Ready for Labiaplasty! Unsure of Surgeon - Washington, DC

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I've wanted labiaplasty for 20 years and am...

I've wanted labiaplasty for 20 years and am finally doing it. I've consulted with two surgeons but am conflicted on who to go with. My first consult went very well - I felt very comfortable with the surgeon and his staff. He said he's performed a moderate amount of labiaplasties, the first was 20 years ago. I feel he would be very competent to perform the surgery. I did find a legal issue within the last ten years and that does bother me a bit. The surgeon did have some stiff penalties resulting from the issues, but I don't feel the previous issues would impact his performing the surgery. I like that this surgeon is accessible. He even emailed me before I had my consultation and provides patients with his cellphone number after surgery so we can easily contact him with questions/concerns after the surgery. I forgot to ask to see photos at the consultation and only one is available on his website, but I've emailed asking if I can view additional photos. The second consult went well also. This time it was a female surgeon. She was definitely more clinical and less personable than the first. She admitted she doesn't do a lot of labiaplasties, but the photos she provided we're just flawless (trim method - I want wedge). So, I feel both surgeons would do a good job, but I just don't know who to go with. The legal issue with the first one just keeps sticking in my head, but it seems he had the most experience between the two. The second surgeon has 30 years experience and seeing her examples (albeit a different version than I'm looking for), I feel like she would go a good job. I'm conflicted as this is a very sensitive area of the body! Thoughts from anyone on who I should go with? I have a third consult scheduled but it's not until the week I would like to have the surgery done. I really need to get it done after Thanksgiving and before Christmas. That will give me more time to heal and away from work. Ready to do this but I overanalyze everything.


I finally had my surgery yesterday. I had the wedge under local anesthesia. I thought I would be very nervous the day of surgery but I was just excited and had no nerves. I used the numbing cream before leaving home and again right before surgery. I drove myself to and from the office and did not take any antianxiety meds. Thanks to the cream, I barely felt the needles for the local anesthesia. It was very minor - I've had more pain from stubbing my toe. There was one point when the doc cut and I could feel it a bit, but it was very minor and he gave me more local. After that I only felt tugging and pulling. Honestly, the most uncomfortable part of the procedure for me was being in stirrups for over an hour. My legs were shaking even though I wasn't nervous, so that was annoying. And then, despite having gone twice before the surgery, I had to go to the bathroom. Bad. Thankfully, the doc let me go after finishing one side because I knew couldn't make it. So keep that in mind - don't overdo it on water before surgery! Lol. Thankfully the bathroom was close. After emptying my very full bladder, he finished up the second side which went quicker than the first. Doc said I should be nearly symmetrical after I heal. My surgery was scheduled at 1230 and we started a little late and I was home by 230. I rested all day and iced off and on. I began Tylenol around 330 when the local began to wear off and I was hurting pretty good (about a 6 on the pain scale). Pain level went to a 4 with the Tylenol. I was bleeding some and the swelling was minimal. I was a little uncomfortable when walking to the bathroom or getting up for a drink or food. So I really tried to lay down as much as possible all day.

Day One Post Op

Today went very well. Doc said I should alternate between ibuprofen and Tylenol (I declined stronger drugs). I only took one Advil and one Tylenol today, the last of which was 13 hours ago. I've stayed off my feet most of the day and have had minimal pain. Most of the time when laying down I feel no pain at all. I have had some swelling, but I'm still icing off and on. I am still bleeding. But then I realized its because I got my period, not because of the surgery. Now that I've had the surgery, the blood flows more freely than before with my big labia. Tmi, but that's the truth. I'm a little more swollen today than yesterday an I noticed one part that seems to protrude out a bit. I'm not stressing because I know I'm only one day out and it will take awhile for things to settle. I'm very happy with the result so far.

Day 3 Post Op - Feeling Good

Three days post op and my pain level is very low, thankfully. I do have some swelling still and am mostly keeping off my feet and icing very few hours. I haven't taken any meds since the morning after surgery. I am itching a little bit, I think from my hair growing seeing as I shaved completely before the surgery. I do still see a protrusion on the one side that I believe is where a suture is located. I feel like I've seen other wedge recovery photos like this so I am pretty hopeful that it will disappear as my swelling goes down. Overall I'm feeling great. I had anticipated that the recovery would be worse. I go back to work in three days and am hoping I won't be sore sitting for most of the day. Very happy with my results so far and can't wait to see what the final result will be once the swelling goes down. No matter what, I'm so happy I did this and I feel like anything is an improvement from what I had before.

