Q: Dr. Eppley, I am considering labial reduction surgery with a tummy tuck. It seems like a good time to do both since they are in proximity to each other and I assume that the bigger recovery comes from the tummy tuck anyway. My plastic surgeon was fairly thorough on the after surgery instructions for the tummy tuck but told me nothing about what to do after the labial reduction. What do you tell patients after this kind of plastic surgery?
A: While the size of the area operated on in labiaplasty is relatively small, it is in a sensitive area. Good hygiene with sitz baths or a spray bottle several times a day is needed and the application of antibiotic ointment for a week after surgery. Since you are having a tummy tuck, cleansing the area with a spray bottle will need to be done. Oral antibiotics are given and will be taken for a week after surgery. If you have a known problem of developing yeast infections while on antibiotics, Diflucan will be given along with the antibiotic. Narcotic pain medication will be needed for the tummy tuck so this will cover the labiaplasty as well. Expect some swelling and a little bruising of the labia for a =few weeks afterwards. Cool compresses can be used to help alleviate pain and help with the swelling. From an activity standpoint, moderate exercise can be resumed after three weeks. One should not have intercourse for a month after surgery to prevent irritation of the suture lines and possible wound opening. Other activities that require straddling a seat such as horseback riding and bicycle/motorcycle riding should be similarly avoided. For the same reason, tampon use should be avoided for a month as well. Be aware that scar tissue will form along the suture lines and this will initially feel hard and sometimes a little sensitive. This will take several months to soften. By six weeks after surgery you should be able to return to all activities without restriction and be fully healed.
Dr. Barry Eppley