Cellulitis after labiplasty on right side- should my dr have known better? After seeing her ever week for the last month (Photo)

Had labiaplasty on my right labia minora 33 days ago. 1st visit one week post op: dr said everything looked good 2nd week: dr took out stitches 3rd week: complained of swelling and pinching feeling- dr said side was just "chubbier" and took out another stitch then immediately said it wasn't ready to come out 4th visit(yesterday): said I was super swollen, had tons of fluid and cellulitis. Are these things a better educated physician would've noticed earlier? Not sure what to do next :(

Doctor Answers 6

Infection after labiaplasty

A post-operative infection is considered one of the most common potential complication of any type of surgery, especially if sutures were removed. Frequently, a " new opening" after suture removal may create an entrance for multiple skin bacteria. These type of infections may develop within 24 hours; therefore it is not always possible to predict or anticipate an impending infection/cellulitis. Infected labia tend to accumulate a lot of fluid leading to excessive swelling. The " good news" is, there is no abscess, a diagnosis was made and treatment with appropriate, broad spectrum antibiotics usually is successful.

Best regards,

Yvonne Wolny, MD

Chicago OB-GYN
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Cellulitis after labiplasty on right side- should my dr have known better? After seeing her ever week for the last month

Thank you for sharing your question and photograph and I am sorry to hear of your infection issue.  Unfortunately it is impossible to determine your surgeon's experience and education in this matter and though I can understand your frustration and anger the key is to get your tissues healed with antibiotics to resolve the infection instead of allowing it to worsen.  I do hope you feel better quickly.  

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Cellulitis is rare after labiaplasty, but treatable with antibiotics

Hindsight is always 20:20, but swelling is common after any surgery. Cellulitis resolves with appropriate antibiotic therapy and wound management. Make sure the fluid was sent for culture to direct antibiotic therapy and that you are on antibiotic therapy until the results come back.

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

Infection after labiaplasty

Thanks for your post. No level of education would eliminate the risk of a post-operative infection. I'm glad you had close follow-up by your surgeon and an eventual diagnosis was confirmed. You should do well after your course of antibiotics and a tincture of time. The swelling should go down and I expect you'll have nice results.

Best of luck,

Oscar A. Aguirre, MDAguirre Specialty Care - Pelvic Surgery & Intimate Aesthetics®

Oscar A. Aguirre, MD
Denver Urogynecologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews


thanks of sharing.  It is difficult to say whether your surgeon should have made the diagnosis earlier without me sitting by your surgeons side on every visit.  The surgeons answering here are not being evasive they are just being honest.  Its always easy to be a backseat driver or criticize when one looks retrospectively but it would not be fair to accuse without knowing all the facts.   Whats important is you have been diagnosed and taking antibiotics should remedy the situation

Best of luck 

John R Miklos MD

Atlanta ~ Beverly Hills ~ Dubai

John R. Miklos, MD, FPMRS, FACS
Atlanta Urogynecologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews


Certainly I can't comment on the decision-making of another surgeon.  Online questions without an in-person exam are limited.  Any surgery has the potential for complications and and infection.  Sometimes infections can show up early, and sometimes weeks later.  Certainly as your symptoms have progressed there should be appropriate therapy with antibiotics or antifungals topically depending on your presentation.

Medicine cannot prevent every infection, we can only take appropriate and timely actions to prevent them and treat them if they occur.  Communicate your symptoms and concerns with your surgeon regularly and follow the treatment and antibiotics as instructed.  Best wishes!

Levi J. Young, MD
Overland Park Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 57 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.