Although it's been a while since my op, I am going to start writing a review now (better late than never ey!). While waiting to have my operation, I was scaling the internet to find someone of a similar age range, having the I am currently seventeen years old and have been concerned with the look of my vagina since I was 12 when it was pointed out to me by my mum (of all people!) when I was sitting on the toilet on holiday once. Since then I've been really self-conscious about wearing bikinis and have even worn a panty liner every day without fail for the last three years! (crazy I know)...
Although the look of it bothered me, it didn't cross my mind often as I was still so young. However, in the last year or so it has really been getting me down because I am looking to settle down with a boyfriend but knew I could never 'do' anything with them because of my insecurity. I had always thought in the back of my mind it's a ridiculous idea and I'm not the only one living with this, so why am I so special that I could have something done about it. In the grand scheme of life, is this really something worth feeling bad over? But the sad truth was it did really get me down. One day I got so depressed about it I Googled it and I found a procedure called 'Labiaplasty'. Although a tragically brutal procedure, it was what I needed to make me look the way I had always wanted. I have been a virgin all my life because I was too nervous to undress in front of anyone; so I thought it's now time to go through with it. Months and months went by of seeing all my friends with their boyfriends and hearing about their sex lives before I broke down and eventually told my DAD on the way to the cinema. I would never imagine I could tell anyone apart from my mum, but then I knew he would be the only person who would really understand it and possibly be able to help me out with it financially until I could repay him. He responded by crying because he said he'd known since my mum did and he was hoping I would talk to him about it as he didn't want to embarrass me by telling me he knew. His first words we're "book it tomorrow". So I did. I phoned my local private hospital (Nuffield) where my mum had got a Rhinoplasty a few years ago and loved. I had my consultation a week or so after (amazing service!) I booked over the phone and was immediately recommended a well admired gynecologist named Dr Ayman Fouad who has an extraordinary 30 years of experience under his belt. He has published numerous papers and abstracts and been invited to speak at international meetings. So basically, in a nutshell... this man knows his stuff. Bingo.
When I arrived at my consultation, I had never been so nervous (as you can imagine!) All my life I had hidden myself away behind big ugly knickers, sanitary towels and cover ups- so to think I was about to pull my knickers down in front of a man I had never met before... I wanted the ground to swallow me up if I'm honest. After waiting a few minutes, I was called in by a tall very friendly (Egyptian?) man. He had such a nice warmth about him which made me feel very comfortable and after a few minutes of being in the consultation room, I felt a new confidence and an overwhelming feeling of happiness. He said I would be perfect for the operation (yippee my lips are big enough!) He examined me and pulled the lips out as far as he possibly could which was actually a bit painful because I have never done that before - the smaller they look the better for me so I 'rolled' them into a little shriveled raisin looking thing and tried to tuck them 'up there'. (mmm) He marked a line on either side of the labia to show me exactly where the incisions would be, but my initial response was "yeah, yeah, whatever, do what you've got to do you know what you're doing just please CUT THEM OFF". Which is silly I know, because it's a life changing experience that could have gone terribly wrong if I didn't tell him exactly what I wanted. He told me he would carry out a 'trim' procedure which involves simply trimming the labia in a (more or less) straight line and stitch up the open wound. I had researched pros and cons of the Trim method Vs Wedge and had found the trim would benefit me more personally anyway so I was happy with his choice. I had a discussion with my mum prior to the consultation and she showed me her labia and measured them (2cms) and I said I want them a bit shorter than hers, so my surgeon agreed to chop them to 1.5cm so they would eventually heal to a snug 1cm (MINE WERE 4.5CM BEFORE AAAH).
I was 100% ready to go ahead with this operation, although I had (stupidly) watched several Labiaplasty procedure videos on Youtube which had put me off slightly. As a side note, if you are planning Labiapalasty, i would advise that you don't watch any videos of the surgery or search the internet about it too much because there are so many horror stories. These are some of the things that made me think twice, but some of the people telling these shock stories had the procedure done years and years ago, or had an inexperienced surgeon. Whatever the outcome, the thought of looking normal down there outweighs any concerns for potential pain, so it was booked - just two weeks after the consultation. I was glad it was so soon because it meant less time to over-think it and contemplate calling off the procedure. Each day I was checking all different websites making sure I had all my after care ready and that I was fully aware of any complications (suture rupture/yeast infection etc) but to be honest, if you keep yourself as clean as possible down there and don't over-do it there's nothing to worry about.
Before the surgery date, I had an appointment with a nurse at the hospital to check my weight, height and take some blood samples to make sure I was suitable for the general anesthetic. I had never had any type of anesthetic before so they had to do a thorough check. I bought a book along with me with a list of twenty or so questions to ask about the operation, such as 1) When can I take a bath? 2) How many times a day can I shower? 3) What type of ointment will I have to apply? etc. I was there a couple of hours and left feeling confident about the surgery in the upcoming few days.
