After many, many years of feeling...
After many, many years of feeling pain and embarassment because of my lady parts, I have finally worked up the courage to get something done about it!
This has been quite the journey...I visited my GP who referred me to a gynae within a public hospital. I felt SO uncomfortable at the appointment, rushed and like there was no care for how I felt at all- waste of $150. Even though I had this option of basically a free surgery, I felt in my gut this was not the person I wanted to do this kind of surgery (plus no before/after photos scared me). I then researched and found Dr Jane Paterson, and I'm so glad I did! The consultation was brilliant. Dr Jane was honest & realistic throughout. Her and her assistant Annelese (spelling?) were so helpful and ensured everything was kept very discreet. I'm not telling anyone about the true nature of my surgery, my parents don't even know because it's just something I don't feel comfortable in sharing. I'm booked in for the trim method in just over a month under general and I am SO excited. I feel like this will be a massive weight off my shoulder and I trust Dr Jane to do an amazing job. If I can get some photos up, I will! I wish I had taken the photos Dr Jane photographed on the day to upload. These reviews have helped me so much so I'm hoping this will aid anyone going down the same path ????
Just over two weeks before my op!! So excited. Just took some quick photos of my 'before' to compare. God these make me feel worse, but I want to keep track of how far I do come after the operation.
I've noticed that I do have a bit of loose skin around my perineum/opening of my vagina. Which honestly doesn't bother me that much...I'm a midwife and I would rather it be a bit looser around that area than with no flexibility for future childbirths sake! Either way, it's all going to look and feel much better overall after I've got it done.
Dr. Jane will be trimming the labia minora and taking a small amount from each side of my clitoral hood. The look I'm hoping to achieve is neat, natural and no more 'hanging'.
If anyone has any tips for a better recovery in terms of bruising and swelling please let me know! As I'm quite 'bulky' my doctor has told me I may have a bit more bruising and swelling than normal! Thanks
One Week to Go! How do I tell People??
So it's officially one more week to go!
The hospital rang today to confirm a few details, my admission time and what not.
I'm getting public transport to the hospital as I have nobody to take me there. Hoping that goes okay.
There was a bit of a miscommunication as to hospital fees and the admin lady was giving me a figure almost $300 more than the original quoted. So spent the afternoon sorting that out- stressful.
For the whole time I have been going through all the appts and booking in, I've had no desire to tell my parents. I live with them, so the week I'm recovering will be hard. I work A LOT so me not going to work will be weird for them (I leave for work a lot earlier than they do).
I'm thinking about telling my mum...has anyone got any idea how to go about it? Nobody knows the true reason for my operation- I've told friends it's a 'gynae' thing but I feel I owe my mum the full reason if I'm going to commit to telling her anything at all. I just think it will make things easier when I'm home but we aren't very open and I have a feeling she will not understand. Advice?
So, it's the night before....feeling nervous but mostly excited. Haven't told my mum...I'm on the fence still. I'm mainly worried about Thursday when she has a day off from work that she will expect me to do housework/go out. I may have to pretend I'm unwell!
My surgeons assistant called today to confirm everything. I have to be at hospital half an hour earlier than I thought...which means getting up earlier and being on the train at 6.30am. Hoping I can sleep tonight as it will be a big day.
Will update tomorrow & hopefully have some pics! :)
Day 1 Post
So!! The big day has arrived. Overview before surgery:
Arrived at the hospital, got taken into the day surgery ward, admission questions blah blah. Got taken into the waiting bay for theatre pretty quickly! Met the team, the anaesthetist was amazing!! I hate needles and I barely felt it.
Dr. Jane came to see me before. She was so lovely & made me feel reassured. We went over what I wanted to achieve before going into the OT. Once in, they gave me medication to go to sleep and I remember laughing my ass off for ages because I was so high haha. Next thing I knew I was waking up in the recovery room! Took me 10 minutes to wake up apparently but no drowsiness after (I'm sure it will hit sometime).
It's been about 4 hours since the op and I'm feeling pretty good, have eaten some sandwiches & had something to drink. Very numb down there still. Had a peek and was pleasantly surprised- very swollen but I'm already so happy. Will attach photos (I am bleeding a little, apologies and my skin looks gross from fake tan that hasn't come off properly haha). Going home soon and can't wait to jump into my own bed and watch some TV.
Will keep you all updated over the next few weeks! So far, very happy!
