Super nervous and ready to get it over with....
Super nervous and ready to get it over with. Particular fears are the possibility of nerve damage, and the pain / recovery time. The surgeon I chose is well rated and has done this procedure a lot, and I was comfortable with him and his staff during my consultation. He told me that nerve damage is very unlikely if you don't go near the clitoral hood, which he doesn't do - he just trims the labia underneath. Doing the trim method.
Every doctor seems to have such a different estimate of what recovery time will be like, so I don't really know what to expect!
This is the before. I will update throughout recovery, because this site has been super helpful for me in making my decision, and I'd like to contribute to helping others.
Done this morning, feeling sore.
27 Jul 2016
Day of treatment
Had the surgery this morning. So far, the experience has been pretty much what others reported.
They gave me an Ativan when I arrived for anxiety. Half an hour later I was in the operating room. Injecting the anesthetic was suuper painful, but lasted around 45 seconds. After that I was numb and couldn't feel anything the doctor and nurse were doing, and we were chatting while the doctor made the incisions and stitches. He did three rows of stitches on either side, and the whole procedure took about half an hour.
My mom drove me home and I still wasn't in pain because of the anesthesia. I took a nap and about two hours later woke up with some pain. It's not terrible, its just a constant soreness. Doing my best to not touch it when I pee, take it easy in general, and follow the post-op instructions. Will update with some "after" pictures when there's something to see.
One week, still very sore.
Relieved to have removed so much of the excess tissue, but mixed feelings about the results and may need a revision. Follow up appointment soon.
appearance at day 10, itching...
I have been waiting for some of the swelling to go down to post a picture. I had the trim method done, which is both the preference of my doctor and was my preference, because it made sense for my specific anatomy and the discoloration I wanted to get rid of. Here is what it looks like 10 days post op.
I have been a combination of relieved to have most of that excess skin gone, and also having mixed feelings / some regret about not going to a doctor who does clitoral hood reduction. I can't tell (and I've done a lot of reading on here!) how safe / unsafe / standard hood reduction is, because some doctors like the one I went to say they don't do it because of the risk of nerve damage, while others seem to treat it as a standard part of a labiaplasty and like it isn't a problem at all. I was very nervous about nerve damage so in my consultation, I was on board with reducing the labia to relieve the physical discomfort, but now that it's done I am feeling emotional / having mixed feelings about not having done a hood reduction as well, and I am worried it looks very unnatural and maybe like an obvious labiaplasty. Like, I spent all this money and recovery time, and then if I want to do a hood reduction I have to do it all over again with someone else. Whereas if I hadn't been in such a rush to do it, I could have saved several thousand dollars by going to one doctor who treats hood reduction as part of labiaplasty / included in the cost. So, my happiness about the whole thing has been mixed, which is why I took so long to post anything.
Last, the itching has been TERRIBLE, two days ago was the worst day since surgery because of unbearable itching, I ended up trying to lightly scratch it and inflamed the whole thing. I bought some feminine cortizone cream which helped a bit, and I feel better today. But I guess I was a bit naive and expecting to feel a lot better by now / almost two weeks in, considering my relative health and that I have been just resting at home and taking care of it. I can't imagine how anyone goes back to work 2-3 after a labiaplasty - I am still walking funny!
I would like to hear about other patients' experiences with the hood reduction vs no hood reduction decision / risk of nerve damage, if that was an issue at all - and what your doctors told you about it.
Labiaplasty review - over 2 months in
I think it was worth doing, and frankly I am really happy to be rid of the discomfort of long labia getting pulled / irritated in my clothing all the time. I still am not aesthetically that pleased with the appearance, as I think my large clitoral hood looks really strange. However, my main motivation for surgery was the functional one, and I am relieved that I do not have the discomfort problem anymore.
I still feel confused as to whether having done a clitoral hood reduction would have been safe or not. My doctor told me he does not perform them because of the risk of nerve damage, and I trusted him, and certainly did not want to risk nerve damage. Then I posed a question online to other doctors about whether clitoral hood reduction along with the labiaplasty would have been safe, and most responded yes. However, I find doctors who say "100% yes" unequivocally to be untrustworthy - that is just an unprofessional thing to say, because nothing is unequivocally 100% safe, so I don't really trust their answers. It is irresponsible to tell anyone that there is 0% risk of problems with their surgery, and I also find it unprofessional for a doctor to criticize another doctor the way I was seeing in my questions, rather than just explain their point of view. (If RealSelf had a feature where people who asked questions could respond to the answers, I would have done so.)
Basically it seems like there would have been a very small risk of nerve damage, because not everyone's body is the same and people's nerves don't all form the same. Given this, even though it is unlikely anything would have happened, I am probably glad I did just the labiaplasty and not a labiaplasty / clitoral hood reduction. My main concern of the discomfort is taken care of, and even though I don't love the aesthetic appearance, it is certainly better than it was.
The swelling has gone down more and it looks more normal than in the last photo. As far as a review of the specific doctor, I did like Dr. Davidson and the nurse he works with and found them to be compassionate people. Honestly, the attitude of medical professionals matters a lot, and in that respect I appreciated Dr. Davidson's practice.