My Labiaplasty Story - London, GB

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Hello, I am 20 years old from the UK and yesterday...

Hello, I am 20 years old from the UK and yesterday underwent a labiaplasty procedure.
Here, I plan on talking you through what has happened so far in detail, the pain, the outcome, 'warts and all'.
Hopefully this will be helpful to some of you :-) Read on if you don't mind a few gory details!

My reasons for doing it - I was 13 years old when I first told my Mum I was sore 'down there'.
My labia minora were enlarged bilaterally (even on both sides), and caused me much discomfort. When I was younger, I was a massive 'tom-boy' and used to ride my bike everyday with my guy friends, however as I hit puberty and started developing, I found it was too uncomfortable to ride my bike anymore :-(
From being 13 to 20, it would rub on my knickers, get caught in my clothes, pinch in my skinny jeans. At 16 I became sexually active with my boyfriend, and it would hurt during sex - getting caught or pulled inside or stretched. I felt I couldn't deal with the pain anymore.
Also, I didn't like what it looked like. I clearly remember standing in the bathroom when I was maybe 12 years old, and catching a glimpse of it in the mirror and not knowing what this 'dangly thing' was between my legs! I felt self-conscious on the beach and in gym clothes, and self conscious to show any boyfriends.
I started researching it in my early teens, and found that there was a procedure that could correct this.

Getting the ball rolling - During my teenage years, I went to the doctors FIVE TIMES with my Mum complaining of pain. They said I was too young to do anything until I was an adult, so gave me lubricants, moisturisers etc to try and help.
The last straw was my last appointment at the doctors - I had recently started medical school and we have to sit on the 'saddle seats'. If you don't know what they are - Google them - not good for large labia! I went to the doctors and practically begged them to do something, stating that if boys are in pain - they get circumcised. Why can't girls get help?

Unable to get the procedure on the National Health Service - My doctor agreed that, at 20, I was finally old enough to be corrected. She referred me to the NHS, but the NHS rejected my application without even seeing me - saying that they do not take on cases of labiaplasty.
AH! My family couldn't afford for me to go to a cosmetic surgeon, and couldn't afford for me to go private, otherwise I would have done so sooner.

Private referral - My doctor referred me to the local private hospital, and luckily my Mum's medical insurance from her work covered all her children up until the age of 25, PROVIDING we could prove it was for pain and not aesthetics! e.g. through a consultation letter.

My Consultation - As I stepped into my consultant surgeons room, I was extremely nervous. But he was SO lovely. He didn't want Mum to come in with me at first, as he wanted to quiz my reasons for wanting this procedure. He told me that he WOULD NOT do the procedure if it were for cosmetic reasons, and I stressed that I had been living with discomfort everyday through my teenage years. He showed me my labia in a mirror and we discussed:
- My problems
- The size/shape
- What the procedure would involve e.g. where he would cut
- Whether I wanted local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic
- That the aesthetics after the labiaplasty may not be good, as it was a non-cosmetic labiaplasty he would perform to get me out of pain

I opted to be asleep for the procedure - ever heard the saying that doctors make the worst patients? It's true for trainee doctors too! I would rather not know anything about what was happening around me, as I knew I would be able to picture everything so clearly, even the instruments!

My surgeon agreed to do the procedure, wrote a letter to my medical insurance company stating that it was not for cosmetic reasons, and my labiaplasty date was set - 31st March 2015.

Pre Op Assessment - I had to go into the hospital a few days before my op, where a nurse checked my BP, height, weight, medical history etc. She declared me medically fit to do the op. She explained to me what would happen on the day and answered any questions I had.

Shopping for 'supplies' - I went out before my surgery and bought the things my nurse advised me to buy:
- Granny knickers - the bigger the better!
- Thick period pads (essential)
- Loose jogging bottoms
- Sea salt for salt baths
- Cushions to sit on
- Ice packs
- Pain killers

LABIAPLASTY DAY! (Yesterday) - TOP TIP: Leave your dignity at the door.

I set my alarm at 6:30am so I could get up and eat some breakfast - I was not allowed any food after 7 am and no water after 11am. I arrived at the hospital at 12pm with Mum and Dad, where we were shown to our room. (Being a private hospital, we had our own room with en suite and TV and everything rather than a ward). I donned my very attractive hospital gown, paper knickers and hospital socks.

Four people came to see me in my room:
- The caterer, who took my food order for after my op
- The nurse who had been assigned to me for the day, who took my BP etc
- The anesthetist, who told me all about general anesthetic and what would happened etc
- My surgeon - he asked me if I really wanted to do this - I said yes. He answered my questions I had written down and made my sign the final document. He said he would go and prepare for theatre and would see me in there. OH MY GOD!

The procedure itself - My nurse came to collect me from my room. I kissed Mum and Dad goodbye and followed her to the pre-threatre room where I would be anaesthetised. I laid down on the trolley bed and was given a canula in my arm (little scratch - doesn't hurt).

At this point, a nurse entered the room from theatre through the large double doors in front of me, where I caught a glimpse of the threatre inside! Table, and a massive bright light above it! That's when my heart rate started to pick up, was I really going to do this?!
At this point I was VERY glad that I had been opted to be put to sleep - I don't think I could have been awake while wheeled under the bright theatre light! Despite the sedative drugs.

The anaesthetist said he'd give me some drugs to relax me as I was now very nervous, and sure enough all of a sudden I felt lovely and floaty and calm. My surgeon came in and handed me a mirror, and together we looked at how much would be removed, and he took out a black marker pen and drew lines on my labia.
The anesthetist said he was now putting the general anesthetic drugs into my canula, and I drifted into a lovely peaceful sleep.


The next thing I was aware of was feeling annoyance - these voices kept saying my name over and over and trying to wake me up - but all I wanted to do was drift back into the lovely sleep I was having!