Day Four Post Op

Feeling pretty good, very little pain. I do have to be a little careful when sitting down. I think the swelling has improved just a tad bit. Still haven't needed any meds since the first morning after surgery. Still a little itchy, especially when walking. Maybe I shouldn't have completely shaved before surgery. One more day off and then I'm back to work. The area that protrudes out is annoying (from pics it looks like the area has separated but up close its just a protusion, I think from where the incision was) and I'm hoping it'll go go down as the swelling gets better. Hoping everything smooths out once the swelling is better too. I'm only a few days out but I'm hopefully it will look much better after a few weeks. At any rate, I'm much happier with my appearance now than before my surgery so I'm trying to stay realistic with my expectations.

Day Nine Post Op

No pain anymore, just a little discomfort occasionally. Haven't taken anything for pain since the morning after surgery. The recovery had been so much better than I expected. I went back to work for three days this week with no problem. I think the swelling is a little bit better than before, but I'm not concerned about that. What does bother me somewhat are the protrusions I have on both sides, which I'm assuming is where the sutures are? Kind of reminds me of bat wings. I've seen some recovery pics where others have had that and they seem to go down after some time. By biggest concern however is inside the vagina. I have two large lumps/bumps inside on both sides, which I did not have before. I added arrows to one of my pics to show what I'm referring to. I have been through many recovery pics/stories and have never seen this before. I don't know what they are. I was always smooth inside before the surgery. Is this normal after wedge labiaplasty? Will they go away or will I need to have them removed later? It's not something I would be comfortable living with. When I open up, my clit is nearly nestled between these two lumps (sorry to be graphic). My post op appointment went well, doc says I'm healing nicely. But I didn't bring up the lumps because before that I had been too sore to look inside (and I don't think he opened me up either at the appt - if he did, I didn't really notice and he didn't mention them). I have another appointment in over two weeks and will definitely address this. Overall, everything is just lumpy and bumpy. I'm sure the outside will get better, but I just never expected the inside to look like that. I'm really hoping things just smooth out a lot more in the coming weeks. I know its early still but I guess that since I've had very little pain and have had a good recovery, I would have thought things looked better by now. I'm still happy I finally had this surgery and can't wait for the final result!

Three weeks post op

Today marks three weeks since surgery. I still have some soreness, but it's manageable. I have to be careful when washing myself and when I sit wearing jeans. Looking back at my last pic, I can see that the swelling has improved just a bit. I still have the areas that protrude a bit, I guess from where the stitches were/are. I don't think those areas have improved much, which is disappointing. In the photos where I opened myself up a bit, I can now see lots of skin at/around the clitoral hood (I only had the wedge, nothing else). I also have a fold of skin on either side, which extends down to the protusion areas. It's been hard keeping the area between the little folds clean. I don't know if those areas be reduced as I continue to heal or if it'll be something I'll just have to deal with? I still have the bumps inside my vagina as well. They haven't changed in size, so I'm guessing that's something I may have to live with as well. I know it's still early in the recovery process but I had hoped to have more improvement at this point. I'm okay with how I look when I'm standing but I'm disappointed in how I look opened up, with all the lumps and bumps and folds. Still better than all the extra I had before! But, I guess I'm still a work in progress. I started exercising again at day 16 with walking. I started off waking about a mile, the next day about two miles and after that three miles. I was a little itchy, I think because my hair is still growing back, but no pain or soreness. I may just get a wax one day once I'm all healed! I've got a ways to go but I'm hoping I'll wind up with final result that a much improved from where I am now. I have a follow up with the surgeon soon and will address my lumpy/bumpy issues. Happy to start this new year with having made this change that I wanted to for so many years.

