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Labiaplasty recovery timeline

Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure used to create a neater appearance of the labia minora. Those who choose to have this type of cosmetic surgery achieve improved size and symmetry of the labia, which can increase confidence and reduce discomfort when wearing tight clothing and during sexual intercourse. 

Many people are put off by the healing process, but considering the benefits, it's well worth it. Here's everything you need to know about labiaplasty recovery

March 28th, 2023 |Ask an Expert

What is labiaplasty surgery?

Labiaplasty is a type of cosmetic surgery that reduces the protruding inner skin, to reduce the overall labia minora and give a much more symmetrical and neater appearance. 

The surgery takes between 30-60 minutes and can often include a hoodectomy (a surgery which reduces the size of the clitoral hood), and is done under general anaesthetic. 

When the surgery is complete, you will be taken into a recovery suite to be brought back around safely and monitored by one of our MYA nurses. You can leave the hospital once you have been checked over by your surgeon and the medical team are happy to discharge you - in most cases, this is the same day of surgery or the morning after if you choose to stay overnight.

Before you leave, you will be given prescribed pain medication, sanitary pads, and antibiotics to take with you to aid the recovery process.

The labiaplasty recovery timeline

After a cosmetic surgery procedure, it’s important to remember that every patient heals at different rates. However, there are common side effects patients experience when it comes to the labiaplasty recovery process. 

Week one

After being discharged from the hospital, you will be prescribed anti-inflammatories and painkillers to reduce discomfort - your nurse will advise you on dosages specific to your requirements. 

In this first week of labiaplasty recovery, it’s normal to experience some bleeding, difficulty when walking, and discomfort when urinating. Patients are advised to keep their incisions clean and dry following labiaplasty. Patients should not have a bath or submerge themselves in water until 10 days post-op but can have a shower 24 hours after their procedure to gently clean the area.

Towards the end of the week, the swelling around your vulva will start to reduce, giving you an idea of what it will look like when it’s fully healed.

After one week, you can also return to work. However, depending on how you’re healing (and your job type), you may be required to take an extra week off - your MYA nurse will give you more information on this.

Week two 

It’s important to remember that everyone heals at different rates and to focus on your recovery journey and not others. Here at MYA, we use dissolvable stitches for labiaplasties - it takes around two weeks for them to fully dissolve. This way, the patient can fully recover at home without having to visit a clinical hub to get the stitches removed. 

Week three 

After your stitches are fully dissolved, you’ll start to feel much more comfortable sitting and less sensitive at the halfway mark of the labiaplasty recovery timeline

Weeks four to five 

You're nearly fully recovered! 

Similar to the previous week, things will continue to get a lot more comfortable. While you shouldn’t have sex or take part in high-intensity exercises yet, it’s important to stay positive in the last few weeks, as you’re almost at the end of your labiaplasty recovery timeline

Week six 

After six weeks, you will typically be fully recovered. You can now use tampons, have sex, and exercise as normal. We always recommend consulting your MYA nurse and clinical team before doing so

Labiaplasty recovery tips 

While there isn’t necessarily a way to speed up the recovery process, there are a few things you can do to ease discomfort in the initial 6-week recovery period. 

  • Attend labiaplasty follow-up appointments

    After your surgery, you will be booked in for appointments with our nurses and your surgeon to assess your progress. 

    It’s important you attend every labiaplasty follow-up appointment, as it’s a chance for you to ask any questions and for our team to ensure you’re healing properly. 

  • Use cold compresses 

    As bruising and swelling are common side effects of labiaplasty recovery, using something cold can reduce any tightness you may experience. 

    You can also put sanitary pads in the freezer! This is great for the first 1-3 weeks of recovery when swelling and bruising are at their worst.

  • Refrain from sexual activities 

    We know it might be difficult, but you must  avoid sex for 6 weeks post-op. Any form of penetration to the vulva can damage the newly formed tissue, so you should ease off until it’s completely healed. 

    Most patients typically resume sexual activity after this period and are advised to take it slowly at first to prevent disrupting the healing or causing pain.

  • Wear loose-fitting clothing and underwear

    If you usually opt for a g-string and form-fitting trousers, we recommend you buy some cotton pants and stay away from tight jeans during your recovery. It will make things a lot more comfortable for you. Soft cotton underwear also allows the skin to breathe and reduces friction-related irritation.

  • Irrigate the area when urinating

    While painkillers and antibiotics will be helpful for labiaplasty pain management, it’s normal to experience a burning sensation when urinating. This is really common and nothing to worry about, but it doesn’t make it any less uncomfortable. 

    To reduce this, pour lukewarm water over the labiaplasty incision when urinating. 

  • Take it slow

    When it comes to cosmetic surgery, there is always an element of emotional recovery. This should be taken just as seriously as the physical side. 

    While a benefit of labiaplasty is improved confidence, this may not come straight away, so be kind to yourself and keep the end goal in mind. 

    If you’re struggling and need like-minded people to talk to, check out the MYA Forum - a place where you can learn from and talk to those in the same situation as you. From recovery tips to support, it’s the perfect place to chat with past, present, and future cosmetic surgery patients. 

Labiaplasty recovery FAQs

How painful is labiaplasty recovery? 

Like all cosmetic surgery procedures, recovery isn't going to be a walk in the park. However, recovering from labiaplasty surgery is rarely described as painful, but more as uncomfortable while your body heals. 

Discomfort is completely normal and just means your body is getting used to the new shape and any scar tissue.  

Using a cold compress, resting as advised, and following the guidance from your MYA surgeon and nurse will help aid the recovery process, making it as fuss-free as possible. Pain medication will be prescribed and should be taken as advised - this will help manage pain, and reduce any discomfort so you can rest and recover effectively. 

It's important to stress that not every patient is the same, and neither is their labiaplasty recovery. Try not to compare your journey to anyone else, and simply follow your surgeon's advice.

How long is labiaplasty recovery? 

The initial labiaplasty recovery process is around 6 weeks after surgery. However, getting used to your new body continues for several months. 

Jumping in head first to your old routine can cause physical discomfort and disrupt the new shape of the labia minora, so make sure to take it easy and ease your way back into day-to-day life - this includes exercise and sexual activity. 

What not to do after a labiaplasty? 

After a labiaplasty procedure, it's common to feel tired, sore and a bit out of it (due to the anaesthetic). 

To make sure you don't disrupt the healing of the labia majora and labia minora, you must not:

  • Have sex

  • Exercise

  • Engage in heavy lifting

  • Smoke or vape 

  • Drink alcohol 

  • Submerge the area 

Doing any of these until advised by your surgeon can negatively affect the final result of the labiaplasty surgery, meaning you may need further or revisional surgery in the future. 

Does labiaplasty affect sensitivity?

The labiaplasty surgeons here at MYA are specially trained to perform this surgical procedure and have developed the safest techniques that are highly unlikely to cause a loss of sensation. 

Due to the removal of unnecessary tissue, many patients notice enhanced sensitivity post-op and find it easier to reach sexual pleasure during intercourse.

Learn more about labiaplasty with MYA 

If you want to know more about labiaplasty recovery, or the surgery itself, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team - we’re more than happy to answer any of your questions. 

Alternatively, you can book a FREE e-consultation to speak to one of our experts directly and learn more about labiaplasty surgery.

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