Labiaplasty Recovery: Everything You Need to Know
Labiaplasty is a plastic surgery procedure to reshape the labia minora (the inner parts of the female anatomy). A woman may choose to undergo a labiaplasty for aesthetic or functional reasons, and often both.
She may want to change the size or shape of her labia to feel more confident, to comfortably wear certain items of clothing, or to feel free when engaging in physical activities. Trimming excess tissue from the labia can give it a more ‘tucked-in’ appearance while addressing any functional concerns at the same time.
Rejuvenation of the female intimate anatomy has gained a lot of interest and attention lately. Thanks to improved awareness, body positivity, and feeling more empowered, more women are seeking this life-changing procedure. If you are considering getting a labiaplasty, below is some useful information about the labiaplasty recovery process.
How Long Does Labiaplasty Surgery Take?
The duration of labiaplasty surgery depends on your personal aesthetic goals, whether complementary procedures are performed, and the technique your surgeon recommends.
There are two main techniques being used today:
The most common is the traditional trim labiaplasty. This method involves trimming the outer edges of the labia minora to alter their size and shape. This technique creates symmetry and allows for any dark or pigmented areas to be removed.
The other technique is a little newer. It requires the surgeon to remove a v-shaped wedge of skin from the labia, then suture the edges back together. There are fewer stitches with the “wedge” method and the original edges of the labia are left intact.
Dr. Cat’s Unique Labiaplasty Approach
Through her many years’ experience, pioneering innovation and understanding what women want, Dr. Cat developed her own advanced labiaplasty technique.
Using the trim method as the basis, she carefully and meticulously reshapes the labia, creating a symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing appearance. She then sutures the edges with utmost precision and attention to detail, minimizing any visible scars and the duration of labiaplasty recovery time.
Dr. Cat always strives for utmost perfection, surgically sculpting a seamless transition and blending between the labia minora, labia majora and clitoral hood. If necessary, the clitoral hood is reshaped at the same time for a more harmonious result, visually and functionally.
Using special magnification equipment to assist with precision, this type of surgery can last anywhere from 2.5-4 hours.
How Long Does it Take to Recover from Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty recovery time takes approximately four weeks. After this time you’ll be able to resume most normal activities without any restrictions. Until then, your healing labiaplasty journey will require patience and care, especially for the first few critical weeks post-op.
Keep in mind that after the first month of your labiaplasty recovery, it can take 3-4 months to see the final results of your surgery. Once you have fully healed, any surgical scars will be barely noticeable, even to a trained eye like Dr. Cat’s.
In preparation for your surgery, you’ll be provided with detailed post-instructions. Additionally, below we have outlined the labiaplasty recovery process week-by-week, to give you a good idea of what you can expect:
Week One Labiaplasty Recovery Post-Op
Dr. Cat performs her gentle labiaplasty under general anesthesia. When you get home from your surgery, you may still be numb from the pain medications administered to you during your procedure. If you start to experience tenderness or discomfort, we recommend Tylenol for pain management.
During the first week, it’s also very important to take special care to keep the area clean and apply your antibiotic ointment regularly. You may experience some light bleeding at the incision closures which is perfectly normal. Choose loose-fitting clothing for optimum ventilation, circulation and to remain as comfortable as possible.
Dr. Cat’s meticulous suture closing technique should produce very clean edges with no signs of scarring. To help maintain this result, for the first week be extremely gentle when putting on or removing undergarments so as not to agitate the sutures during your labiaplasty recovery process.
The same applies to daily hygiene. Showering is permitted during your labiaplasty recovery. Just be very careful and gentle. Do not scrub or apply any pressure to your labia, with extra caution paid to cleaning or wiping around the sutures. Instead of using toilet paper gently splash the area with warm water and pat dry with a soft towel.
Icing the surgical area for the first week can help to reduce inflammation and swelling. Do not place ice directly on your labia. A pack of frozen peas covered with a towel works great as an ice pack.
Getting up and walking around for a few minutes every couple of hours will help to promote circulation and minimize swelling. If someone is around, ask them for help when getting up and sitting down to prevent putting pressure on the surgical areas. Elevate your legs with the knees bent when sleeping or sitting.
Week Two of Your Labiaplasty Recovery
By the second week of your labiaplasty recovery time, you’ll start to feel much more comfortable and more active. Most of the swelling will have subsided, but keep in mind once you’re cleared to start doing more, the more you move, the more you will swell. Therefore, it is important to ice as necessary. Any tenderness or discomfort should be minimal. Walking for longer periods of time will feel more natural.
You may return to work by the second week (or earlier if your surgeon clears you). If your job requires sitting for long periods of time, using a donut pillow will help to minimize any pressure on your labia. Continue applying ointment daily as directed and wearing a thick pad to protect the area.
Weeks 3-4 After Labiaplasty Surgery
Your labiaplasty recovery is well underway. Any sensitivity should be completely resolved and your vaginal area should start to look more normal. It’s possible to have some minor residual swelling; however, overall most swelling and inflammation should be gone.
Dr. Cat uses dissolvable sutures during labiaplasty surgery, and around 3.5 weeks post-op is when they start to dissolve and fall off on their own. This is why is vital to take it easy the first few weeks after Labiaplasty surgery, in order to ensure you keep as many sutures as possible. Patients often report feeling an itchy sensation at this point in healing, but you can ice to help if you experience any itchiness.
Sitting and walking for longer periods of time will feel more normal and you’ll be able to resume your daily activities. You can start to do light exercises such as yoga and stretching at 4 weeks post-op, once you have been cleared by Dr. Cat. Continue to refrain from sexual activity, strenuous exercise, wearing tampons, and exposure to intense heat, such as a steam room or sauna for the first four weeks.
Tips to Minimize Scars Post-Op Labiaplasty
Dr. Cat’s meticulous incision closure technique results in a clean border and minimal scarring. There are some steps you can take, however, to ensure a smooth labiaplasty recovery, with no complications.
Attend your follow-up appointment regularly and follow all post-op instructions as directed.
Good nutrition and adequate sleep are extremely important to speed up labiaplasty recovery time overall. Boost your intake of antioxidant-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables, leafy greens in particular.
Consume Vitamin-C-rich foods such as berries, citrus, and broccoli to ensure the healing of skin and tissues. Ask your surgeon if any supplements would be beneficial during your labiaplasty recovery.
Some things to avoid: alcohol, smoking, and vaping for at least 4-6 weeks before and after your labiaplasty procedure. Stay away from highly processed and refined foods as these are not helpful and can impair your body’s natural healing progress.
For more information about our services or general questions give us a call at 310-858-8808.