So it came to the day of the surgery (18/02/2014) aaaaaaah. I was surprisingly not nervous, more in a state of shock. My mum said it looked like i was 'zoned' whatever that's supposed to mean. I had a scrub down the night before with a special sponge Nuffield provided me with at my consultation - NOTE: try not to do what I did and get a cheeky spray tan thinking you'll look fine without make-up because you'll have a subtle caramel glow and wake up feeling like a million dollars... sadly, no :( the sponge was like a scourer! took every little bit of makeup/tan/anything off my body so I was a blank canvas. I had read online it's best not to shave as the hair regrowth can be added itchiness in the healing process so I decided to go au naturel. Mmhm sexy sexy. To be honest, I just wanted to get there, get on that operating table, get out and get my slap on!
I got to the hospital at 8:00am but didn't have my surgery until around 12:00 so I had some time to settle into my (rather plush! :)) room. I was shocked at how homely the rooms were, which was good because anything that made the whole experience less hospital-like was a bonus! I put my things away and put a magazine on my bed to read when I arrive back in my room (I think I was fooling myself thinking I'd actually care about Kim & Kanye's love life after I'd just had my labia chopped off). I ordered my meals from the kitchen and went over the surgery plans with my surgeon. He agreed to just remove 3cm and leave the clitoris (he couldn't touch this area by law - understandable. BACK OFF MA CLITORIS) He said the clitoris may appear more prominent after the labia are cut off but no labia was good enough news for me. At the last minute he turned around and informed me that they would be using a catheter. NONONONONONONOOO. That's exactly what I didn't want. I couldn't stand the thought of having a tube through my body. But what can you do, I wasn't going to put it on hold because of a little tube, how bad could it be? As soon as I walked out of the toilet BAM... in walks a woman with a white hat and gown and says "we're ready to take you to theatre now". She definitely wasn't talking about taking me to West End :(. So I popped up onto the bed, put on my sexy anti-thrombosis socks and prepared to have my vagina chopped up. I wasn't feeling great at this point. All the awful reviews I had read came flowing back into my head and for some reason I looked at the surgery in such a negative light for the first time ever. But it was happening now. They wheeled me down to theatre from a very glamorous hotel-like hospital to the surgery section which was... well, 'hospitally' to say the least. Those gross glossy blue floors and crisp white doors that make you feel like you're on some kind of sci-fi movie. Anyway, I ended up in a small room with my mum, anesthetist (who was so lovely) and a couple of other people to keep an eye on me. A nurse had applied numbing cream an hour or so before the cannula was put into my hand, so I didn't feel a thing - not even a sharp scratch. Bliss. The last thing I remember was talking to the anesthetist about what I'd like to do in the future and that was it. I woke up listening to two people talking about Alton Towers in the recovery room. When I came around, a young man wheeled me back through to my room where my mum and dad were waiting. At this point it felt like I'd woken up from the best sleep in history so I didn't care much about waking up... but when I eventually did my mum said my first words were "I really fancy some chocolate". At least she knew they hadn't accidentally performed any surgery on my brain. It was definitely me. Shortly after I asked for my makeup bag and masked myself with under eye concealer to make me look less zombie-like. After chatting with my parents for a few minutes, it dawned on me... oh my god, I don't have my big hanging lips anymore aka Fifi (don't ask why we called my vagina Fifi - I have no idea haha).
Many nurses came in to check on me and I told them I felt absolutely fine (which I did! :)). I'm not sure why but I was expecting to wake up in agonising pain with big bright red labia feeling like I'm dying. I was pleasantly surprised to say the least. My surgeon told me he injected local anesthetic into the outer labia to numb any initial discomfort, which helped. If I am completely honest, I barely felt a thing. The only discomfort was when I moved because I could feel the catheter moving around too. But I didn't feel anything from the surgical site AT ALL. I thought "oh you know it's just the local kicking in, it will wear off soon". But I never actually felt PAIN, it was more just feeling like a couch potato and having the odd niggling feeling every now and then. I just felt completely numb. It got to around 10:00pm and I decided to go to sleep so I asked for a separate room for my mum (she was allowed to stay over with me and who wouldn't want their good ol' mum with them :)). I knew the nurse would be coming in every few hours with medication so I didn't want to wake her up constantly. Luckily it wasn't a busy day for the hospital so they agreed to give her a nice new room for her to sleep without disturbance :). As I tried to snuggle down for the night, I just couldn't get comfortable. The catheter was getting seriously annoying and I had to resort to Oramorph (a small dose of morphine taken through a medicine). If you Google Oramorph it says it is given to relieve 'severe pain' but don't worry... I was nowhere near 'severe pain', it was just uncomfortable and I knew this would help me have a nice comfy nights sleep. I was woken up at 2:00am & 6:00am by two different nurses and given Ibuprofen (for inflammation) and Paracetamol (to relieve any pain). This was a dream team. As long as I kept on top of my pain meds, I couldn't notice any pain whatsoever which was a very odd feeling. You know in your head what you've just been through, yet you can't feel any sign of it. Weird.
