What is a labiaplasty?
A labiaplasty is a surgical procedure that is typically performed using local anesthetic. Rarely is general anesthesia necessary for simple labia minora reduction. Depending on the patient’s needs, a labiaplasty may include a clitoral hood reduction, cleft narrowing, or mons pubis reduction. The procedure typically takes about an hour and a half to perform. Once anesthetized, you will be placed in stirrups, and your surgeon will make an incision using a scalpel or laser device. Bleeding is usually controlled with electro-cautery. Once the vaginal tissues are removed, the incisions are closed using absorbable sutures. Your surgeon may elect to place a non-absorbing removable suture in certain cases. A labiaplasty procedure is an outpatient procedure where you should be able to go home the same day.
Dr. Sue Kafali will provide a post-operative packet with instructions on what to do during recovery. Make sure you attend all your follow-up appointments and take any prescribed medications. Here are some general tips to ensure smooth recovery and manage your discomfort.
Take pain medication as directed by your doctor.
Most women find the pain tolerable with minimal discomfort. However, Dr. Kafali may prescribe pain medication for the first 24-48 hours after your surgery followed by an over-the-counter medication such as Tylenol as needed to help manage any discomfort.
Take Arnica oral pellets before & during the recovery period.
Arnica is a natural herb that can help with post-surgical discomfort and help reduce bruising and edema (swelling) following your labiaplasty procedure. We recommend taking these about 3-5 days before your procedure, as directed by your physician. These pellets are available at retailers such as Walgreens, CVS, Amazon, and Whole Foods.
Keep the vaginal area clean.
Instead of wiping with toilet paper, we recommend showering or using a squirt bottle with warm water to avoid unnecessary touching. Baths, scented soaps, swimming, and hot tubs are a big no-no and should be avoided for a few weeks following your surgery. Be sure to use it whenever you go to the bathroom during recovery.
Use ice to help minimize swelling.
You may use ice packs or a cold compress on the area to help keep down the swelling. We recommend a thin barrier between the ice and the surgical site with 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off or as tolerated.
Leave your sutures alone.
It’s important to leave your sutures alone. Do not pull them out or attempt to remove them. Your sutures will dissolve naturally, or your doctor will remove them during your post-operative visit about one week after surgery.
Take it easy for about a week.
The first couple of days, it’s important you rest. You should refrain from any exercise and take it easy for at least a week. Your body needs time to heal; going too hard too fast can break open your incisions and delay your healing. While it’s important to rest, be sure to walk around.
No sexual intercourse for at least 4-6 weeks.
You will be asked to abstain from sexual intercourse for at least 4-6 weeks. This is to allow the incisions ample time to heal fully and to ensure the least scarring and the best cosmetic result. Dr. Kafali will advise you at your follow-up appointment when you can resume sexual activity. You should also avoid using tampons, pads, or liners during this period.
For a complimentary consultation with Top Cosmetic Gynecologist and labiaplasty Surgeon Dr. Sue Kafali, visit our contact page.