Labiaplasty surgery is becoming more popular and the results offer many benefits. Many patients still have questions about healing and recovery after Labiaplasty. Will it be painful? How long will I need to heal from labia surgery fully? When can I exercise after Labia Surgery? Will labiaplasty leave any scars? This blog can help answer those questions.
Dr Scott Turner is a Labiaplasty Expert and specialist plastic surgeon in Newcastle & Sydney NSW. He and his support team can help make your labia surgery recovery easier and better to get the best labiaplasty results.
CLICK to Download Dr Scott Turner’s Labiaplasty Surgery Guide
About Labiaplasty Surgery
Large, or misshapen labia minora (the inner flaps of skin on either side of the vaginal opening) can cause considerable discomfort with exercise or tight clothing like swimsuits & yoga pants. They can also interfere with sexual intercourse, personal hygiene and reduce your self-esteem. A Labiaplasty surgery may help.
Your self-image and self-confidence can be intimately related to how you look “down there”. Aging, childbirth, sexual activity, and other genetic and hormonal factors can all affect how your female genitalia looks.
Labiaplasty is a cosmetic procedure that aims to decrease the size of your labia minora. This is done by removing excess sagging tissue so that your labia minora is flush around your vaginal opening. Dr Turner will utilize different labiaplasty surgical techniques to reach your ideal look, depending on your goals.
Recovery After Labiaplasty – What to Expect
Depending on the labiaplasty surgical plan agreed upon with Dr Turner, it can be performed under local or general anesthesia. Labia surgery can be completed within an hour if done independently, and you can safely be discharged to go home the same day or stay overnight. Some patients combine Labia surgery with other breast or body surgery and stay longer in hospital.
Timeline for Recovery after Labiaplasty
Here’s a timeline of recovery after labiaplasty.
Immediately After Labiaplasty
After Dr Turner finishes your labiaplasty procedure, you will be transferred to your recovery room. You won’t feel any post-op pain or discomfort until the anesthesia starts to wear off.
You will be discharged once your surgeon is sure everything is fine. They will leave you with a set of labiaplasty care instructions to closely follow during your recovery.
If you’ve been under general anesthesia, it may take some time for it to wear off. As such, you must have someone responsible to drive you home and stay with you overnight for the first 24 hours after your labia surgery.
1 to 3 Days After Labiaplasty
The first few days following your labiaplasty are usually the hardest, as most of your post-operative symptoms are felt during this period. Discomfort or pain, swelling & bruising and itching are all to be expected and you shouldn’t be alarmed.
The discomfort experienced after labiaplasty is mild and pain relief medication will help. Swelling is a way for your body to aid in the healing process of labia surgery by supplying extra blood to your surgical site.
Bruising and itching are also common, and you may notice some blood spotting days after your labiaplasty too. If you notice any unusual pain, strong odor, or excessive drainage please contact your surgeon immediately. These can be signs of serious complications following your labia surgery.
1 Week After Labiaplasty
Towards the end of your first week of healing after labiaplasty, the majority of your postoperative symptoms should have subsided.
Pain from your labiaplasty procedure should be at a minimum. It reaches a point where you no longer rely on pain relief medication as much, if not at all. Swelling, bruising, and itching may persist a little longer as your labia surgery incisions continue to heal.
If itching worsens and persists, it could signify a bacterial or yeast infection or an allergic reaction to your medication. You should contact your plastic surgeon if you exhibit any similar scenarios.
Most women feel comfortable returning to their work one week after labiaplasty. It is essential, however, to take things lightly and keep your surgical site as clean and dry as possible.
2-4 Weeks After Labiaplasty
Two weeks into your labiaplasty recovery period, any lingering swelling, itching, and overall general discomfort should be gone. You will finally be able to begin appreciating the results of your labia surgery, even if your scar tissue is yet to heal completely. If your plastic surgeon used any dissolvable stitches to close your labiaplasty incisions, they should disappear by now.
During the fourth week of your labiaplasty healing period, you will likely be cleared to undertake a more regular activity. Your fitness regime can be resumed. However, strenuous forms of exercise that could put pressure onto your labiaplasty surgery site should be avoided. This includes biking, horseback riding, and any penetrative sexual activity.
