Labiaplasty wound seperation? (Photo)

I've had many surgeries in my day and let me tell you - labiaplasty recovery has been a nightmare. I'm now 15 days post op. Not only am I still SUPER swollen but I have a split (great I know). I'm wondering since it's not that big of a separation if there's a possibility that the two ends will fuse together and heal nicely by 6 weeks or so? I'm really really regretting getting this surgery because my lips were smaller than size the are now minus the split. Thanks in advance!

Doctor Answers 6

Labiaplasty complication, separation of incision. Will require a total revision.

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Dear friend from nearby Oregon...

Unfortunately, your right side has totally separated, and your left is at risk. The only way this happens is if: 1. Your surgeon did not utilize the proper technique, placing 1-2 layers of deep "scaffolding" sutures underneath prior to suturing the skin, or 2. You are a cigarette smoker (smokers do not heal well!), or 3. you did some strenuous activities in the first 7-10 days (proper post-op instructions are crucial-- V-wedge patients need to REALLY REST for the first 7-10 days...)   

Whichever caused it, you must wait until 3 months post-op for an evaluation to see what type of revision would suit you best, and then wait until ~ 5-6 months post-op for the revision. Unfortunately, any surgeon who is really GOOD, who has done hundreds and hundreds of procedures and is experienced in revisions will charge more for a revision than (s)he would have charged for the original surgery. Large-scale revisions, which you will need (this will not be just a little "shave") are more difficult and have a higher risk of separation than the "first time around..." That is why it is SO IMPORTANT to see an "expert" for your labiaplasty. Any surgeon can have a complication, but the vast majority of wound separations happen to less experienced surgeons either because of faulty technique, or poor patient preparation.  SEE AN EXPERT for your revision... You may have to travel. You will have no possibility of a successful "second revision," so choose your surgeon wisely. Those of us who are truly expert surgeons and have operated on patients from all over the U.S. and overseas have all performed > 500 procedures...

Best wishes,

Michael P Goodman, MD

Davis, CA, USA

Labiaplasty wound separation

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As the inventor and innovator of the wedge technique in 1994, I reconstruct many women who have had labia reductions by other surgeons, both wedge and trimming techniques. It is a great technique, and complications like yours are unusual and rare if done by very experienced surgeons.   The reconstruction technique depends on the deformity. However, no attempt to revise your labia should be done until you are at least five months after your past procedure as your appearance will improve, and the swelling will be less. You need to control your anxiety and wait. The reconstruction is more difficult than a primary labiaplasty and should be done by a plastic surgeon with extensive experience in labia reconstruction. I published the first and most extensive paper on labia reconstruction in the prestigious journal "Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery" about two years ago. You can probably be repaired successfully by an experienced surgeon in the wedge procedure. However, you may need various reconstructive techniques to give you a good appearance, but this won't be known until all the swelling is gone. You only get one good chance to reconstruct you, so be patient and ask a lot of questions.

Gary J. Alter, M.D. 

Beverly Hills, CA - Manhattan, NYC

Gary J. Alter, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Labiaplasty complications

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do occur and unfortunately for you, your split or wound separation is considered a complication.  It will not fuse back together but it will heal with TLC.  Focus on healing and when there (most agree that 6 months is needed), get the revisions you need.  Hopefully your surgeon will make this near painless for you in terms of costs since you've already spent quite a bit.  

And I'm sorry that you're feeling regret... patients should always feel good when going down this road due to the improvements achieved with this procedure.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Labiaplasty wound separation?

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Thank you for your question and photo. Based on the photo, you had a wedge resection labiaplasty. This is a great technique, but it has a longer learning curve then a simple trim resection. This gives the most natural and anatomic result. Again, it is not the technique, but the technician who failed. It is possible that you had a lot of swelling, the repair was too tight, wrong dissolvable sutures used and other factors could've led to the separation. It looks like your left side might do well, but the right side will need a small revision in 4-6 months under local anesthesia. Stay close to your surgeon at this critical healing period. Be patient, no sexual intercourse or insertion of tampons for 6 weeks. Good luck.

Labiaplasty wound separation?

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Thank you for sharing your experience, question, and photograph and I am sorry to hear of your recovery issues.  Unfortunately due to the degree of incision separation already present it is unlikely that your edges will fuse together to leave a pleasing appearance, and you will need a revision procedure in the future when the tissue swelling resolves.  Talk to your surgeon about additional methods to reduce your swelling.  Best wishes

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Wishful thinking won't fix a broken wedge labiaplasty

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Kiss your scars goodbye. A separated scar will not fuse together ever. You will need a revision in 6 months. Wedge labiaplasty has the weakest scars of all techniques and is prone to this. The other side is at risk too so keep all pressure off the area.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.