My physician keeps telling me everything is okay and normal. Any suggestions?

I had labiaplasty on Sept 14th. The first 4 weeks were very hard for me as far as pain and swelling. The swelling was especially in my clitoral area. Nothing could touch it or rub against it. my husband examined me and I had tons of stitches behind my clittoris. I have just recently been able to have intercourse. The clittoris is still tender and uncomfortable. No sexual sensation at all. My husband said he felt something poking him during intercourse.

Doctor Answers 12

Recovery after Labiaplasty and Clitoral Hood Reduction

The pain and swelling usually peaks around 3-5 days post-op.  Then improves over the next few weeks.  I tell patients no intercourse for 8 weeks.  When they start having intercourse again, they should use a water based lubricant for at least 2 months. 

I'm sorry that your results are not what you expected.  The only way to figure out what is wrong (if anything) and how it can be fixed is a physical exam.  Find a plastic surgeon near you who has experience with labiaplasty, cosmetic genital surgery and reconstruction of the perineal area. 

Persistent sutures

From your description, you may have some residual retained sutures that are causing persistent inflammation and swelling. This can lead to the other symptoms you have described. Please return to you surgeon for an exam and removal of any of these spitting sutures.

Post Labiaplasty concerns.

We use absorbable sutures in labiaplasty because removing sutures from such a sensitive location can be very uncomfortable for the patient. Occasionally, these sutures become a nuisance before they are absorbed. In those cases, we do occasionally remove the offending sutures. You need to have a candid discussion with your surgeon about these concerns. Good luck!

Steven M. Gitt, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

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First sex after labiaplasty...

Although most women are healed sufficiently to have sex without discomfort at 6-8 weeks after labiaplasty, not all women are ready. From your comments, it is clear that suture material remains embedded in the area and has not completely dissolved. Go see your surgeon. Until then, wait a few more weeks before attempting sex again.

Retained sutures

Usually we use absorbable sutures that eventually dissolve.  You may have some residual sutures that your surgeon might want to take out to help you feel better.  Speak to your surgeon

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 415 reviews

My doctor says everything is normal but I don't feel that way

Dear Rallybrax,

I am sorry to hear about your experience so far after labiaplasty and clitoral hood surgery.  Different techniques, use of cautery and leaving sutures in beyond two weeks even if they are dissolvable can contribute to swelling.  Most sutures are dissolved or fall out by 6-8 weeks but you may have a residual one that is poking your husband. Sensation changes can be temporary or permanent depending on the extent of what was done. 

Unfortunately, risks of labiaplasty do include altered sensation, scarring, infection, and adhesions, among other things.  You should follow-up with your surgeon about your partner being poked and the persistence of altered sensation.  By three to six months, sensation should be restored, and if not, seeking a second opinion would be advisable.

I hope this information is helpful.


Dr. Troy Hailparn 

Troy Hailparn, MD
San Antonio OB/GYN
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

My physician keeps telling me everything is okay and normal. Any suggestions?

Thank you for sharing your experience, and I am sorry that your results have not been what you anticipated to this point.  Nothing can replace an in-person examination to identify the cause of your issues, and the type of labiaplasty performed, as well as any ancillary procedures as it sounds as if you may have also had a clitoral hood reduction. Prolonged swelling in this region can take place that can cause some changes to the sensation of your clitoris, and this tends to resolve spontaneously given enough time.  Most procedures also use absorbable stitches which should have dissolved sufficiently to have fallen out.  With the degree of your symptoms I would voice your concerns with your surgeon yet again, and if you still are having issues, seek a second opinion from a  board certified plastic surgeon.  

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Poor technique

Sutures don't belong near the clitoris. Period. Your doctor used poor technique. labiaplasty recovery should take 2 weeks tops, with easy progression to intercourse at 4 weeks. See another doctor for another opinion.

Pain after labiaplasty and swelling

Pain and swelling can be common
Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are rare. These can include infection, bleeding, (hematoma) , separation of the incision, changes in sensation , pain, increased sensitivity, unsatisfactory cosmetic results. Any concerns of infection, new pain, swelling, bleeding , drainage should immediately be address by the doctor.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews


Sounds like you may still have some sutures poking your husband and your tissues. See your surgeon to remove them.

Robert L. True, MD
Grapevine OB/GYN
4.9 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

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.