Labiaplasty complication or normal? And why is labia larger than day 1 post-op? (Photos)

Post op day 1 I was happy with my result however it's day 5 and the area feels tender and spherical swelling have appeared. Have my stitches released/loosened and caused splitting? I'm a general practitioner so sit down all day but I have been moving about and keeping the area clean and dry...please advise?! Thank you

Doctor Answers 8

Is Labiaplasty Swelling Normal 5 Days after Surgery?

It is normal and expected for the labia to become swollen after surgery. Sitting all day, as you mentioned, can increase swelling. From your photos you appear to be healing normally, but for an accurate assessment, it's best to see your surgeon. It takes 3 to 6 months for swelling to resolve, so you're still early in your healing.For a refresher on healing, you might be interested in the link below.All the best.

Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Post-Op Labiaplasty Healing

Swelling after #Labiaplasty is usually present for several weeks, so you should have no reason at all to worry at only 5 days.  It’s possible that swelling can persist for two or three months and firmness of tissue can remain for 4-6 months. Postoperative care will usually consist of sitz baths or soaking the area in warm soapy water starting approximately 2 days after a surgery.  The sutures will dissolve over the course of several weeks.  This will in part depend upon the #Labiaplasty technique used, the amount of brusing and they way in which your body heals. Ice can help reduce swelling. Arnica and Bromelain may help.  Direct massage may be useful as well. Best of luck to you!

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


At 5 days post operation I wouldn't worry as you are still swollen and need time to heal. From your photos nothing appears to be abnormal. Hope that helps. 

Robert Heck, MD, FACS
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Labiaplasty complication or normal? And why is labia larger than day 1 post-op?

Thank you for your question and series of photographs.  Often as patients return to their routine activities this involves them being on their feet for longer and longer periods of time. It is not uncommon for this to cause increased swelling to the labia leading to a larger appearance at day 5 than it was at day 1.  I would advise that a combination of pelvic elevation and continued cold compresses can help reduce your swelling until your tissues have fully healed.  From your pictures I do not see any signs of complication at this point.  Hope this helps. 

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

Stitches can loosen and there will be more swelling if you resume "normal" activities too early!

I advise my patients with a linear LP not to go back to sedentary work for 5-7 days, and with a V-wedge, 7-10 days. There's nothing like rest off your feet with a lot of recumbent time to speed healing and get a best outcome. I don't think patients should "sit on it" all day- more swelling that way! My advice: rest off your feet a few days. You won't know approximate results for 3-4 weeks, and final results for 2-3 months. If you went back to work as a GP doc in any less than 5-7 days that was 'way too early and your surgeon should have told you that! Attached below are my general post-op instructions...


Michael P Goodman, MD
Davis, CA, USA

Suture reaction effects 5 days after labiaplasty

Some suture materials can irritate the skin more than others. Irritation is a process. This explains your story better than anything else. It does not appear that infection is a factor based on the photos.

Day 5 splitting

this looks pretty normal for the "slice off technique" performed--it is going to look this way and feel this way for 2-3 weeks more before the healing incision heals. The sutures do not hold and the tissue gets "strangulated stitch by running locking stitch" to approximate the skin and prevent bleeding. You will heal!

Large sutures and possible separation

You either have had a trim labiaplasty or a wedge labiaplasty that has some separation. The two balls of tissue at the top are the clitoral frenulum which have been cut. This is uncommon in a wedge labiaplasty but seeing them now might mean that there has been some edge separation. If it is a trim, it is common to see these edges of the clitoris because they are often cut through. The sutures seem large and less than delicate, but it is normal for sutures to loosen and work themselves out. I however do not place any visible sutures... They are all buried under the surface and dissolve invisibly. 

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.