So after years of wanting this but being too afraid/worried, today I finally did it after a few months of planning.
I am literally only a half a day post-op, and still nervous and afraid! But so proud of myself.
I am 29, living in Brisbane Australia, and ever since my early teens I have hated everything about my downstairs. Over the ages of 18-25 I always had boyfriends who never cared, and so I didn't either. Even though I secretly was embarrassed, I never let it ruin intimacy or even think about surgery. It's only in the last 4 years or so I've been single, and really bothered by my appearance. I noticed certain underware and bikinis just show my massive bulge of labia down there! And I suddenly became more conscious choosing things to wear . After a bit of weight loss also I noticed my inner labia actually protude even more because my outer labia lost their plumpness and revealed even more long flaps! Why on earth would you lose weight there?! But yes it ll started becoming much more of an issue for me, and after a few awful relationships with men who would cheat or just disappear, I started wondering about surgery, because sex was becoming a complete nightmare trying to constantly move my huge flaps out of the way.
So after a consultation with Dr Konrat in Annerley, Brisbane, I sourced finance and booked it in for February 26, 2014 (today!). I only went to her and no one else because 1. She is female and all female team. 2. No trim method or cutting which all other surgeons use, she uses her own technique which is natural, safer, and met not take off as much as a trim but I was happy with the before/after pics of her other patients and just felt comfortable with her.
This morning I went in at 8.30am for the labiaplasty, very nervous and scared. I have told none of my friends or family, as I'm just too embarrassed, and I had nobody that could drop me off or pick me up so today was a total strength test in doing this all on my own. Taxi there. Due to not having anyone to pick me up and monitor me at home, I could not have intravenous sedation, I was terrified but had to have only oral sedation (Xanax) and local anaesthetic. Although I was drowsy and couldn't feel anything down there I was awake and conscious during the whole procedure which I am still wondering how on earth I did that! Very proud of myself as I am a very squeemish and nervous person when it comes to anything to do with needles and surgeries! I felt slight pulling but no pain or any of the actual procedure. I just tried to think of other things and being drowsy on Xanax was helpful.
I suppose for the purpose of helping other people, if you are being sent home in the care of a friend/family member then you would be sedated and asleep during the whole process, but if not... I managed and I'm a complete sook!
The procedure took nearly 2 hours, which I honestly thought it only felt like 30 minutes, it went extremely quick , hopefully that was the Xanax impairing my judgement.
It is quite confronting because you are spread eagle, legs in stirrups, allowing all to see right in there and do their adjusting! It is awful at first , but then after a while I just didn't care. Once it started there was no going back so I figured just lay back and let them get those long labia off that I hate so much.
From my understanding laser is used to trim a little excess off. Dr Konrat then pulls the labia down and sews in to a neat line so that you are not actually trimming it all off and it will look more natural. The technique is called The Dove which she developed herself.
After the operation I was monitored in recovery, fed, and the nurses and everyone were really lovely through the whole thing. Long lasting local anaesthetic meant I couldn't feel anything during or after. I went home via taxi an hour later. Still numb and no pain. Way too scared to look! It really took about 5 hours once home for any pain to start coming. As the local wore off I did start feeling some discomfort, and took the meds they gave me (pain/anti-inflam/anti-biotic). I have a cold pack on it which is recommended for 48 hours to help with swelling. I was given an endone (pain/sedative) for tonight to get through the first night which I will take before bed.
I didn't get a before picture myself, but they took pictures. I was too scared to look at it once home and was not keen on taking a pic, but considering I found everybody else's experience and pictures so helpful I took a pic just now, about 7 hours post-op. Eek. Little bit of bleeding. I'm sure the swelling will worsen. But all in all not too scary looking yet. I wish I had taken a before shot as is like to see the final difference when I'm healed. But as an idea, I had quite long protruding inner labia (labia minora), which small and not-very-plump outer labia (labia majora) which did seem to worsen after weight loss. So I feel I just had a exposed inner labia and not much else going on down there.
From what I can see now after surgery, I do wish I had plumper outer labia to get that nice "just a slit" look, as I have a large gap between each side with my inner still visible, but unfortunately my anatomy means not much more could be done. As long as I don't have these long bits hanging, it is a vast improvement. I have added a photo 7hours post op.
I will update my experiences and photos of it is helpful to others, as I found it helpful to me reading other women's experiences and seeing their recovery process.