Labiaplasty is often referred to as being the little operation with the big recovery time. While the operation itself is brief, usually performed under local anesthesia and takes less than two hours, certain lifestyle adjustments need to be maintained for at least six weeks afterward. If you’re planning to book a labiaplasty consultation soon, here’s what you need to know to form a recovery schedule:
5 Things Facts about Labiaplasty Recovery
1. Labiaplasty recovery is not usually very painful, but some soreness is to be expected.
Most women experience some soreness and swelling for three to five days after their operation. In rare cases, this tenderness can last for up to two weeks. To maximize comfort, you’ll be given prescription painkillers after your surgery. Remember: it’s easier to prevent pain than it is to control it once it’s flared up. We suggest taking your first dose of medication before your anesthetic has worn off.
Adjusting your lifestyle will help, too. Try to spend the week after your surgery resting on your back in bed; only get up when necessary and avoid placing pressure on the area by sitting up directly. Instead, prop your body up on pillows if you want to read or watch TV. Note that cool compresses can be a great way to reduce pain and swelling.
2. You should plan to take at least one week off work.
Sitting, walking, and other normal activities will be painful right after you have surgery. You’ll need to take at least one full week off work to rest and recover. If you have a highly active job (one where you’re often required to bend down or lift heavy objects), you will probably need to take two weeks off, or longer. When you come in for a labiaplasty consultation, make sure to discuss the demands of your job with Dr. Mussat.
3. You’ll need to avoid strenuous exercise for at least one full month after your labiaplasty.
The tissues of the labia minora are extremely delicate. They remain prone to tearing for weeks—even after your sutures are gone. You will need to limit all forms of strenuous activity, like vigorous exercise and lifting heavy objects, for one month after having a labiaplasty. If you try exercising after this amount of time has passed and discover that it still causes you pain, you should stop immediately and wait another two weeks.
Note that some forms of exercise, such as cycling, should be avoided for at least six weeks after having this type of operation. Cycling places a great deal of pressure on the treatment area and must be approached with caution.
4. You’ll need to abstain from sex for six weeks after having a labiaplasty.
The amount of friction involved in sexual activity creates a strong risk of tearing. To ensure complete healing and reduce the risk of infection, you’ll need to avoid sex for six weeks after having a labiaplasty.
5. Mild lingering or periodic soreness for weeks or months after labiaplasty is normal.
Scar tissue takes a long time to fully mature (usually between six months to one year). In the meantime, it’s normal for this type of tissue to sometimes become slightly inflamed, causing minor soreness or irritation. If this happens to you, don’t panic; apply a cool compress to the area and rest it. If you have severe soreness, redness, and inflammation, you should see a doctor right away to rule out the possibility of infection.
As a final note, after your operation, you’ll be given special bathing instructions and a disinfecting cleanser. Make sure to use this cleanser to minimize the risk of infection, as the area is particularly prone to developing post-surgical infections.
Booking Your Labiaplasty Consultation
If you have any questions about this procedure, or you’re ready to book a consultation, contact us. Dr. Mussat is a highly experienced female plastic surgeon who has extensive knowledge about this procedure. She’ll be happy to answer your questions and put your mind at ease about having a labiaplasty. While labiaplasty recovery involves some lifestyle adjustments, the rewards of this procedure—increased comfort and confidence —are well worth it.
If you’re like most women, the idea of having your “lady parts” operated on probably induces a cringe. However, it’s important not to discount the many potential benefits of labiaplasty surgery. Today, more and more women are choosing to have this operation to improve both their sex lives and their self-confidence. Here’s what you need to know before booking a consultation:
What is Labiaplasty Surgery?
Labiaplasty is not highly invasive, but due to the delicate nature of the tissues involved, it’s important to find the right surgeon and adhere to proper recovery protocol. During labiaplasty, your surgeon will numb your labial area with local anesthetic, meaning you won’t feel any pain during this procedure. Your surgeon will then make a series of small incisions and remove any loose skin that is present before suturing the tissue closed so that it can heal. The process typically takes under two hours, and you’ll be able to go home soon after. Just expect to be very careful with the area that’s been operated on for the next four to six weeks: You’ll be given special cleaning instructions to prevent infection and you’ll be asked to avoid any vigorous activity, including sex. Remember that the tissue will be prone to tearing while it’s still healing, so proper care is of the utmost importance.
Most labiaplasty patients can return to work after about one week. If you work a highly active job, however, this may not be the case. Make sure to discuss your career with Dr. Mussat when you come in for a consultation; this way, she can help you plan your recovery properly.
Why Do Some Women Need to Have a Labiaplasty?
The labia minora (the fragile, hairless folds of skin that surround the vagina) are usually housed within the tougher, hair-covered labia majora. This arrangement prevents the labia minora from becoming irritated or damaged during normal activities; meanwhile, the labia minora help to seal off the vagina so that dirt and bacteria don’t get inside.
In some women, however, this natural arrangement is out of order. Their labia minora are too large and therefore protrude beyond the labia majora, putting the labia minora at risk of damage and irritation. This condition can either occur due to a congenital defect (that is to say, the woman is born with it or develops it during puberty) or due to the stresses of childbirth. During vaginal birth, the labia must stretch to many times its normal size in order to allow the baby to pass through the birth canal. Sometimes the labia minora are able to return to their usual size, but more often than not, they remain enlarged. For this reason, labiaplasty surgery is often included as part of a mommy makeover.
What are the Benefits of Labiaplasty?
If you’re suffering from an enlarged labia minora, you stand to gain a lot from labiaplasty surgery:
1. Labiaplasty will dramatically reduce irritation and your risk of infection.
Because the labia minora are so delicate, even normal movements (like walking and sitting down) can cause the labia minora to chafe if they’re not protected by the labia majora. Over time, this chafing becomes chronic and damaging, increasing a woman’s risk of infection. By placing the labia minora inside the labia majora, labiaplasty can greatly increase comfort and prevent this risk.
2. Labiaplasty can improve your sex life.
Labiaplasty enhances sexuality in a couple of different ways. One, it’s been shown to improve vaginal sensation, making it easier for women to achieve climax. Two, by making the labia minora smaller, labiaplasty can reduce chafing during sex. This makes sex less painful and more enjoyable for women who were previously impacted by an enlarged labia minora.
3. Labiaplasty can reduce self-consciousness.
Even though having an enlarged labia minora is nothing to be ashamed of, many women with this condition feel extremely self-conscious about the appearance of their vaginal area. This can cause them to avoid intimacy, placing a strain on their relationships and their personal happiness. Labiaplasty is therefore often vital to helping women affected by congenital or pregnancy-related labial abnormalities reclaim a healthy sex life.
Learn More About Labiaplasty
In terms of comfort, confidence, and sexual enjoyment, few procedures can match what the labiaplasty has to offer. If you would like to know more about this procedure, feel free to contact us and schedule a consultation. As a female plastic surgeon, Dr. Mussat can answer any questions you may have with compassion and insight.