8 1/2 weeks post op

It's been awhile since I've posted. I felt like I wasn't changing much, so there was no need to keep posting pics/updates. I had a follow up with the surgeon at just over four weeks post op. He said things were healing well and he couldn't even see where the incisions had been. I was still a little tender at that point from where the internal sutures were. I told him I was still dabbing when I went to the bathroom because I didn't want to hurt myself. He said I should not baby the area as to help desensitize the area. He suggested I do light massage on those areas, just for one minute, and that would help with dissolving the sutures. I did it off and on, but not everyday. It was a sensitive at first but very quickly the areas became less painful. I mentioned the lumps and bumps, particularly the bumps inside the vagina. He said they should go down over time. Sex at 5 1/2 weeks was no problem. I still had a some sensitivity on one side, but that has since gone away. Fast forward to 8 1/2 weeks. I have seen some changes in where I was as of the last update 5 1/2 weeks ago. The areas that protruded on both sides have improved, I believe as the suture material has dissolved more. I can still feel them in there, so I guess for whatever reason they are taking their time dissolving. The small folds coming down from the clitoral hood are still there. I don't know how to best describe it, but the small folds and the labia don't really "connect" how I would like. I mean, from the top near the clitoral hood, down to the bottom of the labia I would have hoped to see one continuous lip. But that's not what I'm seeing. In particular on the left side, when looking from the side, it looks like the lip actually indents where the small fold and the lip meet. I had hoped this would improve over time, but it's actually more noticeable to me now. I don't know if that could be corrected later? I do also see it on the right side, but it's not as noticeable. Within the last week or so I noticed that the left lip looks like its sagging too. Both lips were pretty symmetrical but now it looks like it's changing as the suture material is dissolving. I still have the two lumps inside the vagina. I think maybe they have changed a bit, but not a whole lot. Being over 8 weeks post op, I really can't imagine they are going to smooth out much more at this point. One of the lumps is sort of a flap now. So it's like I have three flaps: the labia majora, labia minora and then these baby flaps inside. And my clitoris is kind of right in the middle. I hope they can be fixed if they don't go away. I've searched so many sites and have never seen anyone else who has these issues inside the vagina. I really don't want to need a touch up or revision after all of this. I don't want the added expense or pain, but I want to get these things addressed if they are still present in several months. I'm not looking for absolute perfection but after having hang ups about my lady parts for so many years, I really don't want new hang ups. I'm fine with how I look if I'm not opened up, but when I'm opened up and can see the folds and bumps it does bother me. I don't want to be self conscious if I'm intimate with a guy and he's really up close and personal and can see these things too. So, I'm really hoping things get better in the coming weeks. I know it takes time to see the final result. I think the waiting for the final result has to be the hardest part of labiaplasty for me. The surgery and pain are temporary but having patience for months is hard! Easier said than done, for sure. I don't feel like the pics really show the issues I'm seeing in person very well, but I hope you guys get the sense of what I'm talking about. And I'm not really that hairy either! I'm trimmed, but compared to all the other girls here who are waxed, its a big difference. Lol. I have another follow up with the surgeon in a month. i will address these concerns again then.

Fourteen weeks post op

Hi ladies, guess it's time for an update even though I really don't feel like much has changed. I'm fourteen weeks out from surgery. I still have the folds that I did previously and I know that they aren't going to change at this point. I don't know how I really feel about it now. I wish it were different but it's what I have now so maybe I'm sort of starting to accept the new me? I don't know. Occasionally I have some soreness, usually after I've wiped too hard after going to the bathroom or been a little too rough after cleaning in the shower. I had a check up with the surgeon and he said he still couldn't see my incision (he couldn't even see it four days after surgery). So, that's one thing I'm glad about - no visible scar. I mentioned the inside flaps and he said that it's possible they may deflate a bit more, but if I'm not happy after my next appointment in four months, we can take care of it with a quick fix. I should only need to take two days off work. I didn't ask about cost or anything, I'm just going to assume any cost would and should be minimal, if not free. It don't have my mind made up one way or another. I'm just going to wait and see how I am in four months and decide then. They showed me a pic of myself in the stirrups during surgery, with the surgeon spreading open my labia to show their size. Omg. First of all, I'm not used to seeing myself in stirrups like that from that angle - not a look I'm a fan of! Lol. Secondly, my butterfly wings were bigger than I thought! I didn't spread myself out in my before pics and quite frankly if I ever did before it wasn't at an angle where I could see myself like that. Obviously I had issues with how I looked, so why the heck would I have ever wanted make myself feel worse by seeing how long and wide they would stretch anyways? So seeing that pic just reassured me again I know this surgery was right for me, despite the things I don't like. I don't have any more rubbing when exercising, walking or just plain sitting down. I don't have the issue of toilet paper sticking to me anymore. I can't say it's enhanced sex for me, like some other ladies report. The only real difference is that I don't have to readjust my lips anymore. Don't misunderstand though, I'm not saying my sexual experiences are bad, it's just having the surgery didn't real change anything physically in regards to sex. Doesn't bother me though, I was happy with my sexual function beforehand and that wasn't the goal of surgery anyways. I was concerned I could have possibly lost function or sensitivity, so I'm glad to have stayed right were I was. My doc asked if I was happy with how much we took off and if I had to do it again, would I have wanted more less or right where I am now, sort of flush with the labia majora. I told him I'm happy with the amount we took because I didn't want the Barbie look. If he had taken a little more, I would not have been upset, but it's all good. I'm glad he cared to ask if it was just right so he's making sure he followed his patients wishes. As you can see from the pics, things have remained pretty much the same since shortly after surgery. One nice lady here said she thought with the folds it reminded her of a flower and that really made me feel better about how I look. So, I'm just trying to accept and feel good about my new normal. I'm well beyond the point of checking myself out frequently and am just going on with life. I do keep up with the other reviewers here because it's nice to be able to chat with other ladies who have had the surgery, since I've never told any one I had mine :)

