So like many, many women out there, I had protruding inner labia and this caused me discomfort and shame. I'm 20 years old, and before you even think it...I'm not looking to achieve perfection, I'm not looking to emulate the porn stars' hairless, flawless muff...I got the procedure done mainly for the discomfort of the rubbing and pinching, and the embarrassment of having a bulge in my bathing suit and having to adjust myself in my clothes. BUT, aesthetics was definitely a huge plus in my mind and would help to look more youthful :)
I recommend waxing instead of shaving before surgery...
So the day of surgery, I was terrified. I was taken into the room (make sure you completely empty your bladder) and everything was set up. Dr Gerber drew with a marker on my labia where he was going to cut and showed me before he began.
**Side note: I feel the need to share (for your benefit) the parts to be cut off... At the very top of my vulva, where my clitoral hood connects with my inner labia (on both sides), there is an extra piece of tissue connected from the top on the outermost part of my labia creating a little type of concave well between my outer and inner labia.... (almost like my inner labia was split in half vertically only a quarter of the way down) And let me tell you how annoying and incredibly embarrassing it is that toilet paper would get stuck in there. Anyway, maybe there are some of you out there with the same problem... But he cut that off too!! And he cut just the protruding part of my labia vertically until it reached my vaginal opening where he stopped. So I guess he did the trim method. I meant to ask, but I didn't which I kind of regret asking for curiosity's sake.
Continuing. Everything was a go. He administered the local anesthetic, which honestly wasn't that bad...it felt like a pinch and was super uncomfortable especially around the clitoris area, but it was totally bearable! The rest of the surgery I didn't feel a thing. Dr Gerber kept up conversation, had me laughing (not too much, obviously) and before I knew it, it was over. I was given my topical antibiotics, told to wash 3 times a day and follow with vaseline over the area to keep it nice and moist. mm. Once I stood up, good lord, the anesthetic hit me. I have never been more high in my life. I don't remember getting in the car (obviously I did not drive, that would have been tragic) and I don't remember getting in bed either. But, I passed out cold. This felt wonderful at the time, considering I slept about 10 hours, but in hindsight, the initial time after the surgery was when I was supposed to ice to reduce the amount of swelling and I clearly failed to do so. Which I seriously regret. But I digress...
I woke up feeling ok. Until I got up...I took the painkiller I'd been prescribed (every 6 hours, as needed). Got up to go pee and oh my god, I was going to pass out. Not even from pain, but from nausea. I couldn't stand up longer than 30 seconds, and this might sound weird but once I started peeing I felt even more nauseas. I thought, ok nausea is normal after local anesthetic, it will go away.....
The nausea has NOT gone away, but only gotten worse. I dealt with it for another day (in hindsight, another bad decision). Aside from the nausea, my vulva is completely unrecognizable...I don't even know what's what. I'm horrified. It looks like my vagina went through a meat grinder. The stitches look harsh, and gory, and scary, and the swelling is outrageous. My clitoral hood has swollen completely over my clitoris...you can't even see it. There is no opening in my vagina at all, just a giant puffy mound. Lord help me...
Ok this is getting ridiculous. I woke up a sick, crying mess. My mom called Dr Gerber's office and they asked me to come in. I picked my sorry butt out of my bed, gingerly, and waddled down to the car. Let me tell you, you won't truly realize how bumpy the roads are until after you get a labiaplasty done. The wait time was wonderfully short at the office (which is out of the norm) and I was taken in. Dr Gerber checked me out, told me I'm healing very well, cleaned the area for me - which I was so thankful for, because I failed to do so since getting up was such a challenge. They took me off the painkillers and that solved the problem. Got home and back in bed, and everything was fine from then on. The only thing that seemed to be bothering me more than anything was restlessness. I've never been on bed rest before and I'm not taking to it well. My hips and legs are sore from staying in the same spot.
Sleeping sucks. Honestly. I sleep on my stomach or side, and that's not really manageable. I woke up every 3 hours it seems and then got up for good at 5:30am. I'm exhausted. This has been the norm for the past few days. I kind of seem to be able to sleep on my side for a couple hours with a pillow between my legs to keep my labia from touching, but that only lasts so long until I have to move back to my back. I'm grumpy. I'm super lonely. I just want to get up and be productive. I thought I'd be able to move around normally by now, but it still hurts to walk. Everything is still swollen down there. Especially my clitorial hood. However, the swelling towards my vaginal opening is starting to go down, it seems. Pain is still pretty prevalent. More so to the touch, than just general pain. My right labia is also WAY more swollen than my left side. Weird. Also, that "top part" I mentioned in my side note that he cut off...those hurt really bad and are the reason that I can't close my legs. Help me.
So today I'm getting my sutures removed. I'm terrified!! More for this than for the actual surgery. Dr Gerber applied a topical anesthetic and made me sit for 30 minutes before taking me back in. I discussed with him my concern over the fact that my right labia was much more swollen than my left, and he assured me it was fine and would go down in time. After the 30 mins, he made sure everything felt numb and warned me that there may be some discomfort. Well, he was right. Taking sutures out sucks. It's much better than I thought it would be, but still uncomfortable. But again, definitely bearable, so don't worry. Just breathe. He told me he'd see me in 3 weeks and sent me on my way. Walking is SO much easier without the sutures. Still painful and I still have to waddle, but definitely much easier.
Today is day 6. Last night I slept on my left side with a pillow between my legs instead of my right side because I thought maybe the swelling on the right side would go down. IT DID. Only a tiny bit, but it did go down, so success! I'm sooooo tired of sitting in bed. My life is just passing me by. The weather had been beautiful all weekend and I've been stuck here. I'm depressed. Even though everything is healing and looking better, I'm depressed and almost regretful. As if I just spent thousands of dollars to mutilate my body. My clitoral hood is still SO swollen and I'm scared it will never go down. I've read posts where women say it remained a bit swollen forever. I've cried a few times today.
On another note, I'm supposed to get my period tomorrow (which probably explains the horrible outlook on life today). I'm not allowed to use tampons so how the heck am I supposed to deal with my period. It's moderately heavy so what am I just supposed to sit in my bed for 5 more days wearing a friggen diaper? Am I at risk of infection? Cue panic attack.
How long until I can workout again? I'm going stir crazy. How long until I can use tampons again? How long until I can take baths or go swimming or wear tight pants? When can I shave down there again??
Ladies, in exchange for my experience, I am asking for your kind advice. Anyone who's been through this, tell me this is normal? Offer some tips. Help me feel like I have reason to hold out hope for this. Any advice would be sincerely appreciated.
To end this thread, I will continue to post updates throughout my recovery process. I want to assure those of you who are considering this process..don't be worried about what other people think about you having the surgery done. Get it done for only you. Don't expect a quick fix and to be healed in just a couple days - this process can apparently take MONTHS. Everyone heals at a different rate - something that I've tried to come to terms with during my slow process so far. And if you do decide to get this done, PRAY and don't stress out too hard. Everything will be ok if you choose a doctor who is knowledgeable and who you trust! Feel free to ask me any questions!