One of the most life-altering plastic surgery procedures of the 20th and 21st centuries has been labiaplasty. Labiaplasty involves reducing the size of the labia minora (the inner lips of the vulva).
Labiaplasty can make many activities, such as exercising and bicycle riding, much more comfortable. It can also make sex less painful for those struggling with discomfort due to enlarged labia.
Beyond the physical effects are the psychological ones. A more streamlined labia can help bring back a younger feel to the patient, whose body may have changed with time and (more often) pregnancy.
Women who undergo this procedure are often thrilled with their results; however, some require a secondary technique known as labiaplasty revision surgery. While most women consider this to adjust surgical results associated with under-correction or over-correction, some turn to this procedure due to complications that occurred during the recovery period — often when proper care was not taken.
While following your surgeon’s instructions after your initial labiaplasty cannot prevent all issues that may arise, it can significantly reduce complications.
Post-Surgery Compliance Is Key
A key element to the success of labiaplasty is compliance with the plastic surgeon’s instructions. If these are ignored, outcomes may not be as positive, and complications can arise.
That’s why it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions exactly.
General Post-Operative Labiaplasty Instructions
If you’ve had a labiaplasty, especially with a skilled plastic surgeon like Dr. Gary Alter, you will be sent home with detailed instructions to follow.
While not a complete list, you should:
- NOT smoke. Smoking can significantly harm your recovery and contribute to serious complications.
- Wear ice packs over gauze at 20-minute intervals to combat swelling for 48 hours
- Avoid sexual activity for at least six weeks.
- Walk, but avoid strenuous workouts.
- Apply warm water rinses and gently pat-dry the vulva daily.
- Take showers. Baths and swimming pools are not recommended.
- Attend all your post-operative appointments.
- Report any issues, such as fever or excessive pain, to your surgeon immediately.
What Could Go Wrong? Non-compliance Means Negative Outcomes
You may think, “If I get it right most of the time, things should be fine.” However, following ALL your plastic surgeon’s directions is important to recovering well from labiaplasty.
Non-compliance is strongly correlated with complications following labiaplasty. In other words, you could face more pain, bleeding, and scarring if you neglect your post-operative care, which, in some cases, may warrant labiaplasty revision.
How Is Labiaplasty Performed?
Knowing what a labiaplasty involves is key to understanding why you must comply with your doctor’s instructions.
Here is how most labiaplasty procedures are performed:
- The patient is usually given general anesthesia or IV sedation.
- Dr. Alter pioneered the wedge method and prefers it for its ability to create beautiful, comfortable results. This option can also help avoid certain issues, such as accidentally removing too much labia.
- Once the correct shape is achieved, the incision is closed.
Your labiaplasty revision procedure will be performed differently from the instructions above. Due to the varied nature of the anatomical problems experienced by women undergoing secondary labiaplasty, the procedural techniques will vary by patient. This may include removing more of each labium (from under-correction of the initial procedure), scar revision, or recreating one or both labium (from over-correction of the initial procedure). Dr. Alter rarely has to perform revisions on his patients, but 40% of his labia procedures are revisions of other surgeons’ complications.
Outcome of Labiaplasty
The procedure itself sounds straightforward. However, you must have it performed by an experienced and caring board-certified plastic surgeon. It is all too easy for an inexperienced doctor to take off too much of the labia or to leave an uneven edge. Seek out a labiaplasty specialist for your best results.
With the right physician, the proper technique, and excellent aftercare, chances are higher that you’ll love your result.
Once the Surgery Is Over, It’s Your Turn
Labiaplasty is a game changer for many women — but a great outcome depends on how you treat the area and follow post-operative instructions.
Once the surgery is over, the rest is up to you.
If You Had a Labiaplasty and Didn’t Like Your Results, Labiaplasty Revision Can Help
If you’re concerned and want labiaplasty revision with a qualified, experienced surgeon who can take the time to review your goals with you, call Dr. Alter’s Los Angeles office today at (310) 275-5566. Dr. Alter also provides services for women in New York. You can reach our NYC location at (212)-321-0749.
We can tell you what you can realistically expect from a labiaplasty revision and will guide you through the process, so you can achieve an outcome you can truly be happy with.
Check out Dr. Alter’s labiaplasty revision FAQ here.