So, you’ve decided to get a labiaplasty, or looking to fix a botched labiaplasty. Great on you. But getting the procedure is just a fraction of the journey. Knowing how to care for your incisions and yourself after your labiaplasty will ensure your recovery is smoother so you get the results you deserve.
Just like any surgery that requires a recovery period, it’s really important to stock up and mentally prepare yourself for the next few weeks post-operation. Here are a few dos and don’ts that will help you heal effectively and possibly make your road to recovery as smooth as possible.
First with the Dos:
Relax and take it easy. It’s important to go easy after any surgery, and labiaplasty definitely falls under that umbrella. Your body will be busy trying to heal the incisions, so make sure to rest and give your body time to heal. It’s best to lay down on your back and avoid sitting upright. But it’s also important to walk around a bit to maintain healthy circulation and avoid blood clots. Just don’t overdo it the first month.
Apply a cold compress. Icing the affected area right after surgery will go a long way to reducing inflammation and discomfort if done routinely and regularly. But don’t leave the cold compress on for more than 15 minutes at a time to avoid damaging the skin.
Take prescribed medication. Be sure to follow post-op instructions, including taking prescribed medication. You may be prescribed an ointment as well. Alcohol use should be avoided while taking prescribed pain medication. Check with your doctor before taking non-prescribed or OTC medications to be safe.
Check your incisions daily. Infections can set in even under the best of care. So be sure to check the site daily for possible infection. If you see any indication of an infection, call your doctor’s office immediately for next steps.
Keep the area clean and dry. Your incisions will not heal properly if the area isn’t kept dry and clean. So, make sure to toss out bandages once soiled and replace with a sanitary napkin which should be replaced regularly. Your surgeon will instruct you on how to do this and you should follow all instructions carefully.
Eat a balanced diet. Look you’re probably wondering about bowel movements and urinating after surgery because who wouldn’t! To minimize, ahem, complications it’s advised that you eat a high-fiber diet rich in fruits and vegetables. You should be doing that any ways, but really be sure to do it post-labiaplasty. A high-fiber intake will stave off constipation which is crummy when all is not so well down south. Oh, and drink loads of water. Hydration is crucial to healing and it will ensure your urine isn’t abundantly acidic which will go a long way to eliminate painful stinging during urination.
Speaking of urination, use a spray bottle filled with water. Stinging during urination is pretty common post-labiaplasty just like after childbirth. Keep a spray bottle with water close by and squirt it gently at your vagina when you pee. This will dilute your urine, minimizing the burning sensation and keep you clean in the process.
Call your doctor’s office immediately if you experience:
- Significant bleeding from the surgical site.
- A fever over 100.4° F within the first three days.
- Significant pain at surgical site that doesn’t subside with pain relievers.
- Excessive drainage or redness around the surgical site.
Now for the Don’ts:
Stress and freak out. Seriously. You just had surgery on your lady bits. They are going to be swollen, sore, and itchy. This is to be expected. So, don’t constantly look at yourself in the mirror. Fixating on your lady parts the first few weeks after surgery will only stress you out further and possibly inhibit healing. Anxiety has been shown to slow down the healing process. So, seriously, relax and be gentle on yourself.
Have SEX. Best to stock up on the sex prior to surgery because it’s going to be at least six weeks before you can have intercourse again. Don’t mess around with your lady bits. Let them heal completely post-labiaplasty and don’t rush the sex. And once you get the go ahead from your surgeon, go easy and listen to your body.
Lift heavy stuff or do strenuous activity. It’s important to go easy the first month post-labiaplasty or even longer depending on your surgeon’s instructions. That means no lifting weights or heavy objects, running, horseback riding, bicycling, walking long distances, or even sitting for prolonged periods. A good rule of thumb: If it hurts your mending vagina in any way, don’t do it.
Soak in a bath or go swimming. It’s important to avoid soaking your vagina until the incisions and scar have properly healed. Soaking in hot water will only elongate or, worse, complicate the healing process and should be avoided entirely.
Smoke or use drugs AT ALL. This includes everything. Smoking and other drug use can slow down the body’s natural ability to heal itself, prolonging and even complicating the healing process needlessly. Be sure to eliminate these prior to surgery and absolutely stay away from them while you heal. Or, take this as the perfect time to quit them once and for all.
On top of all these Dos and Don’ts, it’s incredibly important to maintain a positive outlook on life as you start your healing journey. Use this time to open that book you’ve been dying to read or binge your favorite TV shows. Invite friends over to keep you company and make the most of your recovery. And if you suspect any issues post-surgery, do not hesitate to notify your doctor’s office. It’s better to be safe than sorry.