The next day my nurse told me my surgeon would return to check on the surgical site again and once he had visited I could have the catheter removed (and another piece of padded cloth - I'm sorry but I'm not sure what it's called - it's just used for blood absorption). I was over the moon that they could finally get rid of this annoying pinching tube-y pain in the a***. As stupid as it sounds, I felt WAY more nervous to have the catheter removed than to have the actual procedure. I thought it would feel like a painful tickle as they pulled it out. A nurse arrived at my room to finally remove it and she told me to simply breathe in and out deeply, so I breathed in and by the time I had exhaled it was gone! No problemo. It was time to look at my new vagina for the first time... so my mum pulled out a pocket mirror and I was shocked. It wasn't red/sore/bloody or anything. In my books, it looked lovely and I was so happy with it. The only concern was the clitoris. It seemed to have swollen three times the size and my mum and I called it my 'bobble'. If you didn't notice, we do like to name anything and everything :).
It was the day of my discharge (19/02/2014) and in order for me to leave I had to wee three times to show my bladder was working fine on its own again after the catheter. Three glorious wees later I ate my breakfast, packed my bags, put on a rather fetching (not) tracksuit and off I went... into a taxi with Lewis Hamilton apparently driving me. Fabulous. I couldn't exactly say "SLOW DOWN PLEASE I'VE JUST HAD LABIAPLASTY" so I had to grin and bear it and put as much of my weight on my bottom as possible. It felt fine to sit down, I just had to make sure I didn't put too much pressure on my actual vagina because I didn't want the stitches to rub against anything.
I got home and went straight up to bed and had one of the most peaceful sleeps ever. I was on cloud nine knowing my vagina was finally ready for action! (I hope nobody is eating reading this, sorry). I topped up my Ibuprofen and Paracetamol according to a little 'Pain meds plan' I rustled up in the back of the taxi. (NOTE: I would definitely make a plan to follow either with your surgeon or a nurse to make sure you're aware of when to take them because there were a few times I messed up and forgot). I was given Fucidin (a type of antibiotic ointment) which I was told to apply three times a day for a week or so. It is used to fight off any infection and work as a barrier against any bacteria etc. I still didn't experience any pain, but itching. Itching. Itching. Itching. This was far worse than any 'pain' and something they rarely mention. As long as you have Piriton at arms length, you'll be fine. This is a lesson I learned the hard way, stuck in bed at 2:00am with nothing to soothe the raging itch. The next day I picked up some Piriton tablets and popped one in every night before I went to sleep and it worked a treat.
I took my first shower two days after the operation and took another look and the clitoris still looked very swollen, but I'm not surprised with what it went through (my poor clitoris haha)! I sat up on my sink, spread my legs gently and held up a big mirror. There were no signs of swelling on the labia minora or majora. The labia minora sat snug in the labia majora and it all looked flush. I was looking forward to seeing how the clitoris changed and I hoped it would soften and look less prominent. I was willing to be patient and wait and see! :)
Four weeks passed quickly and it was time for my follow-up examination back at the hospital. I had never been so excited in my life. I was beyond satisfied with my results and was hoping my surgeon would feel the same. He was one of the nicest people I have ever met - some may say he is obliged to be polite - but he was genuinely a person who cares for others. He didn't make me feel detached from him, like it was his job - but he made me feel like he had all the time in the world for me and my (loooong list of) questions. I sent him over a Thank You card for this and he really appreciated it, I think it is probably little things like that that makes his job so rewarding. When I arrived, he examined me and quickly told me the clitoris swelling would subside within a couple of months and that I am a slow healer so it is normal for it to look this way. Overall, he was delighted with the results and set me on my way with a promise of not exercising or swimming for another two weeks to obtain the best possible results. Oh, and no sex for two more weeks (no problem there matey'o).
Now over five weeks from my surgery date, I can't put into words how satisfied I am with my experience. For a seventeen year old girl, some may say it was a bit of a drastic choice to make, but I know i'll never regret it. I am now more excited for summer than ever because I can FINALLY wear a bikini for the first time in years. Most importantly, I can start looking for a boyfriend that I know I won't have to feel uncomfortable around & I can let things happen as they happen.
It has been so much more pleasant than I anticipated & for anyone reading this who is thinking of going ahead with Labiaplasty GO FOR IT! :) Don't be put off by the pain, because it's nothing a little tablet can't sort out! As long as you know you've got a great surgeon under your belt you have nothing to lose! (apart from your labia of course) ;).
Please feel free to leave me some comments about your Labiaplasty experience & I would be happy to answer any questions if you are planning on having this surgery :).
Good luck girls, all my love x
Labiaplasty, Southern UK, 17 Years Old - Brighton - United Kingdom, GB
Hi all, Although it's been a while since my op, I...
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