Dealing With Complications After Labiaplasty

A woman in white shorts holds a magnifying glass on a white background.

Labiaplasty surgery is an intensely personal procedure. Your genital area is a sensitive and vulnerable part of your anatomy, so deciding to undergo surgery often comes after much research on the procedure’s pros, cons, and possible complications.

Dr. Gary Alter understands that choosing to undergo labiaplasty surgery is a significant decision, which is why he compassionately guides each patient through the process from beginning to end.

As the premier labiaplasty surgeon in the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills Area, Dr. Alter is one of the top surgeons in his field and the inventor of the “wedge” method used by many plastic surgeons worldwide. In addition, Dr. Alter is an esteemed labiaplasty revision surgeon, capable of correcting unsuccessful or “botched” labiaplasties.

Below, we explore some potential complications after labiaplasty and how to know when to contact your surgeon for a labiaplasty revision procedure.


Complications During Labiaplasty Recovery


A Significant Increase in Bleeding, Swelling, or Pain

Your genital area will be swollen and even a bit bruised after your surgery, so you can use ice packs or cold compresses intermittently to help reduce swelling. The area will continue to be swollen throughout your recovery, and it may take up to six weeks for 80% of the swelling to subside. Total resolution can take up to 4-6 months.

Mild pain is normal after labiaplasty and can be managed with oral narcotics or over-the-counter pain medications like acetaminophen — avoid ibuprofen and naproxen, as they may increase your chances of bleeding. Icing the area will also help ease discomfort, and most pain and tenderness only last a few days.

You will probably experience light bleeding or spotting for the first few days after your labiaplasty. Wearing a pad will help keep the area dry, but be aware if the bleeding increases, continues, or you notice clots.

In very rare cases, you may develop a hematoma, which is the pooling of blood and fluid under your skin. This requires an immediate call to your surgeon for monitoring and possible draining This is a very rare occurrence in Dr. Alter’s patients.

Call your surgeon if the initial bleeding, swelling, or pain continues or increases.


Severe Pain When Going to the Bathroom

While you may feel sore or tender after labiaplasty, any pain should dissipate within a few days. You will likely experience a stinging sensation when peeing, but this can be mitigated by gently spritzing cool water on the area as you urinate.

Contact your surgeon if you feel severe pain or the initial discomfort hasn’t lessened after a few days.


Discolored or Smelly Discharge

Like any surgery, there is always a chance for infection after labiaplasty. Instances of minor infections are rare as are severe wound infections, In either case, the issue can be easily treated with antibiotics.

You may notice some itching as you heal, but this is temporary and usually mild. Severe or continued itching or unusual discharge may signify a bacterial or yeast infection or an allergy to medication, so it’s essential to consult your surgeon to be sure.

Leaving an infection untreated can lead to delayed wound healing, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry.


Stitches Opening

You could loosen or open up your stitches if you wear tight clothing or overexert yourself too soon after labiaplasty surgery.

If your incision opens after surgery, seeing your surgeon is essential. In some cases, the affected area is small and can be easily cared for. However, depending on how far the healing process has progressed, you may need to wait for the swelling to subside and the rest of the wound to heal before your surgeon does any corrective work. A small separation usually becomes invisible after several months and needs no treatment.


Complications After Labiaplasty Recovery


Scar Issues

Labiaplasty scars are typically minimal (when the surgery is performed correctly), and just like any scar, labiaplasty scars fade over time. Additionally, Dr. Alter skillfully places the incisions so that any scarring is as invisible as possible.

Sometimes, you may develop a thickened or tight scar that requires scar revision. This is more common when choosing the trim method or undergoing your procedure with an under-qualified provider.


Problems With Sensitivity

After labiaplasty surgery, you may experience temporary over-sensitivity around your labia, scars, and clitoris. This hypersensitivity may affect what type of clothing is comfortable or make exercise and sex temporarily uncomfortable.

On the flip side, the nerve endings around the labia and clitoris may be affected in the opposite way, resulting in numbness or reduced sensitivity. However, both over-sensitivity and lack of sensitivity are typically temporary. If they persist or get worse, contact your surgeon.


Over-Resection of the Labia

Some surgeons may not have the knowledge or experience to perform labiaplasty surgery correctly.

There are two main ways to reduce the size of the labia: the “trim” method, which trims off the edges of the labia minora, and the “wedge” method, which removes a pie-shaped piece of the labia minora while leaving the natural edges intact. The trim method often results in too much tissue being removed, and this over-resection can be painful, deforming, and cause side effects like vaginal dryness and chronic pain. That’s why Dr. Alter pioneered the wedge method and uses it for every patient. 


Experiencing Any of the Above?

Persistent complications, particularly concerns with scarring or the over-resection of tissue, require a secondary labiaplasty procedure. Because all revision procedures are more complicated than the initial one, it is essential to choose a top labiaplasty surgeon.

Dr. Alter is an expert labiaplasty and labiaplasty revision surgeon who has created multiple techniques to repair and/or recreate labia tissue where needed.


Learn More About Labiaplasty in Beverly Hills

If you’re looking for the leading labiaplasty surgeon in Southern California, Dr. Gary Alter is always the top choice. His years of experience, skill, and technique, make him the surgeon to choose when considering labiaplasty surgery.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, call 310-275-5566 or fill out our online contact form.

Our Locations

Beverly hills office map
416 N Bedford Dr
Suite 400
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
NYC office map
461 Park Ave South
7th Floor
New York, NY 10016