Labiaplasty is a cosmetic procedure that involves altering the size or shape of the labia minora, which are the inner lips of the vulva. While the procedure itself is relatively straightforward, it’s important to understand the labia reduction recovery process before undergoing surgery. In this article, we will explore what to expect during labiaplasty recovery, including how to manage pain, swelling, and discomfort, and when to resume normal activities.
Immediately After Labia Surgery
All labiaplasty surgeries at Panacea are performed by our board-certified female plastic surgeon, Dr. Kimberly Singh. Most are performed in-office, with no need for general anesthesia, using only local numbing. However, those patients who choose to have their labia reduction at our admitting hospital, Northside Midtown (Atlanta) Surgical Center, will likely feel groggy from the anesthesia, and tired for the remainder of the day.
No matter which location you choose, it is common to experience some discomfort post-procedure. If your surgery is performed at the hospital, you will need to stay for a few hours to ensure that you are stable and can safely leave with someone accompanying you. Surgery performed at our Inman Park office doesn’t require you to wait to go home, and you can be discharged under your own care soon after the procedure is completed. There are only very rare cases in which someone may be required to stay overnight after labia reduction surgery.
At Panacea, we go to great lengths to ensure that discomfort post-labiaplasty is minimal. Therefore, it’s important to follow Dr. Singh’s directions during the recovery period, taking any medication exactly as prescribed to reduce inflammation and pain. Additionally, applying ice packs to the area for the first few days can help reduce swelling and discomfort. Avoid using heat as it can increase inflammation and pain. Most patients who follow their discharge instructions closely find that that any discomfort is extremely well controlled and quite manageable.
Swelling and Bruising
Swelling and bruising are also common after labia reduction and reshaping surgery, and these symptoms may last for several days or even weeks, although any substantial irritation tends to wane fairly quickly. Wearing loose clothing and avoiding tight underwear or pants can help reduce irritation and discomfort. Continuing to applying a cold compress or ice pack to the area as needed can also help reduce swelling.
During the first few days following surgery, it’s essential to rest as much as possible to allow your body to heal. Avoid strenuous activities, exercise, and lifting anything heavy for at least a week or until you get the all-clear from your surgeon. This includes sexual activity. Light activities such as walking can be resumed a few days after the surgery, but make sure to avoid anything that puts pressure on the surgical site.
Bathing and Hygiene
It’s important to keep the surgical site clean and dry to prevent infection during the labiaplasty recovery period. Take showers instead of baths and avoid using any scented soaps or products that could irritate the area. You may also need to wear a sanitary pad for after surgery for a week or more to absorb any drainage or discharge. Depending on the level of correction performed during the surgery, Dr. Singh may want you to avoid soaking the surgical site even in the shower for several days, in which case she may ask you to sponge bathe until you are given the OK to shower again.
After surgery, Dr. Singh and her team will schedule a follow-up appointment to monitor your progress and remove any stitches. It’s essential to attend this appointment and all others as required to ensure that your labiaplasty recovery is progressing as planned.
Long-Term Labiaplasty Recovery
While the initial healing period is crucial, it’s important to understand that full recovery from labiaplasty can take several weeks or even months. The swelling and bruising should start to subside after a week or two, and most patients can resume normal activities within four to six weeks. However, it may take up to three months for the surgical site to fully heal and for the final results to be visible.
It’s also important to keep in mind that every patient’s recovery experience is unique, and some may require more time than others to fully recover. It’s essential to listen to your body and take things slow during the labia reduction recovery period. By following Dr. Singh’s instructions and taking things slow, you can ensure a smooth and successful recovery.
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