Pictures taken: standing up from front and looking up
Day 1- Home
26 Oct 2016
Day of treatment
So I'm home. Took a couple more photos about 9 hours post op.
Swelling has increased, so has bruising. Mostly at clitoral hood and perineal area.
Have showered. Local is wearing off quite a bit now, so have taken some panadol & nurofen :) already can't wait to see final results!!
Area is red due to ice packs!
Photo taken: lying down- "closed" and "open"
Day 2 Post Op
26 Oct 2016
Day of treatment
Had a fairly good sleep last night. Popped an ice pack in before bed (one of the gel ones that freeze and then go back to gel when thawed) and I think that really helped to relieve the pressure as I slept. I ended up waking very early though because I fell asleep so early! But managed to get back to sleep as it wasn't pain related.
Have been fairly comfortable...I think day 3-5 is usually the day people complain of the most discomfort so taking advantage of how okay I feel.
Had a salt bath this morning. Lots of rest and not doing much. I've propped myself up on a pillow so my butt is kind of tilting back to help with the swelling (rest, ice, compression, elevation and all that jazz).
Noticing a lot more bruising now. There is a lot more swelling to my right labia minora than the left. The excess skin at my perineum is also super swollen and looks a bit weird but it's early days and I'm honestly not even worried. Taking it day by day.
Photos taken: lying down and standing up.
Day 3 Post Op
Pain is still bearable. I do have quite a high pain threshold though. Not taking pain relief as regularly, trying to focus more on anti-inflammatory medication as that's what I feel I will struggle with the most.
Had a little bit of bleeding last night as I was getting into the bath. Feel like I may have pulled a stitch but it's all resolved now with only a little bit of bleeding.
Feel like I've lost my appetite a little bit- not sure if it's because I'm not being as active. But feeling normal otherwise.
Swelling near clitoral hood remaining the same. I feel like my right labia minora is either decreased a bit in swelling or the left has increased a little as you can see more of the left now.
Very swollen perineum still with lots of bruising. Area a bit red due to the ice pack!
Have kept up with the salt baths and regular icing. A bit hard to change over ice packs when family are home but trying my best!
Photo taken: lying down
Day 4 Post Op- coconut/paw paw??
Last night was a bit tough. Woke up in quite a bit of pain and feeling of 'tightness' due to swelling. I feel the most of my discomfort is actually stitches related- I can feel them more now and they are SO annoying! Once they are gone I'm sure I'm going to feel better.
Really trying to keep up with the salt baths. Regular panadol/nurofen continuing, as well as ice packs.
Swelling hasn't necessarily gone down in comparison to yesterday, I think it's just 'changed'. Definitely not getting more swollen. Noticing more bruising on my labia majora too.
My clitoral area still remains huge, but I know that will settle. Looking at it now, looks like such a mess, but I know everyone says this and they turn out fine!
I'm wondering if anyone used any creams at this point? Paw paw, coconut or anything else? For what reasons? And did it work for you? I'm willing to try anything to help myself heal :)
I'm just going to apologise now for the hair- I'm not planning on shaving for a while until I'm not as tender so, bear with me!
Photo taken: lying down
Day 5 Post Op
Looking much better and swelling is starting to go down. Still very tender & my clitoral hood area remaining the most swollen but I know that will go down. Right side is definitely the most swollen still. I think this is most evident in the photo where my legs aren't 'open'. I think when the swelling goes down, the labia majora will come together a bit closer!
Didn't have my salt baths yesterday (couldn't find the time), but have been icing when I can. Photos taken today just after a salt bath.
Finding the most uncomfortable thing is 'sticking' to my pad- it causes me to bleed a little because I'm pulling away at some scabs. Debating whether to use coconut oil on my pad (rather than directly apply to my vulva), but don't want to stuff up my wound healing or dissolve the stitches too quickly.
Haven't taken nurofen since yesterday. Switched over to taking panadeine (paracetamol & codeine) for my pain because I am much more comfortable this way and it helps me sleep, and lasts longer than panadol.
Have been out and about with friends a bit- just for dinner last night & brunch this morning. Don't feel like I've swollen anymore, it was a bit uncomfortable though.
Looks like some stitches have dissolved already but feeling healed together in those areas.
Perineal area looks a bit average, hoping it won't as much when the bruising goes away and it is probably still a little bit swollen!
Feel like I can see everything coming together. Excited not to be in pain!
