Any time prior to a few months is too soon to expect edema to resolve, worry that it will not or know your final result. Labia often swell quickly and asymmetrically early on for the first 2-3 days and varies widely from patient to patient. Pain is variable from patient to patient. Sitz baths in warm water though good for cleaning and possible infection prevention can cause increased swelling. It can last several weeks to months and vary from day to day if you overdo it, eat a salty meal. Things you can try for early edema resolution: Low salt diet, arnica, bromelain, Ibuprofen. You should have a good idea of your final appearance by 3 months. I tell my patients, for most you are 85% of the way to your final result in about 3 months the rest takes up to a year.
Thank you for your question. Labiaplasty swelling can be very intense,
especially if accompanied by bruising or hematoma. The labial tissue can expand
quite a bit compared to other areas of the body, and it is not uncommon
for one side to swell more than the other. I generally tell my
patients that it will be weeks of swelling, with each week getting
better than the previous. I ask them to avoid anything that can induce
swelling such as strenuous activity or friction on the labia for upto
six weeks. I also recommend that they keep the labia fairly lubricated
(e.g. vaseline or aquafor) during the initial couple weeks when the
swelling is most intense. The end results should be fairly obvious
around the six week, and there can be intermittent swelling due to over
activity or too much friction for another six weeks.
Swelling after labiaplasty can last for 2-3 months. So it is not unusual that you are still noticing some swelling. I would recommend frequent follow-ups with your surgeon to make sure that there are no other issues that are creating the swelling. Otherwise it is important to be patient.
Swelling after a labiaplasty can be persistent for a few months. You have to be patient and allow the area to heal before getting too worried. If you have concerns, you should ask your surgeon.
Usually, about 80% of the swelling is gone at 6 weeks. At that time, you should get a reasonable idea of your result. If you are dissatisfied after about 4 months, then a revision should be considered after 5-6 months. You need to control your anxiety and wait. The reconstruction is more difficult than a primary labiaplasty and should be done by a plastic surgeon with extensive experience in labia reconstruction. You may need various reconstructive techniques to give you a good appearance, but this won't be known until all the swelling is gone.You only get one good chance to reconstruct you, so be patient and ask a lot of questions.
Our office specializes in labiaplasty surgery and labiaplasty revision surgery. Swelling is a normal part of recovery and may take weeks to months. Follow up with your surgeon frequently to rule out any other reasons for persistent swelling.
Raffy Karamanoukian MD FACS