Labiaplasty has increased in popularity over recent years. Many patients seek labial reduction given discomfort when wearing tight clothing or self-consciousness regarding appearance. Labiaplasty is performed as out-patient surgery, most commonly under local freezing. It is generally very well-tolerated with high reported satisfaction rates. Here are five tips to optimize labiaplasty aftercare:
Perform meticulous incision care
- Incision care is one of the most important aspects of labiaplasty aftercare. You may resume showering the day following surgery. I recommend gently washing your incisions with soap and running water over the first two weeks. Gently pat the region dry afterwards and apply a light application of vaseline and a thin pad in your undergarment. It is expected to experience mild bleeding during early healing. This will taper over the first days to light spotting.
Minimize activity post-operatively during labiaplasty aftercare
- It is important to avoid exercise, strenuous activity, or heavy lifting over 5 lbs for one month following labiaplasty. These activity restrictions will lower risk of bleeding and increased swelling at the surgical site. When you are standing, the labial tissues are dependant. Swelling may increase when you stand for any length of time during early healing. Increased friction may also result at the incisions with prolonged walking. For the first 48 hours, applying cold compresses while lying down is important to reduce swelling. This was discussed in detail in a recent blog posting.
Take prescribed analgesia as directed
- Prescription pain medication may be required for a couple of days post-operatively. Patients are then encouraged to wean from the prescription medication and to take Tylenol plain or extra-strength as able. It is important to take pain medication when experiencing discomfort. Your heart rate and blood pressure increase when experiencing pain, which may increase risk of bleeding post-operatively if not controlled. Patients may resume driving when no longer taking prescription pain medication. Discomfort is also reduced by applying frequent cold compresses.
Allow adequate recovery time for labiaplasty aftercare
- It is important allow adequate time following labiaplasty before returning to work or academic obligations. Many patients choose to undergo labiaplasty on a Wednesday or Thursday and are generally able to return to desk job equivalent duties by the following Monday. Pushing yourself to return to work sooner may compromise healing by increasing swelling and risk of wound healing complications.
Allow adequate healing time before judging aesthetic results
- Although patients are often eager to assess the aesthetic outcome following labiaplasty, the goal over the first few weeks is for incisions to heal without complication. It is important to be patient as your incisions heal and swelling resolves. Early results may become apparent within the first few weeks of surgery. Final results are achieved many months, even up to one year, later as scar maturation is completed. I recommend against taking frequent photographs of the region during early healing. Positioning for photographs may place additional tension on your incisions and increase risk of wound separation.
Please contact us to schedule a consultation to discuss labiaplasty with Dr. Stephanie Power. Labiaplasty is performed with all-female staff to ensure patient comfort and privacy.