Labiaplasty Recovery: Timeline + Tips

By Chuma Chike-Obi, MD August 29, 2018 2 Comments

labiaplasty recovery tips

Labiaplasty (sometimes called labial reduction) is a surgical procedure that is performed to alter the appearance and reduce the size of the inner labia (labia minora). While labiaplasty is a relatively quick outpatient procedure, there are things about the recovery process that every patient should know.

This post will provide a basic recovery timeline for the average labiaplasty procedure, as well as some tips to make recovery as easy as possible. Note that your specific recovery experience may differ based on your unique pain tolerance, body characteristics, and the labiaplasty technique performed.

Labiaplasty Recovery Timeline

1 to 3 Days Following Surgery: You may experience mild pain for the first few days after the procedure. Pain can be managed through prescribed pain medication prescribed by your surgeon. Mild to moderate swelling and bruising of the area is also quite common. It is not uncommon for one side of the labia to be more swollen than the other side in the early period. Rest is extremely important. Most patients will be advised to minimize walking for the first 2-3 days.

1 Week Following Surgery: Pain often subsides to the point where most patients no longer require pain medication. However, swelling and bruising may persist. Many women begin to feel well enough to walk and perform normal physical activity. Most patients will be cleared to go back to work. Some patients may notice a persistent itchiness as their incisions continue to heal. It is important to not scratch or rub the treated area. A cold compress is helpful or you may be prescribed a medication.

3-4 Weeks Following Surgery: Dissolvable stitches that are frequently used to close labiaplasty incisions should fully be gone. Patients are often cleared to undertake more active forms of exercise, but your surgeon may still advise you to refrain from insertional sexual intercourse or using tampons.

6 Weeks Following Surgery: At this point most patients are approximately 90% healed. It’s common for the patient to be cleared for sexual intercourse and to use tampons by this point. Most swelling and bruising should subside providing the first glimpse of the final results of the procedure. However, the final results of your labiaplasty will not be complete for 4-6 months.


Labiaplasty does result in the creation of minor scars stemming from incisions made along the labia. Often the scarring blends quite well with the surrounding labia tissue and is hidden behind surrounding naturally occurring wrinkles and folds.

Recovery Tips

  • Follow all post-op instructions provided by your surgeon
  • Attend any follow up appointments
  • Refrain from sexual intercourse until cleared by your surgeon
  • Use pads or liners until your doctor clears you to use tampons
  • Wear loose fitting underwear and bottoms until fully healed
  • Instead of wiping with toilet paper, irrigate the area with warm water (try using a squeezy water bottle)
  • Use a doughnut pillow when sitting during the first week to minimize pressure
  • Plan on being out of work for at least a week
  • Get plenty of rest, especially for the first 2-3 days following the procedure
  • Avoid touching the incision sites unnecessarily
  • Eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water
  • Only use pain medication as directed

Chuma Chike-Obi, MD

Chuma Chike-Obi, MD completed a 6 year residency with the Division of Plastic Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine and Affiliate hospitals in Houston, Texas. Dr. Chike-Obi specializes in cosmetic surgery, including facelift, blepharoplasty, breast augmentation, liposuction, rhinoplasty, and reconstructive breast surgery.

2 Responses to “Labiaplasty Recovery: Timeline + Tips”

  1. Michelle says:

    I am thinking about having a vaginal rejuvenation treatment done on me. One of my concerns is the downtime to it. It is good to know that within 3 weeks I can exercise again.

  2. Gerty says:

    Thank you for explaining that after 6 weeks post surgery, you should be about 90% healed. My friend has been wondering how long after surgery it would take for her to heal. It’s good to know that it won’t be too long after and she can get back on her feet quickly.

Leave a Reply