Cosmetic urology is an important aspect of our practice. Procedures such as vaginoplasty and labiaplasty provide women with the opportunity to regain confidence and comfort in their own body. Making the decision to undergo such a procedure is very personal and a process during which a number of questions may arise. We’re here to help you through it. Here, we will do so by discussing what labiaplasty does and what to expect after this procedure.
Labiaplasty is the cosmetic surgery that focuses on refining the shape and size of a woman’s external genitalia. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and may not even require general anesthesia. A combination of local anesthetic to numb the labia and sedative medication to calm the central nervous system creates a comfortable situation. During the short procedure, tissue is excised in such a way to shorten and otherwise shape the labia majora or labia minora.
Things to Keep in Mind for Labiaplasty Recovery
Patients describe their labiaplasty procedure as completely comfortable, including only minor sensations of pressure here and there. After surgery, it is common for a patient to experience a mild degree of pain. This is managed with prescription medication at first and then over-the-counter medication after a day or two. Discomfort may occur during urination, as well. To minimize this sensation, patients may run warm water over the labia while they urinate.
Swelling and bruising are also common side effects of this surgery. In fact, it may be the swelling that a patient notices most. Bruising is less of a concern because the patient isn’t likely to be observing the area right after surgery. To minimize swelling, it can be helpful to apply a cold compress, such as a bag of peas, to the area. This should be done through a towel or clothing, not directly on the skin.
Temporary Lifestyle Changes
After labiaplasty, most patients say they feel most comfortable when wearing loose clothing. Underwear should be worn as incisions are healing, but looser, breathable fabrics are ideal. Clothing should not be so loose that fabric rubs against the skin. Until medically cleared, a patient also needs to abstain from using tampons. Abstinence also applies to sexual intercourse. Initially, patients are not interested in sex after their labiaplasty due to swelling and mild pain. However, after a few weeks, a woman may feel well enough to return to sexual activity. To ensure proper healing, sex cannot be resumed until six weeks after surgery.