Placing an incision on the body as part of any surgery will cause some scarring. However, labial scarring tends to be minimally visible as the incisions are tiny, the tissue is thin with a good supply of blood, and labia already have a naturally “wrinkled” look before the surgery.
Plastic surgeon Dr. Paul McCluskey provides labiaplasty to patients in Atlanta, Buckhead, Georgia, and surrounding communities.
Scarring after Labiaplasty
The goal of the labiaplasty surgery is to provide a natural appearance such that even the patient’s OB/GYN may not realize they have had surgery. But if the patient undergoes the edge-trim technique, it may involve the placement of a scar along the entire leading edge of the labia minora which can feel tender as the nerves regenerate.
In general, surgeons recommend a wedge type labia minora reduction which only rarely leads to pain in the long-run.
After labiaplasty, any painful scar is usually managed over time, and the pain will likely resolve over a period of three to six months. The surgeon will advise the patient to avoid stressing the repair and wait for eight to ten weeks following the surgery to have sex or use tampons or anything else that may be inserted into the vagina.
In case a painful scar remains after five to six months, the patient may require touch-up surgery to enhance the outcomes of an edge-trim type labiaplasty. This may involve the conversion of an edge-trim to a wedge type labiaplasty to a wedge type labiaplasty or developing skin flaps from the skin of the lateral clitoral hood to restore a more natural looking labia minora border.
However, scar revision or corrective surgery is rarely required after a wedge type labiaplasty.
The patient should ideally allow scars to mature for at least six months after the wound completely closes prior to rushing into additional surgery. At times, gentle massage or “desensitization exercises” can reduce scar-related pain.
As it is not “normal” to have pain six to eight weeks after labiaplasty (a majority of patients report that the pain or discomfort resolves within a few weeks of surgery), she should speak to her cosmetic surgeon if the pain persists.
Post-Op Self-Care Advice
The patient can minimize the risk of infection to maintain hygiene. Early healing will minimize the risk of scarring. The objective should be to heal well and not sustain an injury or cause re-opening of the sutures. Furthermore, it will also help mitigate scarring.
Taking brief walks every few hours helps prevent post-op blood clots in the veins. The patient should avoid walking for long durations, sitting, and working aggressively for a minimum of one month after the surgery to minimize pressure on the operative area and to enhance adhesion of the epithelial flaps.
Activities such as lifting heavy weights, straining, or running may put a strain on the perineum leading to wound breakdown. The patient should resume driving only after the pain reduces to the extent of not requiring medication to control it. Simultaneously, they should avoid sitting astride objects such as cycling or horse riding.
Smoking causes slow healing, and the patient should avoid it for at least eight weeks. It also leads to a higher risk of developing scars because of poor healing.
If the patient has mild fever initially, the doctor may manage it with an antipyretic medication such as acetaminophen.
The patient should also consume a high-fiber diet to avoid constipation which may lead to pain in the wound area. In addition, the patient should have plenty of fruits, vegetables, and water.
Plastic surgeon Dr. Paul McCluskey receives patients from Atlanta, Buckhead, Georgia, and nearby areas for labiaplasty.
For more information on procedures and treatments offered by Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Paul McCluskey and the Plastic Surgery Institute of Atlanta, visit:
Serving patients in and around Atlanta, Buckhead, Roswell, Marietta, Georgia and surrounding areas.