What is it like to get a cosmetic vaginoplasty?
Vaginoplasty, also known as labiaplasty, is one of the most common cosmetic procedures in the US, but it's still something people are often uncomfortable talking about. The procedure comes in two types: vaginal rejuvenation and labiaplasty (cutting away excess tissue to reshape the labia). Vaginoplasty is safe when performed by an experienced and qualified physician, such as Dr. Angela Petre at Perfect Body Laser & Aesthetics. But what exactly happens during a vaginoplastie?
My road to recovery from labiaplasty
After I met with Dr. Angela Petre, I felt confident enough in his skills to proceed with surgery. Dr. Binesh and his staff made me feel at ease from our first meeting all throughout my recovery. The procedure itself was very straightforward, but recovery took longer than I had expected (though still nowhere near as long as my co-workers had warned me). Overall, if you are unhappy with your labia and have researched all other treatment options, you should consider labiaplasty; but be sure you do your research and meet with several surgeons before making your decision. It's an important choice that will affect your body for years to come!
Things I wish I knew before getting labiaplasty
Every surgery has potential complications, and it's no different from labiaplasty. Fortunately, many of these can be avoided with proper preparation and attention. The most common complication (0.3% of patients) is prolonged bleeding after surgery, requiring further surgery or additional hospital time. While uncommon (0.04%), numbness around the clitoris and pain during intercourse can occur too — as with any genital surgery — so make sure you discuss these issues with your surgeon ahead of time. Hence, you know what might happen if they do occur. I also encourage you to read other women's experiences with labiaplasty on RealSelf or find support groups online where people share their experiences in real-time!
Just trust your surgeon - My advice for other women
When you are picking out a surgeon, do your research. I highly recommend you look at their portfolio and talk with women who have had surgery done by them before. Don't be afraid to ask for references, and make sure that your potential surgeon has experience in operating on trans women. The right surgeon can make all of the difference in how good your results turn out. Just trust your surgeon and follow their directions throughout recovery!
Tips for managing pain during recovery
Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage some of your post-operative pain. In particular, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can reduce inflammation and swelling. Aspirin works particularly well if you have an aspirin allergy or intolerance. Avoid taking ibuprofen and acetaminophen within two weeks of surgery, as they may affect wound healing. If your pain continues past 10 days after surgery, talk with your surgeon about whether you need more vital medication.
Caring For Yourself During Recovery Period
Recovering from a procedure like a vaginoplasty can be challenging—and while you're recovering, your partner will likely have an impact on how well you adjust. Make sure that you're fully supported and receive plenty of affection and cuddling while you recover because getting back into daily routines will be difficult.
If possible, take some time off work and make sure that you can relax and heal without feeling pressured to do anything else for as long as possible. Once recovered, resume normal vaginal sex (if desired). Discuss with your surgeon whether or not masturbation is safe—usually six weeks after surgery is fine, but consult your doctor before resuming any activity.
How To Use The Bathroom After Labiaplasty
Your labiaplasty, or vaginal rejuvenation surgery, will result in new folds and some swelling. However, within 48 hours of your surgery, you should be able to pee without feeling any discomfort. It's important not to sit for long periods after your procedure, though. Even if you feel no pain, sitting can worsen swelling and make it difficult for you to pee afterward.
Stitches, Swelling, and Bruising After Labiaplasty
After any surgical procedure, you can expect some bruising and swelling. This will be more obvious in areas that have been cut or stitched closed—so your labia after labiaplasty will likely appear bruised and swollen for about four weeks. And yes, there will most likely be stitches holding your surgery wounds together! Be sure to follow all instructions from your doctor carefully; many patients are given pain medication that can lead to drowsiness, so it's important not to drive or operate machinery if you're under its influence. Stitches dissolve independently but can last anywhere from two weeks to eight weeks, depending on how quickly your body heals itself. Most patients are able to return back to work within one-week post-surgery.
Sitz Bath And Swimsuit Season After Labiaplasty
Being able to wear your favorite pair of swim trunks or skimpiest bikini without fear of visible scarring post-labiaplasty is something that takes some getting used to. Once you've healed from your surgery, there will be no restrictions on what type of activities you can engage in.
You may notice that tight pants and jeans do feel tighter after labiaplasty surgery, but wearing snug clothing shouldn't feel painful; if it does feel uncomfortably tight, try going up a size until you find one that feels just right as far as sex goes: if you were sexually active before your labiaplasty procedure and have questions about sexual intercourse after, consult with your physician and/or gynecologist.
You Can Have Sex Soon After Labiaplastic Surgery!
For many women, one of their biggest concerns when considering labiaplasty (the reduction or reshaping of their inner labia) is whether they can have sex soon after surgery. They are afraid that because their labia will be swollen for a few days and because they'll likely have stitches in place as well, sex will be out of reach for at least several weeks.
But rest assured: Your surgeon should give you specific guidelines before your procedure, and you should feel confident asking him or her any questions you may have. More than likely, you'll be able to engage in all sexual activities right away!
Keeping Vaginas Happy At All Ages
Cosmetic surgery has gained momentum in recent years, with Americans forking over billions of dollars for everything from liposuction to butt implants. While surgeons are always touting how great patients feel about their procedures, we never hear much about people who aren't happy. In fact, plastic surgery isn't always all it's cracked up to be -- we just don't hear much about that either.
If you're thinking of going under the knife but have some reservations, there are plenty of resources available out there that may change your mind -- or at least give you some perspective before making any decisions. Here are three very real stories from women who've had reconstructive and cosmetic work done on their vaginal region
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