6-8 Weeks After Labiaplasty
At the end of your labiaplasty recovery period, most patients make a full recovery. If you feel confident enough, you can return to your normal daily activities, including sexual intercourse. The skin at your labiaplasty surgical site should be strong enough to endure the increased friction during exercise and sex.
Some scar tissue may still remain noticeable under your skin’s surface. This will soften gradually into a faint scar several months after your labiaplasty surgery.
Recovery After Labiaplasty – How to Heal Faster & Better
While labiaplasty is considered a relatively minor procedure, it’s still an invasive surgery that requires a recovery period. So, how can you speed up your healing process after labiaplasty? Here are some tips, do’s and don’ts to relieve pain, reduce swelling, and soothe itching after your labia surgery:
How to Relieve Pain After Labiaplasty
Pain after labiaplasty is mild and will decrease in intensity as the days go by. To relieve pain after labia surgery more effectively:
- Use pain medication as per your plastic surgeon’s instructions and only when needed.
- Apply cold compresses to restrict blood flow into the area and reduce associated pain from swelling.
- Allow yourself plenty of rest and avoid any strenuous activity, especially during the first days following your labiaplasty.
- Wear loose-fitting underwear and bottoms to not constrict your surgical site and cause discomfort.
- Use a doughnut pillow when sitting to minimize unnecessary pain from the pressure.
- When urinating, use warm water instead of wiping with toilet paper.
How to Reduce Swelling After Labiaplasty
Swelling after labiaplasty or any type of cosmetic surgery is inevitable. Unlike postoperative pain, it can persist well over a week after your labia surgery. Here are some tips to get rid of your swelling faster after surgery:
- Use an ice pack or a pack of frozen peas, as mentioned before, to ice the area and reduce swelling. Alternate 15 minutes on and off and apply a thin barrier between your cold compress and the surgical site.
- Drink plenty of water, as surprising as it sounds. Adequate hydration encourages your body to get rid of water through urination. This can lessen swelling after labiaplasty.
- Move around to promote your blood circulation, reduce swelling and risk for blood clots. A few light-paced laps around your house and neighborhood are fine. Nothing beyond that in the early days of your labiaplasty healing period, however.
- Place a pillow beneath your buttocks when sleeping. Elevating your body while lying on your back helps draw blood away from your surgical site. This reduces inflammation and gets rid of swelling after labia surgery faster.
How to Soothe any Itching After Labiaplasty Surgery
Itching after labiaplasty is a natural side effect of your surgical incision healing and a byproduct of dried-up blood and discharge. It usually starts to decrease one week into the course of your labiaplasty recovery.
Here’s how you can deal with itching after labiaplasty:
- Keep your labiaplasty surgical site clean, and apply fresh, sterile dressing as instructed by your plastic surgeon.
- Continue to apply cool compress to assist in soothing any itching sensation in your genital area following your labiaplasty.
- Consider taking an oral antihistamine medication if approved by your plastic surgeon. Histamine is the physiological agent responsible for the itchy feeling at your incisional site.
Labiaplasty Don’ts – What Should You Avoid After Surgery
While labiaplasty can restrict you from work or school for around two weeks, full recovery from your surgery takes longer. Here are some things to avoid to help you heal faster after your labiaplasty:
- Strenuous activity and sex should be avoided in the first few days and weeks following your labia surgery. Even up to the sixth week of your recovery period, always ask your plastic surgeon before attempting any activity you’re unsure of. Avoid stress and strain.
- Smoking and alcohol are known to cause poor wound healing and draw out your labiaplasty healing process.
- Bathing and swimming should be avoided, and showers should be kept short following your labiaplasty. This reduces the risk of possible infection.
- Rubbing and scratching at your genital area can damage your labiaplasty surgical incisions and delay healing.
- Applying anti-itching topical creams too early while your wound is still open may increase your risk of infection.
- Wearing tampons can irritate your surgical incision site. Utilize feminine pads instead during your labiaplasty recovery period.
