Labia reconstruction or labiaplasty is a surgical procedure to modify and shape the vulva’s lips. You may consider this surgery for various reasons, including making your labia minora more symmetrical, for comfort, and avoiding the stigma associated with labial enlargement.
If you’re considering this cosmetic procedure, read this guide to learn what it is, what to expect, recovery, and more.
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What to Expect Before Labia Reconstruction?
The first visit to your surgeon involves discussing why you want the surgery. Your service provider asks about your goals and expectations to provide customized services.
Ask questions to understand labia reconstruction, including possible risks and expected costs.
Your surgeon explains what to expect during the procedure, such as surgical site location and possible labia changes following surgery. Expect some pre-surgical tests, such as chest X-ray and blood work, to determine whether you’re a good candidate for labia reconstruction.
The labia reconstruction professional offers instructions to prepare you for the procedure. These include what to wear, foods and drinks to avoid, and medications you should stop as you wait for the surgery.
Follow the recommendations for your procedure to yield better results.
How Surgeons Perform Labia Reconstruction Surgery?
Professionals perform labia reconstruction using one of two techniques: wedge resection and edge resection. They conduct the procedures under anesthesia.
Edge resection is where the surgeon trims protruding labia’s edges. Wedge resection involves cutting wedge-shaped skin from the labia minora and using dissolvable sutures to connect the remaining skin. This maintains the initial labia edges’ shape.
While many plastic surgeons use the edge (or trim) method, there is a chance of the surgeon resecting too much tissue, which causes a different set of problems. Because of this, be sure to choose a surgeon who is highly experienced with this procedure and specializes in genital surgery. These professionals are experts of vulva/vagina anatomy and how to manipulate tissues without affecting sensation.
What to Expect During Recovery?
Labia reconstruction is an outpatient procedure. You can go home the same day after the surgery. You should take off from work for about three to seven days for labia sores and swelling to subside.
Your surgeon recommends anti-inflammatories for pain reduction and antibiotics to minimize infection risk. Consider these tips for faster and smooth recovery:
- Wear loose attires to prevent excessive pain and friction
- Take sitz or salt baths to reduce soreness
- Avoid strenuous activities and rigorous exercises
- Abstain from sex and tampon use for four to six weeks
As you recover from labia reconstruction, you should follow up with your surgeon for evaluation to ensure complete healing. Your service provider may recommend using vaginal lubrication during sexual contact to prevent abrasions.
If you experience urination discomfort, this is normal and occurs when your labia gets exposed to acidic urine. Over time, your skin adjusts, and the pain wears out. Discuss with your surgeon how to differentiate a urinary tract infection from dysuria.
After complete healing, you’re okay to resume your daily activities without significant lifestyle changes. You can engage in exercises and intercourse without limitations or restrictions.
When seeking labia reconstruction, you should understand the procedure for your safety and get desirable results. Here are the most frequently asked questions about labiaplasty:
What Happens During My Initial Consultation With a Surgeon?
Your service provider discusses your symptoms and expectations with you. They perform some medical tests to determine whether you qualify for the surgery. If you’re a good candidate, they explain the details of the procedure.
What Is Labia Reconstruction Recovery Like?
After labiaplasty, expect bruising and swelling at the surgical incision sites for about two weeks. You shouldn’t have intercourse or exercise for at least six weeks. Spotting may occur for the first few days, but you should handle this by wearing pads.
Most patients resume work after three to four days. Your surgeon uses dissolvable stitches, which don’t require removal.
Are There Possible Complications?
Most patients don’t have complications after the procedure. Excessive bleeding, infection, and suture line separation are potential risks. Consult your service provider if you notice complications for recommendations. When looking around for a labia reconstruction surgeon, choose a board-certified professional to minimize risks.
Am I a Good Candidate for Labia Reconstruction?
If you have issues with your enlarged outer or inner labia minora, such as discomfort, you might be a good candidate for the procedure. You should be of proper health and have reasonable expectations. The cosmetic procedure improves the condition and enhances your confidence. Consult a board-certified surgeon for examination to determine your candidacy for labiaplasty.