Fifteen weeks

Sooo...I found a way that makes me feel better about my results. As you all can see from my previous photos, I usually have pubic hair (trimmed, even though it never looked like it in the photos). The only time I had ever completely shaved was when I had my surgery. Lately I had just been annoyed by my pubic hair and decided to get rid of all of it. I have to say, I like how my lady looks without all the hair :) And I like how it feels. Before the surgery, I had never wanted to get rid of it all but now I feel better about myself and decided to go for it. I'm less insecure about some of the things that weren't perfect after the surgery. And I'm definitely way less insecure than before the surgery. I actually feel....normal! I'm okay with the imperfections. It's a good place to be in. But, it really is a pain trying to get all the hair and not cut myself when shaving. How many of you ladies get waxed? Now that my bigger lips are gone, I would be comfortable going for a wax. I'd like a Brazilian, but since I've never had a wax should I just get a bikini wax at first? I'm not scared about the pain, but I just don't know how my skin would react because I have sensitive skin. Hope to hear from some of you.

Feeling better each day...four months post op

So I've felt better and better after shaving. Previously I was one of those women who said she would never shave completely because I didn't want to look like 12 year old girl. But now I feel empowered by being completely shaved and I am so much more comfortable with how I look. I took these pics laying down (all the previous pics were standing up). I don't know, but there is just something about being shaved and in this position that really helps me feel normal now. You can still see the lumps inside but they really don't bother me that much anymore. I've seen some before pics that aren't too off from where I am now, but coming from where I was before, I just so happy to have a more normal appearance. I was never looking for the Barbie look anyways! So, I just wanted to share that I'm feeling the groove now. Took me awhile but I hope to stay here :) Now if I could only get the right guy in my life who could also enjoy. Lol!

Shaving advice?

So because I'm not quite ready to go for a wax, shaving is great for me now. Any advice on what to use? In the several times I've shaved, I used a new razor and shaving cream (on one occasion, it was for sensitive skin). I exfoliated beforehand once. Afterwards I used organic coconut oil to moisturize (normally use it on the rest of the body with good results, so I figured why not). I know lots of ladies have actually used coconut oil on their labia minora after surgery, so I thought it couldn't hurt to use it on the areas I shaved. Some areas are a bit red after shaving and there are a few red bumps in other areas, but not many. What do you ladies use for behaving gel/cream and lotions/moisturizers afterwards? Any other tips?

Five months post op

I'm now at about 5 1/2 months post op. No change from the last update really. I still have the little flaps inside the vagina. They've pretty much remained the same size for several months now. It does bother me to an extent but they don't hurt and don't get in the way of sexual function or using tampons, so I don't know if I will have them removed just yet. I think I'd feel differently if they were on the outside, but I guess since it's not something I'm looking at all the time it hasn't bothered me too much. I know it is an option to have them taken care of it I want to. Overall, I'm feeling good about my tiger (another lady here called hers that and I said I was totally stealing it! Lol). It's just so nice not having the constant pressure and discomfort I had before from the big lips. They were just always in the way and collecting toilet paper every time I wiped (yuck!). And I'm happier with my appearance as well and feel more confident. I see the surgeon for a follow up in about six weeks so I can discuss the baby flaps again with him if I decide to take care of them. I'm still sticking with shaving and haven't felt like going for a wax yet. It's annoying having to shave constantly, but that's okay with me for now. Maybe if I had a man in my life I'd head for the waxer but unfortunately that's not an issue right now...Uploading my before pic from day of surgery and after pic taken tonight.