Photo taken: lying down (open & closed)
Day 6 Post Op
Much the same as yesterday.
Haven't had any bleeding since yesterday morning. Bruising is getting a little better. As per usual, right side is way bigger than my left due to swelling.
I'm just over the tender feeling. It's so uncomfortable wearing undies. The best way I can describe the feeling is 'sensitive'. Like when you lose a tooth and rub your tongue over the place where you lost it. I'm only comfortable in the bath or when I'm icing at this point.
I know it's early days and everyone is different but when was it that you felt 'comfortable' again? 2 weeks? 3 weeks? I'm going back to work later this week and scared I will struggle.
Photos taken after a salt bath. Lying down "open & closed"
Day 7 Post Op- Shaving??
Feel like swelling is going down, as well as bruising. Perineal area looking better.
Feeling slightly worried about that right side (looks left in the photo), below where you can see the big stitch. That area is a little irritated- I'm sure that's where would stick to my pads and sting. On that suture line looks to be serous exudate (straw coloured fluid), which is a sign of healing so happy to leave it for now as my review is 2 days away. It doesn't smell, there's a bit of redness & swelling (but that's to be expected) and the area feels/looks normal. Once the swelling goes down I think it will even itself out as well. But just wondering if anyone else had the same thing?
Wasn't as religious with ice packs yesterday- silly move.
Pain is much the same- when moving. I think my pubic hair is also causing me grief- I want to shave it because it stings when it touches my inner labia but I'm so scared to even attempt going near there with a razor. Tips? Tricks?
Day 8 Post Op (1 Week Since Surgery)
Bruising is better. My week post op review is tomorrow and I can't wait to go in and see what Dr. Jane thinks. Still worried about that area on my right labia (looks left in pic)- looks like it's separated (it isn't but hoping once swelling goes down and it heals more it closes over- have included a close up pic). It kinda looks like a hole or a dint...
Pain still the same- nothing when I'm in bed but walking is uncomfortable.
This hair though!! Oh my god....annoying. Will attempt to shave tomorrow or tonight I think, I'm over it.
Still doing salt baths. Have started putting paw paw on my pads if I'm going out and wearing them so I don't stick. Makes it a bit more comfortable. Haven't used any pain medication since Day 6, used ibuprofen yesterday though to help with swelling.
Photos taken: lying down
Day 9 Post Op- Surgeon Review
So! Had my week post op review today and everything went well. Dr Jane was really happy with how I was healing.
Went back to work today as well- went okay. Felt a bit lightheaded but pain has improved so much! I can actually walk like a normal person now.
Jane recommended taking salt baths daily rather than two times a day, use paracetamol & ibuprofen if needed (will definitely use the ibuprofen because I'm so swollen on my right in comparison and hopefully that helps haha), and keep up ice packs if I feel like it. She also said I can use paw paw if the stitches are annoying & itchy (they should all start coming out within the next week hopefully!)
Bruising remains on my clitoral hood & perineum but not too crazy everywhere else- looks quite pink!
Took a few more photos in different angles/positions to show you guys how much more swollen the right labia is in comparison to my left! Completely normal at this stage and I know it will keep going down.
Really happy with how my left side looks though, it pretty much tucks in and you can't really see it behind my labia majora at all, so will be exciting to see what it all looks like once swelling has gone completely.
Did a lot of walking today hence why it looks a little irritated! Finally shaved this morning- shitty attempt, I was so scared to move my labia minora out the way but I feel somewhat better!!
Photos taken: standing, standing and looking up at vulva & lying down
Walking around is so much easier now! I can only feel a pull or pinch once in a while. Sitting is more of an issue, I have to find a position in comfortable in and I'm kind of like a grandma when I go to sit down- I go super slow haha
No more panadol. Have been taking ibuprofen to help with swelling. Had a salt bath today to help soften the stitches (took pic after I just got out). Paw paw on my pad when wearing one- helps loads!!
I'm honestly so so happy with how it's looking. Once the right side goes down I think I'm going to be thrilled!!
Only negative at this point is the itchy stitches and I feel like I'm not able to clean down there as much (not so much my vagina which is self cleaning but in between my minora and majora). Sorry TMI but I'm scared to really do much down there haha
Much the same. Feel like swelling has gone down quite a bit on my 'bigger' right side.
