized or have hanging skin which can go on to affect many aspects of a patient’s life.
For some women, oversized vaginal lips can cause pain or irritation during exercise or intercourse. For others, it is more a matter of confidence as the size of the labia can be seen through more revealing outfits such as swimsuits or leggings. No matter the reason, a labiaplasty may be the answer to restoring your self-esteem and giving you back the mobility you crave.
Your Labiaplasty Recovery Timeline:
After your labiaplasty procedure is finished, you will be sent home to recover.It can take up to 6 weeks to fully heal, similar to the postpartum phase after childbirth. During your first week post-op, you will likely experience discomfort due to swelling, and there may be a small amount of bleeding from the sutures. Your doctor will instruct you on how to care for your wounds, and advise on how to use a cold compress or ice pack to reduce swelling.
Do not expect your labia to look reduced in size and back to your ideal aesthetic within the first week.
Do not expect your labia to look reduced in size and back to your ideal aesthetic within the first week; because the skin down there is incredibly forgiving and flexible, it likely will be swollen and stretched for the first week or so, but it will get to your new shape soon.
Around the 1 week mark, your doctor will have you come in for a check-up, to make sure the stitches are not infected and that healing is going as expected.
Your Labiaplasty Recovery Timeline:
By the time you’ve reached the second week of recovery from your labiaplasty surgery, you can expect your pain to be greatly reduced. You likely will be able to stop taking any prescription pain medications you’ve been on; the area will still be tender, but not painful.
It’s important to make sure you and your doctor have fully discussed the levels of activity you should be at, and when it’s time to “level up”. For the first three to six weeks after your labiaplasty, you will be unable to have intercourse or use tampons, and need to be mindful of how restrictive your underwear and pants are.
Continue to care for your labia by applying any healing ointments your doctor has recommended, and watch for signs of infection. Your sutures should begin dissolving in week two, if they haven’t already. Take it easy as you continue on your road to recovery: the labia is in such a sensitive area of the body that it’s far better to take it slow and not cause any relapses in recovery.
Practical Prep for Labiaplasty Recovery
Here are a few practical tips to get ready for your recovery time and make it that much easier.
- Purchase a “peri bottle” or spray bottle, to clean the lady bits after a bathroom trip.
- Clear your work schedule and expect to take a significant break from working out.
- Ask your doctor if they require you to remove body hair pre-op.
- Let your partner know that you will be unable to have intercourse for 3-6 weeks.
- Pick up any prescription pain meds or ointments your doctor wants you to have on hand.
- Purchase loose fitting “postpartum” panties to wear while you heal.
Don't Suffer In Silence: Reach Out!
A labiaplasty can be one of the most fulfilling and life-altering procedures of a client’s life. If you are struggling with pain during intercourse, discomfort due to incontinence, or personal irritation, if you are tired of wearing swimsuits because of what people might see: a labiaplasty is for you!
Don’t be ashamed or concerned; find a qualified doctor you trust to confide these issues to. Don’t live your life in misery when a simple solution is out there waiting for you!
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