One Year!!!!

I can't believe it's been one year since my surgery. Time has really flown by, with the exception of the first few months when it seems like it takes forever to see your true results! As you can see from my photos, nothing has changed since my last updates. How I look now is essentially how I looked about 3-4 months out from surgery. Overall, I am happy with my results. Are they "perfect"? No. Are there a few things I wish were a little better? Yes. But, you know what? I wasn't looking for "perfection" - whatever the heck that is. And I wasn't looking for a cookie cutter porn vagina with no lips at all to play with. I wanted to reduce the bulk, along with the pain and discomfort I had lived with for 20 years. And I simply just wanted to look more normal.

What I wish were a bit different are what I have previously referred to as "baby flaps" that are just inside the vagina, up near the clit. They've been there since after the surgery and, while my surgeon said he could address them, I don't know yet if I will. I guess my biggest concern is that if he removed them, he'll have to go up further near the clitoral hood and I really don't want to mess with that area. They don't hurt and are only noticeable when I'm opened up and don't interfere with tampons, sex, etc so I kind of figure why bother if I'm not that self conscious about them and risk a complication. I still have a healthy amount of minora and, while they aren't smooth all the way down and there are many folds, I have no visible scars and no painful or irritated areas. I am no longer uncomfortable when sitting, walking, exercising, etc like I was before. I don't have to readjust myself to be more comfortable. Hygiene issues are better. I have realized how much my larger labia really effected me day to day and how much pain/discomfort/adjusting I had to do every single day just because of them. It's amazing how easy it is to get used to being pain and discomfort free! That is precisely why I chose to have the surgery in the first place. And the fact that I'm also more comfortable with my appearance is a huge bonus. I am no longer terribly self conscious with what I look like. It's truly a weight off of my shoulders.

I still have not told anyone that I've had the surgery. I do not intend to either. This was just so personal for me and I would be horribly embarrassed to tell someone in my personal life that I had this done because I feel like others wouldn't understand. I need to see my gynecologist for my annual visit and am wondering how I can bring it up to her. Do I tell her I had labiaplasty when I'm in the stirrups or do I wait until after she examines me? I don't want to be judged, but I did this for the right reasons, so what the heck am I worried about? I had an appointment with her two weeks before my surgery and I didn't say a word to her. Partly because I didn't want her to try and talk me out of it and partly because I didn't want to be judged. At my age I should care less, but I know there is a negative stereotype about labiaplasty. Whatever, I know there are worse things she's heard. I will tell her because I know it should be a part of my medical record.

This has been a year of change for me. The labiaplasty was just one of those changes. It's the only cosmetic procedure I've ever had, but it was an important step for me to take in order to move forward in my life in the way I need to. I feel like labiaplasty is trivialized and most people assume that the women who have this surgery do it purely for aesthetic reasons. Even on the big labia websites where women are celebrated for accepting themselves as they are, the women who have surgery are marginalized and put down for having the surgery. Even if women do decide to have the surgery for only looks, who am I to judge? We all have a right to try and be happy with ourselves. Life is too short.

So, at this point, I am happy where I am at. I feel like I look like a more normal version of former myself. I don't think I look like I've had surgery. I feel like I just look like a normal woman. I am fortunate in that I had no complications after surgery and have no long term pain or discomfort. I know many women have had different experiences and still have major issues long after their surgeries and/or revisions. That is partly why I don't want to try a revision for the small issues I have. There is something to be said for leaving well enough alone. Yes, I know I may look like some ladies before their surgery, but that's okay with me. I still haven't gone for a wax, but I have some personal goals I want to accomplish before I decide to start going for waxes. Until then, I'll stick with shaving and coconut oil.

If I had to do this all again, would I do anything different? Different surgeon/different technique/different time of my life? That's an easy answer - NO! While I wish I could've gotten rid of the discomfort and insecurities years ago, I don't think I would've been ready emotionally. Yes, I have some "imperfections", but who is truly "perfect"? My imperfections were much more bothersome before my labiaplasty. It's been great to be able to talk to other ladies on this site about our experiences. It's been therapeutic. Especially since I don't talk about it with anyone in my personal life. Reading the other stories has helped me in my journey and I hope I've somehow done the same for the others who have decided to go down this path. We've all shown the good, the bad, the ugly. So, thanks to you ladies for sharing your stories or commenting on mine. You've really helped me over the last year. I wish you all the best of luck.
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