Labiaplasty or labial reduction is a surgical procedure that reduces the size and length of the labia minora.  Here are 6 FAQ regarding labiaplasty stitches, which may be helpful for patients considering labial reduction:

Are labiaplasty stitches dissolving?

Either resorbable (dissolving) or non-resorbable (permanent) stitches may be used for labiaplasty.  Resorbable or dissolving are most commonly used to avoid discomfort associated with stitch removal.

What are pros and cons of permanent vs. resorbable labiaplasty stitches?

Permanent stitches may be less reactive. They are removed at a set time point, which may lead to more predictable wound healing. The main disadvantage is the associated discomfort during stitch removal in a sensitive region. Resorbable stitches are most commonly used during labiaplasty given that removal is not required. If the stitches fall out prematurely however, this may lead to areas of delayed wound healing.  Gentle wound care is important during early healing to lower risk of wound healing complications.

How long does it take for labiaplasty stitches to resorb?

The resorption time varies based on the type of suture used.  They generally resorb within about 10 days of surgery.

How are labiaplasty stitches performed?

Labiaplasty is most commonly performed under local anesthetic.  The wounds may be stitched closed in two main ways: continuous (running) vs. interrupted sutures.  Dr. Power generally does not perform continuous stitches in this region given greater risk of healing complications.  If a running stitch breaks or the knot unravels prematurely, the entire wound could develop a dehiscence (wound separation). If an interrupted stitch falls out prematurely, many other stitches remain intact, which may lower risk of healing complications.

What other symptoms may relate to labiaplasty stitches?

Once discomfort resolves over a few days post-operatively, many patients report itchiness as healing progresses.  This is commonly experienced as stitches begin to resorb.  It is recommended to wear a pad until the labiaplasty stitches have resorbed, which protects the surgical site and may reduce discomfort and friction.

How to care for labiaplasty stitches?

Wound care will be discussed in detail with patients undergoing labial reduction.  It is recommended to gently wash the surgical site with soap and running water beginning the day after surgery.  The incisions should then be gently dried with a patting movement to avoid further trauma to the labiaplasty stitches and to minimize shearing forces.  A light application of Vaseline overlying the incisions is then recommended followed by a pad dressing.  Activity modifications are also important during early recovery to lower risk of healing complications.

Please contact us if considering labiaplasty in the Toronto area to schedule a consultation with female plastic surgeon, Dr. Stephanie Power.

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