The labia can be a common area of discomfort, anxiety, and embarrassment for women due to labial hypertrophy, which is a long or enlarged labia majora or labia minora. Excess tissue in this area can result in irritation, infection, and pain around the labia, hindering your propensity to do daily activities like walking, running, or cycling. It can also make intimacy with a partner uncomfortable and less pleasurable.
Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Anureet Bajaj offers a procedure called labiaplasty at her practice in Oklahoma City, OK. Labiaplasty is an effective surgery that can address issues caused by an enlarged or long labia. If you’ve made the personal decision to undergo a labiaplasty, it’s always a good idea to learn as much as possible about the procedure and recovery process so you can achieve the most optimal results.
What Is Labiaplasty?
Labiaplasty is a cosmetic procedure that minimizes the size of the labia minora, or the flaps of skin on either side of the vaginal opening. During a labiaplasty, Dr. Bajaj will reshape the size of the labia to enhance the appearance and proportions of the vulva and resolve discomfort.
Dr. Bajaj utilizes three different techniques, which can either be performed alone or in combination, to address labial hypertrophy. These techniques include trim resection, wedge resection, and clitoral hood reduction.
The trim resection technique is used when the labia minora is larger or longer than the labia majora. During this technique, Dr. Bajaj removes excess skin from the edges of the labia minora before suturing the edges closed.
Dr. Bajaj most commonly uses the wedge resection technique. A wedge-shaped piece of skin is removed from the central, anterior, or posterior part of the labia. Unlike the trim resection, the wedge resection maintains the natural edge of the labia for more natural-looking results.
Clitoral hood reduction involves removing some of the tissue surrounding the clitoris. Since the goal of labiaplasty is to make the vulva more proportional, a clitoral hood reduction is often involved with the trim or wedge technique to achieve more harmonious results.
What Is the Recovery Like After Labiaplasty?
Since labiaplasty is an outpatient procedure, recovery after a labiaplasty is fairly simple. There will be some post-operative swelling, bruising, and discomfort, but these should resolve themselves within the first week of your recovery.
Your recovery timeline after labiaplasty may look something like this:
The first few days after your surgery will be the most uncomfortable. There will be swelling, tenderness, and bruising in the area. Pain medicine should be taken as directed by your surgeon, and be sure to get plenty of rest and avoid wearing tight clothing. Most patients will take tylenol and/or ibuprofen for pain. During this time in the healing process, many will also find that icing regularly also helps to minimize discomfort and pain.
Most individuals will return to work in 1-2 days after surgery. By weeks two and three, you should continue to notice improvements and can move more freely by this point. You will be able to resume your workouts; however, you should avoid activities like cycling for about 6 weeks..
After four to six weeks, the swelling should be completely resolved, and the incision should be completely healed. With Dr. Bajaj’s approval, you should also be able to resume all normal activities. It’s essential that you wait the full six weeks before engaging in any sexual activity to avoid unintentionally irritating or damaging an incision that isn’t completely healed.
What Are the Five Labiaplasty Recovery Tips?
At Bajaj Plastic Surgery, we understand that you want to be back on your feet as soon as possible and be able to enjoy your renewed sense of self-confidence after your labiaplasty procedure. To help set you up for success on your recovery journey, we’ve compiled a list of what we consider the five best genital surgery recovery tips.
1. Prioritize Rest and Elevation
The most optimal healing practice that you will hear repeated by a labiaplasty surgeon is to rest. When we rest, our body is able to focus its energy on healing and repairing itself. Rest is also a great way to avoid any unintentional injury to the surgical site, which can lead to labiaplasty complications.
In addition to managing your pain and swelling with medication, elevation is another method to reduce inflammation and discomfort. To help keep the area elevated, place a few pillows underneath your buttocks or your back while you sleep.
2. Avoid Strenuous Activities and Intimacy
It’s important that your incisions are fully healed, and your scars are strong enough before engaging in strenuous activities or sexual activities post-labiaplasty. Generally, it takes six to eight weeks before your incisions and scars are completely healed. Engaging in strenuous activities or vaginal sex before your body has had time to heal can be uncomfortable and lead to complications.
3. Stay Hydrated and Follow A Healthy Diet
A large part of your labiaplasty post-operative care is to drink plenty of water. Hydration helps to flush out toxins from the body, moisturize the skin, and maintain the body’s ability to work at an optimal level. Additionally, a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and lean fats will encourage digestion to reduce bloating and provide your body with the energy it needs for a swift recovery.
4. Follow Pain Management and Anti-Inflammatory Recommendations
Most patients will only require tylenol or ibuprofen for pain. These medications along with regular icing will help to minimize inflammation and discomfort.
5. Maintain Hygiene but Avoid Aggressive Cleaning
Safe post-surgical hygiene will help decrease the risks of infection while also promoting healing and comfort. Patients should gently cleanse the surgical site with warm water and antibacterial soap that has been approved by your surgeon. After bathing, the area should be patted dry with a clean, sanitary towel and kept dry and clean with a thin pad placed in the patient’s underwear.
Any scar creams or other skin healing ointments should only be used with your labiaplasty surgeon’s approval.
Partner With the Right Surgeon for Labiaplasty
Labiaplasty involves surgically altering a delicate, sensitive, and deeply intimate area of your body. For that reason, it requires the qualified hands of a skilled and experienced surgeon to ensure ideal results with fewer risks and complications.
Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Anureet Bajaj brings national credentials, a proficient skill set, and the belief that in order to perform a successful surgery, you must care for the patient entirely. This means getting to know her patients’ lifestyles, engaging with their individual stories, and understanding why they want their treatment. This deeper interpersonal communication helps her curate a treatment plan that best achieves her patient’s desired goals and improves multiple aspects of their life and journey.
To determine if labiaplasty surgery is the right treatment for you, contact us by calling (405) 810-8448 or completing our online consultation form to schedule your personalized consultation with Dr. Bajaj today.