In a world where self-confidence and comfort reign supreme, plastic surgery often serves as a transformative journey to achieving both. While procedures like breast augmentations and tummy tucks frequently take center stage, another surgery is common but not as openly discussed: labiaplasty.

This procedure, performed by skilled plastic surgeons, has the power to enhance mental well-being, boost self-esteem, and usher in an era of overall happiness. If you’re curious about labiaplasty or considering it as an option, understanding the recovery process is essential. Let’s delve into the answers to the burning questions that many women have about life after a labiaplasty.

1. What Does Life After Labiaplasty Surgery Look Like?

Any surgical journey involves a bit of discomfort, and labiaplasty is no exception. Expect some degree of pain, bruising, and discomfort in the aftermath of your procedure. But fear not, with a touch of patience, some well-deserved rest, and diligent aftercare, you’ll be back on your feet in no time and ready to resume your regular activities.

2. Dealing with Swelling, Itching, and Bruising

The initial days post-surgery might surprise you. Your labia minora, labia majora, and even the untouched clitoris can become notably swollen. It’s crucial to remember that this temporary change is perfectly normal. The swelling usually subsides within the first few days with proper care.

You may also experience itching around the incision area – it’s a natural part of the healing process. It’s essential to resist the urge to scratch to avoid any damage to your stitches or potential infections. Be gentle with your healing vulva, and if the itching persists beyond the initial days, it’s wise to schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor to rule out any infections.

3. Bleeding and Drainage

Expect some light bleeding or drainage from the incision area, a common occurrence during recovery. To prevent any inconvenience or staining of your clothing, it’s advisable to wear a light pad during this phase. By the end of the first week, you’ll notice a significant reduction in swelling, itching, bruising, and spotting.

4. Scarring – A Natural Part of Healing

Labiaplasty involves stitches, which typically dissolve within two to three weeks post-surgery. Once the stitches dissolve, scar tissue forms but eventually softens back to a natural state after several months. While a scar will remain, the incision is strategically placed within the folds of your labia minora, ensuring it’s nearly invisible, even to your gynecologist.

5. How to Manage Post-Op Pain

During the first few days after your labiaplasty, applying a cold compress to the area for 15-minute intervals can significantly alleviate pain and swelling. However, it’s crucial to remove the compress after 15 minutes to avoid damaging your skin.

Labiaplasty Surgery Recovery

Follow your doctor’s prescribed pain relief medication, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or any other pain relief option recommended. If your doctor provides a lidocaine ointment, apply it gently and directly to the scar.

As you progress through the first week of recovery, your reliance on pain medications should gradually decrease. If you have concerns about your pain management or if the pain worsens over time, consult your labiaplasty plastic surgeon.

6. Handling Pain During Urination

One of the more challenging aspects of recovery is dealing with the discomfort during urination. Given the surgery’s sensitive nature, you may experience a stinging sensation. An effective tip is to keep a spray bottle filled with water near the toilet. As you urinate, gently spray the incision area to alleviate some of the stinging sensations and maintain cleanliness.

7. Essential Labiaplasty Aftercare Steps

Proper aftercare plays a pivotal role in a smooth recovery. Follow these steps diligently:

  • Gentle Cleansing: Use lukewarm water and soap to cleanse the area. Avoid any rigorous rubbing to prevent stretching or breaking the stitches.
  • Bathing and Soaking: Hold off on bathing, swimming, or soaking in water until you receive clearance from your physician.
  • Shower Care: Stick to showers and, after showering, gently pat the area dry with a clean towel or cloth before reapplying a bandage.
  • Soap Selection: Steer clear of fragrant or exfoliating soaps, opting for warm water alone.
  • Clothing Choices: Wear clean, breathable undergarments, preferably crafted from 100% cotton. Loose-fitting attire that won’t irritate the area is ideal.

8. Resuming Physical Activity

Your labiaplasty recovery journey will have you returning to work and light activities approximately one week after surgery. However, if your job involves physically demanding tasks like lifting or bending, extending your recovery period for up to a week might be a sensible choice to ensure uninterrupted healing.

Strenuous exercise, sexual activity, and physically demanding activities such as running, swimming, and cycling should be postponed until you reach the sixth week of your labiaplasty recovery process.


Understanding the labiaplasty recovery process is vital for those considering or undergoing this procedure. It’s a journey that involves patience, self-care, and a focus on your overall well-being. By following these guidelines and heeding your surgeon’s advice, you’ll be well on your way to feeling comfortable, confident, and beautiful in your skin once more.