As kids, whenever we would go on a road trip, the last thing my mom would say before we locked the doors and hit the road was, “Ok, last chance! What did I forget?”
Even though we were always sure we packed everything we could possibly fit into our bags, that question would inevitably lead to a mad dash back into the house for whatever forgotten toothbrush, card game, toy, or book we needed to keep us sane along our journey. This, in turn, kept our parents sane (which likely is what led to this little family tradition).
While few would compare labiaplasty recovery to a family vacation, there are some key points of information that tend to slip the mind when you’re in the process of recovery. Here are five “what did I forget?” moments you might experience in the days following your surgery, with some pointers on what to do if and when they happen. Keeping a watchful eye out for these moments will better prepare you to handle them, and will help speed you along to a healthy recovery.
Let’s get straight to the serious stuff. These are the situations where your labiaplasty recovery has officially hit the “complications” stage. If you experience...
...you are experiencing an urgent medical event and you need to seek immediate care.
If you are one of our patients, contact the office at (732) 945-6555. If it is after hours, you will be given instructions on how to reach us.
If you are not our patient, your surgeon should have given you an aftercare guide with similar instructions. If you cannot find it, contact your provider’s office, or, failing that, a trusted emergency facility. Potential complications from labiaplasty like infections and bleeding and can be dangerous if not treated promptly.
The chance of permanent numbness following labiaplasty is exceedingly rare. However, that knowledge tends to fly out the mental window the first time you experience numbness following your surgery, and then again if that numbness lasts for more than a few weeks. Labiaplasty is a significant surgery. Your body and skin are healing. Numbness can be a part of that process. It is normal.
Ice packs will do more for you than painkillers. I know it seems crazy, but it’s true. Ice packs not only numb the nerve endings that cause pain, but also reduce swelling at the surgery site, which can aid in the recovery process.
Painkillers like Tylenol and later NSAIDs are tolerated as part of a comfortable recovery but don’t make the mistake of thinking that they will take care of everything. In fact, there is some evidence that patients who rely on painkillers have slower recovery times than those who incorporate other pain relief methods like ice packs.
Ice packs should be used every 4-6 hours when you are awake for the first 24 hours following surgery to reduce pain and swelling at the surgery site. After that, use an ice pack as needed to handle flare-ups of pain (NOTE: Place the ice packs in a thin pad or mini pad; NOT directly on the skin or surgery site).
As part of your surgery, you will likely be given a topical steroid cream as well as antifungals and antibiotics to ensure a safe recovery. Take those as directed. If you have any other home remedies you want to try, please give us a call before attempting to add them to your recovery plan. Certain topical ointments can negatively impact your recovery and possibly even cause infections.
Two words: Ripped. Sutures.
While each of us heals differently, six weeks is typically a reasonable threshold to assume that your body has healed enough to be able to handle experimenting with intercourse. If you try to push that timeline, you might wind up starting back over with your recovery, or even worse, causing significant damage to your surgery site.
Even after the first six weeks, it is important to remember that your body has undergone a major change. You will feel different than before your surgery, both physically and mentally. You may experience some reluctance to... test the waters, so to speak. Listen to your body and your emotional state.
When you are ready, you and your partner should treat your new labia like a new labia. Gently explore your changes together. If you experience pain, stop immediately. If no pain is present, it may be safe for you to continue exploring and see what else you can discover together. Your surgery will change how sex feels to you. Enjoy that exploration… just do it slowly and safely.
While these five tips are among the most frequently forgotten, they are by no means an exhaustive list. Consult our complete Postoperative Instructions handout for more details on how to have a successful recovery from your labiaplasty. It will help give you peace of mind if you find yourself wondering what you might have forgotten.
If you still have questions or feel there may be something amiss with your recovery, please don’t hesitate to call Parcells Plastic Surgery. Our trained and friendly staff and medical professionals are available to help answer your questions to make sure you achieve your desired recovery results.
To learn more, contact us to schedule a consultation with Dr. Parcells today.
Parcells Plastic Surgery offers the most advanced surgical and cosmetic medical spa treatments to women in New Jersey.
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Alexis Parcells is here to educate and empower you to celebrate your natural beauty.655 Shrewsbury Ave, Suite 207, Shrewsbury, New Jersey 07702 700 Crescent Place, Sea Girt NJ 08750