What is the best way to clean around the clitoris and inner lips post labiaplasty and vaginal tightening?

I was told just to use water, only I am not feeling very clean down there . I am 10 days post op . My area around the clitoris looks like it needs a good scrub but too nervous as there appears to still be stitches there. There appears to be a build up of a white discharge , I am worried this is a sign of infection. I had a salt water bath earlier and removed as much as I could using a gentle rub over with my finger. Is the area ready for a good clean yet?

Doctor Answers 8

What is the best way to clean around the clitoris and inner lips post labiaplasty and vaginal tightening?

I would recommend just gently cleansing the area with a antibacterial soap by letting the water and the soap run over the area, patting the area dry. Once you are 2 weeks post op you should be able to cleanse the area gently with your fingers with the soap and water. You may want to look into buying a soap, called Hibiclens at your local drug store. Hibiclens is a skin cleanser and antiseptic soap that is gentle enough to cleanse surgical areas.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 132 reviews

No Scrubs. No Baths

Sounds like you should see your doctor to make sure that you don't have a yeast infection. I recommend spray bottle only with warm water, and showers beginning on POD 2, but no bathing and no scrubbing. Spray bottle after urination and bowel movements with a pat dry. I use only internal sutures for my labiaplasty surgeries which helps with hygiene. See your doctor.

Adam J. Oppenheimer, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

Follow surgeon's instructions

It's better to follow your surgeon's care instructions. I usually recommend daily showers to gently clean area with soap.  Gentle rubbing is essential to prevent build up of vaginal discharge over the surgical site.  It doesn't sound like you have an infection but I assume you will be seeing your surgeon soon so he/she can confirm. 

Leila Kasrai, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Washing genitals after surgery

is easily accomplished with either a Peri Bottle or us of your shower head set on a gentle spray.  It should be fine to get wet but you should check with your surgeon about when you can sit in a tub.

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

Cleaning & Hygiene post labiaplasty

This is a frequent worry of patients.   I would agree with the rest of the surgeons who commented prior to me.   This type of discharge tends to be very normal post surgery. 
I recommend rinsing with water or using a squirt bottle, however, I would not recommend sitz baths or soaking in a tub this close after surgery as it may lead to premature suture breakdown.

I also recommend using baby wipes in that area at this point in your recovery when using the restroom.

Although rare to get an infection in that area post surgery, I would also recommend you notifying your surgeon and having them take a look.

Aggressively cleaning or rubbing the area at this point may have the opposite effect of what you are looking to accomplish.   Keep it simple and easy when it comes to cleaning that area for the time being.

Hope that helps :)

David Ghozland, MD
Santa Monica OB/GYN
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Post-op care. Recovery. ?Abnormal post-op discharge

While this is a question best asked your surgeon (who should be giving you a thorough post-op instruction sheet in any case...), there really is no reason to "scrub" the area; it will heal very well by itself.

Not infreqeu\ntly there will be a waxy whitish discharge either secondary to a hydrating gel ("Cu-3") frequently used by surgeons, or just secondary to normally shed-off skin cells.

While you shouldn't immerse the area for at least 2 weeks, spray-bottle or shower rinses are fine with plain water or a light salt water.  You may use a "cosmetic sponge" (small, soft sponge) to gently cleanse, but not until cleared to do so by your surgeon at your 1-week post-op appoiontment. In any case, a white clinging discharge is not a sign of infection, which manifests itself by an expanding reddening and swelliing and tenderness along, and spreading out from, your incision line.

Best wishes!

Michael P Goodman MD

Post op care

After a labiaplasty I usually advise patients to get in the shower and let the water run over the area. Another option is to get a squirt bottle of some sort and use a dilute soapy solution and gently rise to area. 

John Baten, MD
Jackson OB/GYN
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Keeping the Labiaplasty and Clitoral Hood Reduction Sites Clean

My patients are instructed to irrigate with dilute chlorhexidine solution using a perineal irrigation bottle when using the toilet and when showering. Showering NOT bathing in a tub. Soaking your bottom in a tub is a good way to weaken your scars and should be avoided for at least six weeks. Discharge and crusting are normal and best left alone. Overaggressive and compulsive cleaning behaviors are detrimental to wound healing. Forget about "good cleans".

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