The success of your labiaplasty depends 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 San Diego plastic surgeon Dr. Carlos Chacon reviews key facts about labiaplasty recovery.
Swelling and Pain Management
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. Chacon will prescribe pain medicine, antibiotic creams and ointments to manage these symptoms. Prescriptions include Torday (ketorolac), which reduces swelling, and a narcotic (Percocet, Norco, Vidodan) for pain. Ice packs can also be an effective way to control swelling.
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 off limits, 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.
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.
As with any surgery, it is recommended that you be alert for possible complications. 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.
To learn more about labiaplasty, schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Carlos Chacon at his San Diego-area office in Bonita by contacting Divino Plastic Surgery today.