Ask Dr. Pane: Labiaplasty Healing Process

Dr. Pane evaluates the case of a woman who underwent labiaplasty and is concerned about the healing process.

The Question

Labiaplasty, a procedure in which the outer and inner “lips” of the vulva which surround and protect the entrance to the vagina are sculpted to give a certain appearance, has grown greatly in popularity over the past decade. At Atlantic Coast Aesthetics, we receive a lot of questions about labiaplasty and its benefits. In some cases, we also hear from patients who are unsure about whether the healing process they are experiencing is normal, as happened with the subject of this week’s Ask Dr. Pane segment. The patient underwent labiaplasty about a week and a half ago and wanted to know if what she is experiencing is normal, and if not, what she should do about it.

The Case

The patient sent pictures of the area in question, but they did not come through. However, from the verbal description the patient gave, Dr. Pane was able to piece together at least some of what he believes is going on.

The Answer

Labiaplasty, when performed by a skilled and experienced surgeon, has a very low rate of complications. The primary concerns for this patient appear to be swelling and the formation of a white substance around the edges of the incisions and some bruising in the area. While these are not necessarily unusual or a cause for alarm, it is difficult to say definitively because of the absence of photos to examine. In addition, even if the pictures were available, these are often unreliable because they may not properly show the area under consideration. Another complicating factor in this case is that in this case, the patient’s procedure was not performed by Dr. Pane, so he does not have the benefit of a complete medical history or “hands-on” experience with this patient.
With all that said, Dr. Pane says in this case the patient is “probably” okay and what she’s experiencing is not unheard of. In the first several days after a labiaplasty, the area may look “a little strange,” as Dr. Pane put it, while the sensitive tissues of the labia rebuild themselves. However, they should not look too strange, in this case meaning the area should not show any hematomas or similar issues. The white material the patient describes may simply be lint or other detritus from her undergarments building up around the surgical site. If the material is liquid, especially if it has a foul odor or turns yellow or green, this could be indicative of an infection which may require immediate intervention. So long as that is not the case, and there is no evidence of hematoma or unusual, severe or extensive bruising, Dr. Pane says he would tentatively reassure the patient that this is probably normal, with the caveat that the patient should definitely check with her surgeon just to be absolutely certain.
At Atlantic Coast Aesthetics, we are proud to say we have never have a patient develop a hematoma after labiaplasty. Additionally, our revision and complication rates are exceptionally low. In cases where revisions have been necessary, these are measured in multiple years after the original procedure when performed by Dr. Pane and the rest of the ACA clinical staff. However, Dr. Pane observes he has had to perform a number of untimely labiaplasty revisions to correct work done by other surgeons elsewhere. This does not necessarily mean they are unskilled, but Dr. Pane says he has seen some “unusual” results from such procedures. It is always a good idea to check on the experience, education, training and practical track record of a cosmetic surgeon before committing to any procedures, as well as determine whether the surgeon in question makes the patient feel comfortable and like a partner in their own care and decision-making process.

RealSelf Patient Reviews of Thomas A. Pane, MD

If you have a question about labiaplasty or any of the comprehensive suite of surgical and minimally-invasive cosmetic surgery treatments available, Dr. Pane and the staff of Atlantic Coast welcome the chance to speak with you about your interests and concerns. Simply follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; email us at http://acplasticsurg.com; or call us at (561) 422-4116. Your question could even be the topic of the next Ask Dr. Pane segment, where he answers your questions live in a Google Hangout to help us educate others while giving you the straight talk about cosmetic surgery you want. Remember, at ACA we believe the only bad question is the one you don’t ask!

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