The success of your labiaplasty and your overall satisfaction depend in large part on the recovery phase. If the delicate area is allowed to heal without strain or trauma, recovery will happen quickly, and the chance of complications or side effects will be greatly reduced.
Here, experienced Montreal plastic surgeon Dr. Arie Benchetrit answers questions that many patients have about the days and weeks after surgery.
How much pain and swelling should I expect?
Pain and swelling are an expected part of the healing process after labiaplasty. Both will become more intense in the first days after surgery before gradually dissipating. In the case of swelling, it may take several weeks to subside. Recovery is also typically characterized by bruising, itching, difficulty urinating and discharge that may include blood.
Dr. Benchetrit will prescribe pain medicine, antibiotic creams and ointments to manage these symptoms. Prescriptions include Torday (ketorolac), which reduces swelling, and a narcotic (Percocet, Norco, Vicodin) for pain. Ice packs can also be an effective way to control swelling.
What lifestyle restrictions will be necessary?
During the first weeks of recovery, it is important to avoid behaviors that can interfere with healing, such as sexual activity, vigorous exercise, heavy lifting or using a bath tub. Tampons are also prohibited, as is driving while you are still taking a narcotic. You should be able to return to work or school in less than a week, but the affected area will remain delicate for as long as six weeks.
Will I need a catheter?
A home catheter is needed very rarely. If you have difficulty emptying your bladder after the surgery, you will be sent home with a catheter that will remain in place for up to a week.
What symptoms should I report to Dr. Benchetrit?
Itching that persists beyond the first week could be a sign of a yeast or bacterial infection, or even an allergic reaction. Other warning signs that you should report immediately include fever, redness, excess drainage, unexpected swelling, severe pain or heavy bleeding.
How quickly will the incisions heal?
Healing is aided by sutures that will slowly dissolve over the course of a month. At that point, scar tissue will begin to form and initially feel firm. The scars will soften over time. Scarring is well-hidden by the anatomy of the labia. Immediately after surgery, the area may have a purple or dark red appearance, and this too will gradually fade.
For more information about labiaplasty, Dr. Benchetrit invites you to schedule a consultation at our practice. Call or email us today to request an appointment.