The loose skin on my perineum is kinda annoying me and I'm sure I think it looks worse than it does. It'll look a bit more camouflaged once it's not bruised as well I guess.
Photo taken; laying down
Pretty much back to normal. Swelling continuing to go down on right side- looking much better! It's more so swollen "wide" rather than protruding too much past the other side now. Taking ibuprofen for swelling!
Won't update for another week as I feel like it'll be much the same for a while now :)
Two Weeks Post
It's just been a little over two weeks since and I'm happy to report I'm back to normal!
Occasional itching which is remedied with paw paw ointment in the morning.
Haven't had a salt bath in a couple days...haven't really felt the need. Will maybe do once a week if I find the time.
Bruising has gone down heaps! Swelling on right side as well, but still more swollen than the left! Stitches are coming out more and more....it's kinda like new ones are appearing every day? They're growing out or something haha. It's weird but I'm feeling really good and loving my results thus far.
TMI...had some 'me' time a couple days ago. I know, I know- naughty but I was going insane! Haven't since because it's a bit awkward with the stitches!
Photos taken with legs open and closed for reference!! Looks SO MUCH better. Closed photo is dark because my legs were shadowing! Sorry
Forgot this pic!
Standing. Both sides are starting to even out now but right side still quite swollen!
I'm almost half way until the '6 week' mark and I'm curious....
1. When did you first attempt sex?
2. At what point were you 100% comfortable having sex? I'm talking no pain
3. Did you find it different from pre-op
I'm feeling really good so far but I'm getting an idea that not many (if any) enjoyed sex at the 6 week mark.
Feel free to message if this is too TMI to answer here!
Three Weeks Post Op
So it's been just over three weeks!
No more itching. Pretty much all the stitches have fallen out and everything is healing well from what I can see!
Right side is definitely still much more swollen. Looks better in real life though
One month post op
Happy with my results so far. No pain.
Hoping that the ridges smooth out a bit more over time (the more noticeable ones between my labia and clitoral hood). Still some swelling to my right side more than my left, I'm sure that will go down over the coming months!
For those who have had this procedure done: did you find the suture lines/ridges smoothed out?
Almost 6 weeks post op
I am hoping that I will see some more change in the coming weeks and months. My right side is definitely larger and perhaps still more swollen. I'm hoping the ridges even out more (anyone experience the same thing and find with time/less swelling they become less noticeable?)
Feeling more comfortable in my own skin though. Photos taken after a warm shower which I find always puffs them up a little haha
Post op appt is next week. Can't wait to get the all clear!
If anyone has any similar experiences with the ridges as I've mentioned above please comment or message, I'd love to see how you went. I know we are our own worst critics so I'm sure it doesn't look as bad as I think it does (in photos more so), but please help me feel a little more okay haha
Almost 8 weeks post op
18 Dec 2016
2 months post
Had my 6 week post op appt almost 2 weeks ago and I've seen small changes since then!
The ridges were the stitches were are smoothing out so much and everything looks great.
I'm so pleased with it and feel 1000000x more confident.
TMI! Sex wise- nothing has changed. If anything, I think it's better because I'm not as awkward and uncomfortable. I find it's easier to climax from clitoral stimulation because there is less tissue around the area.
I'm so so happy I did this. I feel like over the next month I will see some more changes and be even happier. Would love my right side to become a little smaller to match up with the left a bit more but I know that it's near impossible to make them identical and I'm happier with what has been achieved so far.
Side by side comparison
19 Dec 2016
2 months post
Just out of curiousity for myself, I put my before and current after photo next to each other....I am actually amazed at the difference.
When I took the Before photos I actually looked at them long and hard and thought "is it really THAT bad?" "Am I being silly for wanting this?"
Now I look and see the difference and realise that my reasons for wanting the surgery were completely justifiable. I wasn't comfortable physically or mentally. I am now so happy.
To assume someone gets labiaplasty done JUST for cosmetic appearance is ridiculous. For me, this was a major mental roadblock to my self esteem and sexuality (as well as painful day to say). I don't regret this decision at all, and look forward to the changes I see over the next few weeks as I heal more :)
13 Feb 2017
4 months post
I haven't posted in a while. I've been doing well. No pain at all. Just wanted to say thanks for the support through my journey, it's been much appreciated. I will be deleting the app on my phone, which will likely mean I won't be back on here at all.
I hope that my review has helped someone, I know it definitely helped reading other people's :)
Good luck! Xx