In addition to undergoing cosmetic procedures to improve the appearance of areas like the face and breasts, many women want to enhance the appearance and function of more private body parts. Procedures like the labiaplasty are growing in popularity as one type of vaginal rejuvenation.
If you are considering undergoing a labiaplasty, or have already committed to the procedure, you’ll need some solid information about what to expect while you are recovering at home.
Here are a few general recovery instructions that will apply throughout your recovery timeline:
- Elevate the area: Besides helping you to find the right resting position, elevation also helps keep blood vessels from stretching.
- Use cold compresses: This will reduce temperatures in some parts of the body, as well as minimize pain and swelling. Don’t keep the cold compress in place for longer than 15 minutes to prevent skin damage.
- Avoid any type of penetration: At least until your plastic surgeon clears it, or your soft tissues have healed completely. Avoid using tampons, but you may use pads or liners.
- Minimize use of toilet paper: Instead, use warm water to irrigate the area and avoid unnecessary touching.
- Use a special pillow: Before your labiaplasty, buy a doughnut-shaped pillow to make you more comfortable when sitting.
Before undergoing your labiaplasty, you may want to shave or wax the area so that it remains clear of hair while you are healing and recovering.
This Too Shall Pass: Days 1-3
Most women find the first three days to be the most uncomfortable of the entire recovery process. You may experience some degree of pain at this time, which can be alleviated by using prescribed pain medications. You will also be experiencing some mild to moderate swelling and bruising. Don’t be surprised if one area of your labia is more swollen than the rest; this is not unusual.
Focus on getting plenty of rest during the first three days after your labiaplasty. At the same time, it is recommended that you do some light walking for the first two or three days to promote healing and blood circulation.
It Can Not Always Be Night: Day 7
Your pain should have noticeably subsided by this time. You may even be able to stop taking pain medication, although there will be some persistent swelling and bruising.
You may find that you feel good enough to walk around more, and do some household chores around the house. You may even be cleared to return to work, depending upon the nature of your work. You will still be unable to engage in strenuous activity like lifting heavy objects.
It is not unusual to notice an annoying level of itchiness while your incisions are healing. The important thing is to avoid scratching or rubbing the area. A cold compress may make you more comfortable, or you may be prescribed some type of medication to relieve any itching.
If your incisions were closed using dissolvable stitches, they should be fully dissolved by now. Even though you may be able to return to some types of exercise, your plastic surgeon will probably recommend that you avoid sexual activity or the use of tampons for now.
Sex by Week Six
You’ll be happy to know that you should be about 90% healed six weeks after your labiaplasty procedure. You will also be gratified to know that you will probably be cleared for sexual intercourse, vigorous exercise, and the use of tampons by this time.
Most of your bruising and swelling should have subsided, allowing you to see the first glimpses of your final procedure results. Some patience will still be required, however, as your final labiaplasty results will not become completely evident for four to six months.