Eventually I came round enough to open my eyes, and I remember feeling heavy and relaxed. The nurses were saying I was now in the recovery room, my labiaplasty was over and it all went well. Thank god for general anaesthetic!

They made me drink water and were chattering away to me, trying to keep me awake. They took my BP, HR, oxygen levels etc. After half an hour in the recovery room, I was wheeled back into the room where Mum and Dad were waiting.
I could not feel a thing 'down there', and was in no pain whatsoever! I later found out that my surgeon had put in 20ml of Lidocaine with epinephrine (a local anesthetic) into my genital area, which is a lot trust me!

The aftermath - Please note that what I'm going to write now sounds horrible and gory, but please don't think I am trying to put you off - I would do this whole thing again.

After being laid in the room for a while with Mum, Dad and the nurse, I decided I needed a wee, and Mum took me to the toilet. SO MUCH BLOOD. I took out all the padding and gauze which was soaked in blood, the whole toilet bowl was dyed red, Mum had to wipe my blood off the toilet seat. *TOP TIP: Bring a very close friend/relative with you!*
I didn't realise at the time but the nurse had to quickly change the bed sheet I was laid on when I went into the toilet, as when I got off the bed (no pain whatsoever) it was all stained.
Think heavy period and then times it by 3. I was assured this was normal however.

I didn't peak downstairs then because, in all honesty, I couldn't bring myself too.

I stayed in bed for a few more hours (where I had a snooze and watched some TV and ate my meal) until I needed another toilet trip.
Once again, Mum took me, and this time - I took a quick look in the mirror with Mum.
I burst into tears.
I don't know what made me so emotional - I think it was the drugs and the lack of sleep and the nerves and the pain and the relief after years and years, but tears streamed down my face as I looked at my new vagina. From what I could see, it looked amazing. My 'pokey-out lips' were no where to be seen.
Don't get me wrong - it was bloody and swollen and all stitched up, but I could already see the difference. I felt amazing.

I was discharged that evening and given pads and painkillers. I could feel the local anaestehtic starting to wear off, and could feel a pinching sensation from the stitches.
I took a strong painkiller before I went to sleep and slept pretty well, exhausted from the day I'd had.

I woke up this morning and the first thing I thought was 'ouch'. It feels pinchy and stabby but we all know to expect that. I've taken my pain killers but not had a look yet this morning. I will probably post an update later!

I hope my experience has helped you in some way! Whether you are considering a labiaplasty, waiting from your procedure date, or have been through the procedure like me! Leave any questions or comments you may have and I'll answer them :-)

Day 3 Post-Op

Firstly, thank you for the lovely comments! :)

I am now 3 days post-op, and here is a quick update.

Pain - The first day post-op was the worst. Painkillers became my best friends, and while they worked, I could just feel a really hot, dull achey discomfort type sensation.
However, I knew as soon as they were wearing off, as I got needle prick stabs and pinches from the stitches that would make my back go rigid. Imagine a crab's pincers down in that area!
I had 25 dissolvable stitches put in, and boy can I feel them when I move.
Overall, the pain has got slightly better each day so far, but I'm still popping the pills and walking around like a crippled old women who's got an invisible horse between her legs!

It hurts, yes, but it's something you put up with when you want the end result.

Blood (sorry guys) - I've had to keep a period pad in every day so far, and sleep on a towel. The first day was quite bad, I filled up a few towels. No worse than a period really. The only time I've taken my pad out is to ice pack the area (sweeeet relief!) as padding was too thick to feel the cold through. This is normal - the genitals and the face are the areas of the body which the most blood vessels!

Sleeping - I haven't slept well for the nights following my surgery (and the night before my surgery!). The pain has woken up multiple times throughout the night and I've had to take more painkillers. I think this is making me grumpy and overtired - yesterday I dropped something, but couldn't bend down properly to pick it up and cried frustrated tears. All part of the process!

Aesthetics - The area is black and blue. There is so much bruising that Mum said that it looks like I got a full tattoo down there! It's still very swollen and everything is puffy, hot and tender, like when you press on a bruise. I haven't looked inside properly enough to identify any stitches.
Aside from that, and so far, it looks amazing :)
At the moment, I can't see any of the labia minora, but I think that's because my labia majora are so swollen. My surgeon definitely took a lot 'o' lip away! He left my clitoral region be, which at the moment has created a 'step' from my clitoral hood down to my labia minora. This could just be the swelling of the hood, but either way I much prefer this neat little look.

The hospital have rung me to see how I'm getting on and I reported back that it was bareable. I am seeing my surgeon in 2 weeks for a post-op appointment. I'll keep you guys informed!

4 weeks Post Op!

Hey guys, I am officially a whole month since I had the op!

I am completely healed, no stitches left. No pain or anything.

I saw my Doc a week and a half after my surgery and he said then that I was almost fully healed, just a few stitches left!

After almost 2 weeks I was back to normal physically, dancing and trampoling etc.

Aesthetics - overall, I can honestly say I'm pleased and that I don't regret having it done.
The good bits - it's smaller. I like it. No nerve damage to my clitoris. I don't think anyone would look at it and know that I'd had it done.

The bad bits - I think I wish he'd left a little more lip, I think. Only because my clitoral hood (which didn't have any work done and was left how it was) now appears bigger and more prominent in comparison. Also, it all feels a little weird down there, like a bit alien and some of the scar tissue where I had the incisions is a little hard still - my Doc said it will improve as I heal.

So that's it! I feels like a whole lifetime ago I was preparing for surgery!
My last comment and advice would be this:
Don't jump into it. I'd wanted this procedure since I was 14, and I had it 6 years later.
And give it lots of thought, because you're all beautiful, ladies x
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