Women are taught to feel empowered by all of the curves and charms that their bodies have to offer. But what happens when one or more parts of our bodies make us feel less than confident, and actually cause us discomfort and pain? While many women will not hesitate to talk about their desire for larger or smaller breasts or for Botox and lip fillers, there is one popular surgery that women rarely discuss.
The labiaplasty procedure offers relief for women who feel self-conscious about the way that their labia minora look and feel. This surgery is more popular than you may think it is, but it’s rarely discussed during book club meetings.
What happens during the labiaplasty procedure?
This surgical procedure is performed on women who have concerns about their overhanging or drooping labia minora. Excess tissue in this area can provide women with a number of challenges, and even be responsible for discomfort and pain. Even the most comfortable of underwear can lead to irritation and pain. Some activities like running may cause an increase in irritation and pain, and may even lead to bleeding. Some women may also find it difficult to discuss the fact that the excess tissue can lead to their feeling less than confident in intimate settings. Slim fitting clothes may not be an option and even going swimming may be something that is largely avoided.
The labiaplasty procedure simply trims away the excess skin neatly, leaving a much smoother look. There are two types of techniques used. The amount of tissue that needs to be removed, along with surgeon preference will dictate the technique that is used for each patient. Discuss your cosmetic goals with your surgeon during your consultation. The more labiaplasty information that you understand, the more confident you’ll feel about undergoing this procedure.
The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. Patients will be allowed to return home to heal in comfort once they have recovered from the anaesthesia used during surgery.
What is the recovery process like?
Recovery after any surgical procedure can be a challenge, even for the healthiest and in shape of patients. Individuals have their own pace for healing and their own unique tolerance for pain.
The first few days following the surgery could have you feeling a fair amount of discomfort and pain. Take the prescription medications offered to you, so that you can help to manage the pain. Cold compresses used at 15 minute intervals can help to reduce the swelling you’ll experience, and also help with pain management.
The swelling can be quite severe after surgery, so be sure not to get discouraged when you see your results right after surgery.
Some women find that wearing underwear for the first few days after surgery is very painful. Be sure to have loose fitting pajamas or nightshirts so that you are able to remain comfortable as your body heals.
A spray bottle with warm water in it can prove to be a lifesaver for when you need to urinate. Even if you are fully hydrated, urine can sting those brand-new incisions. To reduce the pain, spray water on yourself to dilute the urine and make life a bit more bearable.
After a few days of healing your surgeon make okay a warm sitz bath. This will help to keep you comfortable and feeling refreshed. It can also help to minimise any itching that you may experience as your incisions start to heal.
If your surgeon has prescribed any ointments, you should apply them as directed. These ointments can often help to reduce discomfort and avoid the potential for an infection.
What will the scar look like?
Plastic surgeons very often use stitches that will dissolve on their own after several weeks. At this point you’ll be able to see that the scars are often placed so that they blend in well into the tissue of the labia minora, which naturally has wrinkles and folds that can disguise scars. Soon after the stitches dissolve, the scar tissue may feel firm to the touch. It will soften within a few months as the healing process continues.
Be sure to call your surgeon if the scar feels warm to the touch and looks red and irritated, as this could be signs of an infection.
How soon can normal activities resume?
While it may seem like labiaplasty is a minor surgery because it impacts such a small part of your body, it’s important to remember that any surgery is a major surgery for your body to recover from. With this in mind, you may find that it takes up to 2 weeks before you feel like you can walk without discomfort or pain. Some women need up to 4 weeks before they are able to walk freely without discomfort.
It’s suggested that patients wait until between 6 and 8 weeks before resuming a fitness routine, or before resuming romance with a partner. The scars will need to be strong enough to handle the increased activity, so that you can avoid injuring yourself.
Labiaplasty can help to restore your confidence levels while also reducing the preoperative discomfort and pain that you felt due to the excess tissue. It may feel uncomfortable to get the conversation started, but you’ll find that a qualified surgeon has a compassionate and nonjudgmental ear to help you on the path to seeing the cosmetic results you’ve been hoping for.