Labiaplasty is associated with very little in terms of pain and discomfort which means that patients have the choice of both a local anaesthetic and a general anaesthetic for the procedure. Although the labia are known to be sensitive and delicate tissue, most patients choose to have a labiaplasty with local anaesthesia but some women may prefer to have a general anaesthetic especially if a large correction is required or if revision labiaplasty surgery is needed. Your surgeon will prescribe a course of painkillers after the procedure to ensure that any pain or discomfort you experience is minimal. Most patients report that pain settles down within 2 to 3 days of surgery and the recovery after a labiaplasty is generally known to be a quick one.
For patients who are considering having labiaplasty with a local anaesthetic, you will also have the option of having mild oral sedation so that you feel relaxed and comfortable throughout the procedure. There can be a moderate amount of swelling after a labiaplasty and this will usually settle down during the first 3 to 5 days after surgery. Labiaplasty surgery is a commonly carried out procedure at Centre for Surgery in London and takes approximately 1-2 hours to carry out. Once the procedure is complete, you will be taken back to the recovery ward and readied for discharge during this time. Once you are medically fit for discharge, you will need to have a responsible adult escort to accompany you home. Whether you have a local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic for a labiaplasty, you’ll be able to go home the same day as the procedure.
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How painful is labiaplasty recovery?
Labiaplasty is a well-tolerated procedure and is not associated with a significant amount of pain or discomfort. Once the procedure is complete, you will be able to mobilise immediately without assistance. It is normal to expect a mild to moderate degree of bruising and swelling for the first few days after the procedure and as this settles down, any soreness will resolve. Labiaplasty swelling takes up to 1 week to settle down and can be improved by applying cold packs to the labia. In a small number of cases, persistent swelling may be visible for up to 3 months but this will be barely noticeable after the first four weeks and should not cause disturbance to your normal daily activities. The vast majority of patients will be able to commence normal daily activities such as exercise and sexual intercourse at the six-week mark following the labiaplasty procedure. For further information on labiaplasty recovery, you should ask your surgeon and our nursing team. Recovery after a labiaplasty can be optimised by wearing cotton-based loose clothing to avoid irritating the area of the labia reduction. It is important to abstain from strenuous exercise for six weeks after the procedure. Sexual intercourse should be avoided for a full six weeks after labiaplasty surgery. You should also avoid the application of tampons for a minimum of four weeks after surgery. Your surgeon allows the application of absorbent sanitary towels during your first menstrual period after the procedure. You can help to minimise swelling by lying with the buttocks in a raised position. Applying ice packs on top of your underwear can be highly beneficial but should only be applied for a limited period of time and no more than 20 minutes at a time.
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Most patients describe soreness after a labiaplasty rather than actual pain. Any discomfort can be improved with the taking of the prescription painkillers provided to you by your surgeon. Towards the end of the first week after a labiaplasty, it is not uncommon to experience itching and this can be a sign that the healing process is progressing as normal. In cases where itching is persistent or is getting worse, this could signify a potential bacterial or fungal infection or in some cases an allergic reaction to medicines or dressings. In these cases, we would advise you to get in contact with our post-operative nursing team for further advice and support.
How long will it take for labiaplasty to heal fully?
When carried out by an expert surgeon, labiaplasty is a very safe and effective treatment for enlarged labia and the recovery period after surgery is minimal with the vast majority of patients returning to normal activities within six weeks.
After having labia reduction surgery at Centre for Surgery in London, we would recommend you to take 3 to 5 days off work to allow you to recover although taking one week off is optimal. Most of the bruising and swelling will settle down by the end of the first week. Most day-to-day activities can be recommenced after one week. Any swelling after surgery is usually most prominent after the first three days and soreness can be controlled with prescribed painkillers. It is important not to do too much too soon although keeping mobile will help the healing process. Most patients can restart driving a car after two weeks and it is recommended to sleep on your back for the first two weeks as this will prevent any friction to the operated area.
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Patients can resume strenuous exercise and sexual activity after six weeks. In all cases, you should take it easy to begin with and always listen to your body to make sure that your healing after labiaplasty progresses as smoothly as possible.
Labiaplasty is a day case procedure and once you have returned home, you have full access to our post-operative nursing team for any questions or concerns you may have. Our aftercare program has been described as ‘outstanding’ by the CQC and our nurses are fully trained in all aspects of labiaplasty recovery and will be able to advise you on all aspects of post-operative care. You will have a review appointment booked for you one week after your labiaplasty procedure with a member of our nursing team. At this appointment, your surgical site will be reviewed to make sure the incisions are healing as planned. You will see your surgeon at the six-week mark to review the outcome of the procedure and to make sure that you are getting the best possible results.
Does labiaplasty affect feeling down below?
Maybe women report that a labiaplasty has increased their sexual satisfaction. This is often due to the labia no longer being pulled or twisted during intercourse and the increase in self-confidence can be significant. Labioplasty surgery is not known to change sensitivity or feeling in the labia and does not affect sexual arousal or the ability to attain sexual climax or orgasm. In a very rare number of cases particularly after revision surgery, there may be slightly reduced sensitivity in the genitalia area. It is normal to have a temporary sensation of numbness during the first two weeks when the incisions are healing and swelling slowly settles down.
Can I walk after a labiaplasty?
There is no restriction on walking after a labiaplasty and our nursing team will actively encourage you to mobilise straight after your procedure. Labiaplasty surgery is not generally associated with being a painful procedure and the recovery period is fairly quick. Patients should always listen to their bodies and not do much too soon to avoid delayed healing. It is normal to have a degree of bruising and swelling after the procedure which may be a cause of post-operative soreness. At Centre for Surgery, you will be able to go home later the same day as your labiaplasty procedure.
What does the scar look like after a labiaplasty?
The resulting scar after a Labiaplasty surgery and its visibility will depend on the type of technique chosen. Dr Dimitriadi specialises in minimally invasive techniques to minimise the appearance of the scar as much as possible. In most cases, the scar will be placed in natural body folds to produce the most natural-looking result. It should therefore be very difficult for anyone to determine whether a surgical procedure has been carried out. Only dissolvable sutures are used for a labiaplasty which means they will not need to be removed at your post-operative review appointment. The stitches will dissolve by themselves and any initial scar tissue will soften over the first few months after labiaplasty surgery. If you are interested to learn more about labiaplasty surgery and how it could benefit you, speak to one of our friendly and knowledgeable patient coordinators today to book a face-to-face consultation with our expert female labiaplasty surgeon in London.