9 Things to Know Before Undergoing Labiaplasty

Written by Timothy McGee, MD, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon on June 8, 2018 4 Comments

before labiaplasty

Labiaplasty is minimally invasive outpatient cosmetic surgical procedure that is designed to improve the size, shape, symmetry and the overall appearance of the labia. It is an effective way to help women who experience discomfort or are self-conscious about the appearance of their labia. Among other benefits, Labiaplasty can also reduce physical discomfort, improve hygiene concerns, and result in increased comfort and pleasure during sex. If you are contemplating the procedure you may have some questions about what recovery from labiaplasty will be like.

Here are 9 things every woman should know before undergoing a labiaplasty procedure.

Not as painful as you may think

The surgery is performed with anesthesia, and you will feel little to no pain but there will be some mild pain for the first few days after the surgery that will be managed with pain medication.  After a few days of recovery many patients report discomfort to be minimal.

Swelling and bruising

It is normal if not certain that you will have some swelling and bruising after the procedure. Most patients have increased swelling the first 3 days and then it subsides over the next few weeks. You will be given medications that are specially designed to decrease swelling and bruising. One side is almost always more swollen that the other and usually resolves over the first 2 weeks.

It’s emotional

As with any surgery, patients may experience a myriad of intense emotions during their recovery. Since labiaplasty deals with such a delicate area many women may feel a bit of anxiety or depression as they heal. A good support system is important.


It is important to rest immediately after the procedure and minimize walking for the first 2-3 days. Most patients are able to return to work after 5 days or so. Rest is important to the healing process of any surgery. Most patients report improvement in their stamina for up to 6 weeks.


Any incision may itch as a sign of healing. It is important to not scratch or rub the treated area. A cold compress if helpful or you may be prescribed a medication.

Feminine Hygiene

Using baby wipes or irrigating the area with water is sometimes a good alternative to toilet paper. Specifically avoid tampons until your surgeon advises. Make use of pads and panty liners. You will need to have some dressing materials on hand and products like mini pads work great for the minimal amount of drainage with labiaplasty.


Wear loose-fitting underwear and clothing. Tighter fitting clothing can result in rubbing, which can cause pain and prolong recovery. Comfortable clothing is key to recovery.

Concerning Sex

You must abstain from sexual intercourse after the surgery until you are cleared by your surgeon. Most patients are healed sufficiently to be cleared to return to sexual activities in 4-6 weeks.

Final tips

Good communication is a key to success. Follow all your surgeon’s instructions, and if you have any questions call your surgeon for further guidance. While most patients will be 90% healed after 6 weeks, the final results of your labiaplasty will not be complete for 4-6 months.


Timothy McGee, MD

Dr. McGee has been practicing plastic surgery for more than 18 years in all areas of the field, including cosmetic surgery and reconstructive breast and facial surgery. Dr. McGee is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery. He has numerous hospital affiliations in the Round Rock and greater Austin areas and is a member of the American Society of plastic Surgeons, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, American College of Surgeons and Austin Smiles.

4 Responses to “9 Things to Know Before Undergoing Labiaplasty”

  1. Avatar Ridley says:

    It’s good to know more about getting a labiaplasty. My wife is looking into getting one right now, and I’ve been concerned about our sexual life. It’s good to know that she should be healed in four weeks, or so.

    • Avatar Wow says:

      Wow. Your wife is more than likely having this done for you and all you are concerned about is the effect it will have on your sex life. No wonder she’s probably feeling like she needs it.

  2. Avatar Sophia says:

    This is great info, I hope every woman reads before undergoing the procedure. I had labiaplasty early last year and can confirm most of what you’re saying.

  3. Avatar Megan says:

    I was really scared about this procedure leading up to it but I can honestly say recovery was not too bad. It was totally worth it in my book

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