Labiaplasty Aftercare Hygiene?

Is there anything someone can do to clean in a way that avoids post Labiaplasty pain? Are yeast infections more common because of this?

Doctor Answers 14

Pain is not a common complaint from my patients.

As long as you are following all the necessary steps to minimize swelling, the pain should be minimal.  More cleaning does not mean less pain.  You can shower normally the day following surgery but avoid bathing.  The sutures can dissolve too quickly if you wash or soak the area too much.  Yeast infections don't happen as a result of the surgery.  The most common reason for a yeast infection would be if you had to take antibiotics following surgery to treat an infection somewhere else in the body.  

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Post operative labiaplasty instructions

Prior to a labiaplasty, I have all of my patients purchase a spray bottle and a sitz bath. They should spray water each time they urinate to keep the area clean. ANtibiotic ointment is placed 4-6 times per day to keep the incision line moist. I also give a presciption for either lidocaine spray or gel to help with post operative pain in addition to oral pain meds. Yeast infections are a result of the antibiotics given to prevent bacterial infections. In patients who know they are prone to these infections, I will often givea presciption for an anti-fungal medication and have them fill it as needed after discussing with me. Hope that helps.

Joseph Michaels, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Labiaplasty Aftercare

Labiaplasty aftercare is all about preventing infection and preventing mechanical traction on the delicate healing scars. For infection prevention, the best option by far is to irrigate the area with a dilute solution of chlorhexidine gluconate - it's a standard surgical soap available over the counter as Hibiclens. Dilute it with tap water in a squirt bottle and irrigate your bottom each time you use the bathroom. When using toilet tissue, dab, but do not forcefully wipe. Nothing more, nothing less. Applying antibiotic ointments is likely to cause skin irritation and delay healing and should be avoided. In addition, the more you manipulate the area by applying the cream, the more chance you have of causing scar separations. Keep your hands off the scars and resist the urge to peek and get a better look. Soaking your bottom in a Sitz bath is probably the worst thing you can do after a labiaplasty -  the tissues will soften around the stitches making the scar weaker. Unlike a vaginoplasty or an episiotomy, the stitches holding a labiaplasty together are not very strong.

Marco A. Pelosi III, MD
Jersey City OB/GYN
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Labiaplasty Aftercare

Because the labia have such a robust blood supply, they are relatively quick to heal after Labiaplasty and resilient, although not immune, to infection.  "Post Labiaplasty pain", like pain after any other surgical procedure, is variable from one patient to the next.  I recommend patient use ice to the area for the first 48 hours in combination with a specially designed topical anesthetic cream, and an oral narcotic as needed for the first 4 -5 days.  Most of the pain is resolved by then and most patients can switch to Advil and Tylenol. 

The most common cause of yeast infection following Labiaplasty is overuse of antibiotics, especially topical antibiotic ointments/creams applied direct to the area.  For this reason I typically have my patients take a short 5 day course of oral antibiotics starting the night before surgery and topical antibiotic ointment for only 3 days following the surgery.  However, there are different acceptable ways to do it and every surgeon has his/her own routine so it is most important to follow your surgeons recommendations.  Best of luck...RAS

Ryan Stanton, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Labiaplasty aftercare

I usually recommend cleaning the area with half peroxide, half saline and applying antibiotic ointment several times a days until the sutures dissolve.  Pain is treated with pain medication and yeast infections with antifungals.

Susan Kolb, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Labiaplasty: care after sugery

I agree with all of the answers below:

  1. warm sitz baths
  2. soapy water
  3. antibacterial cream
  4. cool compresses
  5. gentle hand held shower

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Labiaplasty aftercare and hygiene

I usually have patients shower or sit in a warm bath tub begining 24-48 Hr after a labiaplasty.  I also have them use a topical antibiotic ointment for the first 1 to 2 weeks following the procedure.  However, I would avoid hot water or heating pads as this can increase swelling and pain.  Cool moist compresses can help with initial swelling and discomfort.   Labiaplasty should not increase the risk or frequency of yeast infections.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

After care labiaplasty

Some postoperative discomfort is expected after a procedure such as labiplasty. Follow your surgeons instructions. Ice , ice, ice to help with swelling and pain. I do prescribe a topical anesthetic as well for my patients in addition to other OTC helpful adjuncts. Yeast infections are uncommon. I would just clean the area by splashing water . No extra"cleaning" required especially with the tissues that are delicate and healing from the surgery. I do not recommend any soaks. 

Cheri Ong, MD, FACS
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Labiaplasty Aftercare

First, you should ask your surgeon about aftercare as they would be more familiar with your situation. However, in general I recommend that patients apply anaesthetic spray in the couple of days after surgery, along with taking a sitz bath a minimum of once per day. Polysporin also helps.   

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Labiaplasty aftercare.

Gentle cleansing, and avoiding excessive washing or rubbing (so as not to prematurely dissolve your sutures), while avoiding infection (yeast or bacteria) will allow your tissues to heal in this warm, wet, and constantly-moving area. Sitting on a toilet or any surface puts incredible stresses on healing surgical wounds, and it seems a miracle that we can get these areas to heal up at all!

But they do, in most cases, by just following the rules and not doing ANYTHING to excess, including what seems like "good" things, such as washing. One of my most recent labiaplasty patients was so obsessive about cleanliness and trying to avoid odor that she scrubbed her genital area multiple times each day and multiple times after each urination. It's a wonder she only tore open two small areas of her suture line. They can't be "re-closed" in many cases, so getting things right the first time is crucial to a good result.

There are good medications (oral, and topical if your doctor allows) that can treat yeast infections that commonly occur with oral or topical antibiotics, so ask your surgeon about this and don't obsess about "keeping it clean." Often too clean is worse than just letting things heal with as little intervention as possible. Obviously, it's a fine balance, so talk (and listen) to your surgeon.

Pain is not as bad as most women worry about, but there are good pain medications that can help you for the few days they are usually necessary. I know there are many questions on this site about excessive pain many days and even weeks after the surgery, but that is truly not the norm--these are the exceptions asking for help. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 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.