Vaginoplasty, or vaginal tightening, is a surgical procedure that involves tightening the vaginal muscles and reducing the diameter of the vaginal opening in order to restore the vagina after the effects of aging and childbirth. While vaginoplasty is a surgical procedure, it is not considered major surgery, and is performed on an outpatient basis. The procedure is minimally invasive, and full recovery typically takes a few weeks.
Patients will be able to walk around same day after surgery, and typically return to sedentary work within a week following vaginoplasty. Sexual activity can be resumed, under the advice of a physician, after 6 weeks, once sutures have fully healed and there is no risk of them being reopened. Until this time, sexual intercourse and other activity in the vaginal area should be avoided, including the use of tampons or douches
After the Surgery: Vaginoplasty Aftercare
Immediately following vaginoplasty, you will be monitored in a recovery room for about an hour to ensure no complications arise as a result of the surgery. Patients are advised to arrange transportation from the clinic, as walking and driving is not permitted. Comfortable, loose-fitting clothing and cotton underwear are recommended, especially for patients who have undergone a simultaneous labiaplasty. It is useful to arrange medications and meals, and to make any other preparations ahead of time.
Tenderness, swelling and bruising
Tenderness, swelling, and bruising can be expected following the procedure, as well as some mild to moderate pain and discomfort, which may be treated with prescription pain medication. Swelling can be managed by applying cold compresses or ice packs on and off to the surgical area for the first few days. Antibiotics, whether oral or topical, are often prescribed to mitigate the risk of infection. Baths should be avoided for at least a month following a vaginal tightening procedure, after which they may aid in dissolving stitches.
Diet and Activities
Straining during defecation may adversely affect healing, and your physician may prescribe stool softeners to combat constipation, a common side effect of some pain medications. Eating fibre-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables should also ease defecation. Patients are advised against lifting heavy objects, bending, stretching, or engaging in any high impact or strenuous activity for about 3 weeks following surgery.
A number of vitamins and supplements are recommended in the days prior to vaginoplasty, as they may combat adverse side effects during recovery and expedite healing. Vitamin C has been found to promote healing, while Vitamin A is essential to new tissue growth and cell regeneration. Iron Phosphate and Omega 3 fatty acids may reduce inflammation and boost the immune system. Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapple, and arnica montana, an herbal supplement, can help reduce pain, bruising, and swelling. A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and fatty fish should naturally provide many of these nutrients. It is best to avoid salty foods, as sodium can worsen swelling. As with any medications or supplements, it is important to follow the advice of qualified physicians, and to inform your physician of any medications, including supplements, you may have taken prior to undergoing vaginoplasty.
Foods and Drugs to Avoid
Medications and foods that are natural anti-coagulants, such as Aspirin, alcohol, garlic and foods containing Vitamin E are best avoided for 2-3 weeks following surgery, as they may worsen bruising and increase the risk of bleeding. It is important that you contact the clinic immediately if you develop any serious symptoms, such as severe or sudden pain, bleeding, shortness of breath or chest pains, as well as fever, foul discharge and other signs of infection.
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Patients will attend follow-up appointments to monitor recovery, and physicians will provide detailed post-operative care advice. You can expect to see some results immediately after the procedure, but the full results will be evident after about 2-3 weeks, or once all swelling has subsided. Some patients find that vaginal tightening can make sexual intercourse painful. It is therefore important to discuss in detail at your initial consultation the level of tightening desired so that your surgeon can make the appropriate recommendation.