Postoperative Instructions for Labial/Vulva Cosmetic Surgery

The ultimate success of your surgery is partially dependant on your self-care in the weeks after your operation. Therefore please help to get the best results by simply following / observing the instructions below. To be able to follow these instructions you need to be at home for the 7 days following your operation.


Ahead of your operation, buy and store a bag of crushed ice in your fridge. You will already have had an ice pack placed on your vulva immediately following your operation. You need to do the same at home: fill a container (this could be a surgical glove or plastic “zip lock” bag or utilise frozen peas or corn) with crushed ice, cover with a hand towel place against the labia for 20 minutes. You should do this 5 times a day for the first 5 days following your operation, suggested times being 6am, 10 am, 2pm, 6pm and 10pm. This is to help with swelling and discomfort – this alone dramatically reduces swelling, pain and discomfort!


Starting the evening of surgery you may begin twice daily rinses of the surgical area with a handheld shower device or direct the shower stream towards the surgical area. DO NOT RUB the area, but dab-dry with a soft cloth / towel / moist cotton wool, then follow with a hairdryer (low heat, high blow). Finally, apply a clean sanitary maxi pad with a non-stick surface.

Keeping clean

After each urination and bowel movement, rinse yourself with a hand-held shower device as in instruction 2 above, then apply a clean non-stick sanitary pad.

Medication and creams

Take your pain medication on a regular basis as instructed. You may also use an over the counter antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin or you may utilise a Dermoplast spray as needed for minor stinging or itching. If itching becomes problematic, please call the clinic.


You should not shave or wax in the vaginal area until 8 weeks from the date of your operation. By then the area will have completely healed, and you should be resuming activity such as intercourse.

Significant swelling

If you feel your swelling is significant or more than you expected, you may get relief from taking over the counter Ibuprofen 600mg with food every 6 hours around the clock for 3-4 days as needed. The icing will also help.


For two full weeks after surgery it is extremely important not to do any heavy lifting, vigorous activities or exercising, including but not limited to fast walking, dancing, swimming etc. Sexual intercourse, horseback riding, biking and running should be withheld for a minimum of 8 weeks. Do not have intercourse or insert anything into the vagina until after 8 weeks from the date of your surgery.

“Looking/ touching/ rubbing”

Your vulva will become very discoloured and swollen from day 1-7 after your surgery, although following the instructions given here will minimize this. Please evaluate yourself “without tugging on or near the incision lines” for signs of excessive bleeding, wound separation or “goose egg” formation in the 36 hours after surgery. After that, it is best to not visualise the area frequently, nor handle it excessively, as the appearance will change day by day and the changes/irregularities noted initially will “drive you crazy”.

Signs of Infection

You will have your first review by the surgeon at 7-10 days following your surgery. It is normal to have a small to sometimes significant amount of bloody spotting, swelling and bruising or discolouration in that area. Danger signs include: evidence of infection (redness, swelling and perhaps a yellowish discharge and/or fever), increasing day by day pain and bleeding that is more than light to moderate spotting. If you notice that one area or side is significantly more swollen than others, please apply 5 minutes of firm pressure to the area with a pad or wash cloth, using the heal of your hand. Look at the area, if it is still bleeding or if the egg has reappeared contact your surgeon. If you have any questions or concerns at any time, please call the telephone number you will have been given.

Medication prescribed following your operation

Please make sure to take the medication according to the instructions:

  • Antibiotics: you will be given a 5 day supply (usually Augmentin) – please complete the course.
  • Pain killers: for the first 5 days, it is important to take your pain killers on a regular basis as instructed. It is not just about controlling pain, but also reducing inflammation and therefore helping the appropriate healing process. Paracetamol should be taken as two tablets (1g) at 6am, 12 noon, 6pm and 10pm). Diclofenac should be taken as 50mg three times a day at 8am, 2pm and 10pm. Please note that immediately following your operation, and for up to 4-6 hours after, you may feel very little pain, because you will have been given a powerful local anaesthetic. DO NOT let this lull you into not taking your pain killers as instructed above – you do not want to end up chasing your tail where pain is concerned.

Professor Isaac Manyonda

Professor Isaac Manyonda
c/o Parkside Hospital, 53 Parkside, Wimbledon, London, SW19 5NX

Secretary / PA  -
020 8054 3893

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