What Is the Labiaplasty Recovery Timeline?
Labiaplasty recovery period is the period following labiaplasty — a surgical procedure that reduces and/or reshapes a woman’s inner labia, or labia minora. (The labia majora are the outer folds of the vulva.)
Although it is not frequently discussed, the problem of having extra-long inner labia can be both physically bothersome and emotionally embarrassing for many women. Less pronounced labia can help women feel more confident and make them more comfortable in underwear, bathing suits, and other clothing.
Labiaplasty surgery can also address issues related to vaginal dryness and incontinence.
During your labiaplasty healing process, you will experience some bruising, swelling, and light spotting. For the most part, your entire labiaplasty healing timeline will be relatively short and relaxed. Patients should take it easy and focus on maintaining healthy habits and getting plenty of rest.
Let’s take a closer look at the healing process and what you should expect during each phase of recovery. First, though, here’s a closer look at what labiaplasty surgery actually entails.
WHAT IS LABIAPLASTY?
Labiaplasty is the reduction or alternation of the inner labia. Rarely, the outer labia can also be altered. Most of the time, it is the inner labia that patients want to amend.
The main reason patients want to alter their inner labia is comfort post childbirth. Extra-long inner labia can be uncomfortable, especially in underwear, bikini bottoms, or tight jeans.
Patients are also interested in shortening their inner labia to improve the labia’s appearance, increase pleasure during sexual intercourse, reduce swelling, and improve their overall confidence.
LABIAPLASTY RECOVERY TIMELINE
The majority of patients require a week off from work. Here’s what to expect during the labiaplasty healing process.
Directly After Surgery
Make sure to rest as much as possible directly after your surgery. Make yourself comfortable at home. Get some help with meals, childcare, pain medication, and other chores so that you can prioritize sleep and rest. Some patients actually pick up their pain medication prior to surgery, but not all plastic surgeons allow for this.
You will experience some discomfort and swelling of the labia minora as well as some light bleeding during the recovery process. Use your anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving medications as prescribed to manage pain and keep swelling at a minimum.
First 1 to 3 Days
During the first few days after surgery, you will have some continued pain and soreness. There will be light bruising and swelling as well, and you may experience additional light spotting also. This spotting should decrease with each passing day.
After about the third day, you should be able to start walking. Being mobile after your surgery with normal activities (no strenuous activities and nothing too physically demanding, just your usual activities of daily life) will aid in your recovery and increase blood flow and circulation. According to our experience as well as healthcare professional peer reviewed studies, cold compresses can help to reduce pain too.
1 Week After Labiaplasty
Continue resting and getting plenty of sleep during the first week of the recovery process. Most patients are able to return to work after one week in recovery. During the second week, continue to avoid strenuous activities, but do get up and walk around frequently to promote circulation.
4 to 6 Weeks Post-Surgery
During the first three or four weeks after surgery, you should not smoke or drink alcohol. Be sure to drink lots of water each day, and eat a healthy diet.
In regards to your labiaplasty after four weeks, you may be able to return to your regular exercise routine at this time. However, talk to Dr. Smita about this to be sure your incision sites are healed well enough. For most patients, it will be at least a month before real physical activity (exercise) can be reintroduced.
Patients are usually able to return to tampon use and pubic hair maintenance, if desired, at around four to six weeks after surgery as well. Some residual swelling mild pain may persist throughout this time.
6 Months After Labiaplasty
Most patients will not experience any symptoms aside from light swelling by two months post-surgery. Once you fully recover by the six month mark, scar tissue has formed, sexual activity can resume, all of the remaining swelling should be gone, and you will be fully healed.
* Keep in mind that this is the recovery timeline for labiaplasty alone. If labiaplasty is part of a combination procedure such as a mommy makeover, the recovery timeline for a mommy makeover may be different.
HOW PAINFUL IS RECOVERY FROM LABIAPLASTY?
While you will experience some discomfort and soreness, which will peak in the first few days after the procedure, labiaplasty is not generally known as a painful procedure. The pain should be dull and localized and should subside within a week.
One good way to understand the discomfort levels you should expect after labiaplasty is to read some labiaplasty recovery testimonials from patients who have actually experienced the procedure and subsequent recovery.
Also be aware that pain medications can be prescribed for discomfort. If discomfort is too severe or prolonged, call your surgeon for an additional plastic surgery follow up appointment. Your surgeon will want to rule out possible complications such as problems with labiaplasty stitches, a bacterial infection, or other health concerns.
LABIAPLASTY RECOVERY PROCESS TIPS
HELP SPEED UP YOUR RECOVERY FROM LABIAPLASTY WITH THESE USEFUL TIPS.
- Restrict your activity level. Take it easy for the first few weeks.
- Ask for help at home. Arrange for childcare and have a friend or family member stop by to assist with meals, chores, and errands.
- Do not smoke or drink alcohol after surgery.
- Eat a healthy diet full of protein and fiber.
- When you are cleared to exercise, start taking short, frequent walks to promote circulation.
- Take your medications as prescribed.
- Rest and get plenty of sleep. When you’re not sleeping, this is a great time to catch up on your favorite TV shows, immerse yourself in a good novel, or chat with friends over the phone. Relaxation is the order of the day.
FAQ: LABIAPLASTY RECOVERY
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR VAGINA TO LOOK NORMAL AFTER LABIAPLASTY?
The main reason why the vaginal area may not look “normal” right after labiaplasty is due to swelling. Slight bruising, bleeding and physical discomfort may be initially present as well. However, all of these symptoms will diminish quickly.
The swelling will take the longest to go away, and sometimes, patients still have a bit of swelling even six months out from surgery but a cold compress can help alleviate the symptoms.
Still, patients should feel confident with the appearance of surgical scars in their labia right away, and the overall look should be back to “normal” after about four to six weeks. This is generally the point at which patients are able to safely resume intercourse as well.
HOW LONG DOES LABIAPLASTY SWELLING LAST?
Residual swelling from a labiaplasty procedure may last up to six months. However, the majority of the swelling you experience after outpatient procedure should be gone after the first four to six weeks.
ARE THERE SIDE EFFECTS AFTER LABIAPLASTY?
Labiaplasty surgery side effects may include soreness, swelling, light bleeding, and bruising. Most side effects should go away within one week.
What can you not do after labiaplasty?
To optimize post-operative recovery after labiaplasty, it is crucial to minimize activity. Refrain from engaging in exercise, sexual activity, strenuous physical activity, or lifting objects weighing over 5 lbs for a duration of one month. Adhering to these activity limitations will effectively reduce the risk of bleeding and excessive swelling at the surgical site.
CONTACT OUR OFFICE TODAY TO SCHEDULE YOUR LABIAPLASTY CONSULTATION
Are you considering labiaplasty surgery? Dr. Smita is a female double board-certified plastic surgeon performing labiaplasty and other cosmetic surgery procedures for patients throughout New Jersey, NYC, and the Tri-state areas.
To learn more about the labiaplasty surgery procedure and find out if you’re a good candidate for surgery, contact our office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ramanadham.