Labiaplasty is a cosmetic procedure that alters the shape, appearance, or size of the labia majora (outer labia) and/or labia minora (inner labia). After childbirth, the labia can become elongated or stretched, making it uncomfortable to wear snug clothing or to exercise. Some women also cannot have intercourse without pain.
Labiaplasty surgery can shorten the size of the inner labia, in particular. The result will be labia minora that are more flush with the labia majora, allowing for pain-free movement and improved comfort during intercourse and when exercising or just moving around in daily activity.
If you are considering Houston Labiaplasty, it’s essential to understand what the recovery process will be like. Below, we’ll go over a timeline of what you can expect as you heal from this procedure. First, though, let’s talk about how to prepare for surgery on your own.
Preparing For Labiaplasty Recovery
Before your surgical procedure, there are a few things you can do to get ready for recovery:
- Purchase a spray bottle and put water in it. This is to use after you urinate for the first week or so. Some women have a stinging sensation during urination, and the water will ease the discomfort.
- Take at least three or four days off work and don’t exercise for a week. If doing these things is difficult, you may need to delay the procedure until you can schedule time off.
- Purchase one or two weeks’ worth of Arnica and Bromelain, which will reduce bruising and swelling. However, you should ask your surgeon first if taking these supplements is ok.
- Make sure you have comfortable clothing to wear.
- Consider purchasing a special labiaplasty procedure recovery pillow to use with a wedge technique for sleeping. Swelling after labiaplasty can make putting pressure on the labia minora and affected area uncomfortable. Having a reusable cold compress that you can cool in the freezer is also advised.
- Shave pubic hair.
- Don’t have sex.
- Avoid strenuous activities.
Note that you will not be able to have intercourse for at least six to eight weeks after labiaplasty to ensure a healthy healing process. If delaying sexual activity will be a problem, you will need to delay the procedure. This is because during labia surgery recovery, your incisions need enough time to heal, and even gentle intercourse will cause complications, such as reopening your labiaplasty stitches or causing unsightly scar tissue.
Now, let’s take a look at labiaplasty recovery week by week:
Week 1 After Surgery
Immediately after surgery, you will be taken home by a friend or family member as you recover from anesthesia. Your surgeon will give you a prescription for pain medication and something to reduce swelling. You can expect some bleeding, but the medications you are given should help.
On the second and third day after surgery, most of the bleeding from the incisions should have stopped. You can apply ice to the area to reduce swelling.
By days four and five, you may still be a bit tired, but you should try to take a short walk every day by this point. On the fifth day, your vagina should begin to look less swollen and more like what you are used to.
On day six or seven, you probably can have the stitches removed by the surgeon, unless they dissolve on their own. Once the stitches are out, you will start to feel better, and healing will go faster.
Week 2 After Surgery
By the second week, much of the pain and swelling from the labiaplasty should be receding. You should continue to take your medications as prescribed and go for a short walk daily to keep up your blood circulation.
Icing probably isn’t needed at this point, but you still should avoid intercourse and more vigorous physical activity.
Week 3 After Surgery
You should be mostly pain free by now and should be able to sit comfortably for longer periods. Also, feel free to move about more, and there shouldn’t be as much tenderness or sensitivity.
By day 16, you can probably go back to a more vigorous workout schedule if that is what you are accustomed to.
Week 4+ After Surgery
You should no longer need any pain medication, and regular movements should be pain-free. It’s possible to go back to your regular workout schedule, but you should wait to have intercourse until at least week six when your labia minora and labia majora are fully healed.
How To Recover From Labiaplasty Faster
The feeling of general discomfort after labiaplasty is the most common complaint from the procedure. For example, some patients say they have discomfort at first when wearing underwear or while sitting.
Other than following the instructions of your surgeon and attending all of your follow-up appointments, there are some things you can do to improve the recovery process:
Most people should take two weeks off of work after labiaplasty so they can rest. It’s the most important thing you can do for your recovery.
Get at least eight hours of sleep per day and lie down and take it easy as much as you can. Also, try to have someone help you with household chores for two weeks.
It’s also important to eat healthy foods during recovery. This means consuming plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as lean protein. Remember to avoid eating too much processed food, and drink plenty of water.
Doing these things will give your body the nutrients and energy it needs to recover quickly.
No Smoking Or Drinking
Cigarettes and alcohol will slow down the recovery process because they reduce blood circulation and constrict blood vessels. Both of these habits also can cause bruising.
You shouldn’t smoke or drink for at least four to six weeks before and after labiaplasty.
Watch for Infections
Moisture in the vaginal area can make bacteria accumulate, and that can be a problem for your incisions.
So, keep the incisions as clean and dry as you can, and change the dressings every day. If you see blood or pus coming from your incisions, talk to your surgeon.
Don’t Take Baths
While you should take a daily shower, it’s important not to soak in the tub for a few weeks because this can increase your chances of infection.
Also, don’t go in saunas or swimming pools for at least a month after surgery.
When you have had labiaplasty, you don’t want to have constipation because it will stress your incisions. It’s important to drink a lot of water and eat foods that are rich in fiber.
You can even take an over-the-counter laxative if you find you are having difficulty in the bathroom. It’s important to avoid any straining after surgery.
Most patients have a trouble-free recovery, so simply keep all of the information here in mind.
You also may want to consider other procedures at the same time so all your recovery is completed simultaneously.
How Long Should You Rest After Labiaplasty?
Most patients will need to rest for one to two weeks after surgery. It’s not a bad idea to continue taking it easy for an additional week as well. However, in order to maintain good blood flow, do not refrain from movement and activity for too long. By the third or fourth week, you should be able to return to exercise and almost all of your regular daily activities.
How Often Should You Ice After Labiaplasty?
Icing can assist with pain and help reduce swelling. For most patients, we recommend starting icing around days two or three of recovery. By week two, you should not need to ice the area anymore.
How Do You Sit After Labiaplasty?
It’s best not to sit upright after your procedure. Use a special donut-shaped pillow to alleviate pressure from the affected area. Nursing pillows are another option. Laying on your back can also help.
You also don’t want to sit consistently for too long as maintaining good circulation is important for your overall health and for recovery. Get up and walk around frequently.
How Painful Is Labiaplasty Recovery?
According to the recovery timeline for most patients, pain generally dissipates after the two-week or three-week mark. If you continue to have pain after four weeks of recovery, be sure to consult with Dr. Steinberg about any health concerns at a follow up appointment. Rarely, a bacterial infection or other complications can manifest during recovery after labiaplasty.
Request a Houston Labiaplasty Consultation
Interested in labiaplasty in Houston? Please set up a consultation with Dr. Ashley Steinberg today to discuss the procedure as well as what to expect during your recovery after labiaplasty. Dr. Steinberg would be happy to talk to you about the benefits and risks of this cosmetic procedure.
What to Expect After Labiaplasty. (2020). Accessed at https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-to-expect-after-labiaplasty-week-1-2709835
Labiaplasty Overview. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/aesthetic-genital-plastic-surgery/labiaplasty