- Constipation can lead to excessive straining and pain. Take an over-the-counter laxative to overcome your post-labiaplasty sluggish bowels.
FAQs about Recovery after Labiaplasty
How painful is labiaplasty recovery?
- Pain after labiaplasty is mild to moderate. It’s not considered a particularly painful procedure. Most patients are managed with over-the-counter pain relief medication alone and for a few days only.
Will I lose feeling if I have a labiaplasty?
- Like any other plastic surgery, loss of sensation and numbness in the treated area is not uncommon after labiaplasty. However, it is only temporary. In fact, most patients who’ve undergone labiaplasty report an enhanced sexual experience due to the removal of excess tissue that previously caused discomfort.
How long does it take for labiaplasty stitches to dissolve?
- Most plastic surgeons prefer to use dissolvable stitches during labiaplasty surgery. Dissolvable stitches typically take 3 to 4 weeks to be gone entirely, leaving behind a scar that blends well into your labia minora.
When can you have sex after labiaplasty?
- Your plastic surgeon will clear you to engage in sexual activities about 6 to 8 weeks after your labiaplasty. However, you should not feel pressured to engage in any sexual acts if you’re not ready.
Medical Sources for Recovery after Labiaplasty:
- American Board of Cosmetic Surgery Feminine Rejuvenation – Procedures to restore comfort & confidence
- ASPS News Blog – What to expect at every stage of your Labiaplasty
- ASPS Four common questions women have about recovery after labiaplasty
- ASPS News Blog on What is a labiaplasty and what does it involve?
- NHS Cosmetic Procedures on Labiaplasty (vulval surgery)
- Willis RN, Wong CS, Pai A, et al. Labiaplasty Minora Reduction. [Updated 2021 Feb 25]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan
- Alexandra Bucknor, MBBS, MSc, Austin D Chen, Sabine Egeler, MD, Patrick Bletsis, BSc, Anna Rose Johnson, BA, MPH, Kate Myette, BA, Samuel J Lin, MD, MBA, Christine A Hamori, MD, FACS, Labiaplasty: Indications and Predictors of Postoperative Sequelae in 451 Consecutive Cases, Aesthetic Surgery Journal, Volume 38, Issue 6, June 2018, Pages 644–653
Dr Scott Turner FRACS (Plas) – Specialist Plastic Surgeon
Dr Scott J Turner has spent a lifetime acquiring the qualifications, education, training, and hands-on surgical experience to perform superior cosmetic plastic surgery to give you natural, beautiful results and the improved sense of well-being you want. He is one of the top Specialist Plastic Surgeons with a Breast and Body Surgery focus in New South Wales.
Achieving this personal goal requires not only in-depth knowledge of human anatomy and refined surgical techniques but an ongoing commitment to learning the latest procedures around the world. This is why Dr Turner regularly attends both local and international surgeon meetings – discussing these advances with the leaders around the world in order to offer you the most natural, effective and safest surgical procedures.
Dr Turner and his highly trained staff will do everything to ensure that you are fully informed, while providing exceptional, world-class cosmetic plastic surgery, in a personal and caring environment.
Always Do Your Research
- Download our Procedure Guides to find out more about your surgery
- Please read our website pages and Blogs to learn more about your intended procedure
Do you need a Medical Referral to see Dr Turner?
- A medical referral is helpful but NOT essential for purely cosmetic consultations.
- Please obtain a medical referral from your GP or Specialist if you want a consultation for an MBS item number surgery.
- Please note that your Medicare Rebates will NOT be claimable without a valid recent Medical Referral
Making The Most Of Your Consultation with Dr Turner
- Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation with Dr Turner
- You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options
- Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simpler clothes
- Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly examine all the documents provided
Want more information before scheduling your consultation?
- Find out more about Dr Turner’s pricing, medical finance & payment plans and paying for your surgery
- Request more information about the procedure – call or contact us
How to Book Your Consultation with Dr Turner
- You can book your initial consultation with Dr Scott Turner by paying the $350 cosmetic consultation fee in advance – when you make your appointment.