Friday, August 8, 2014

The Labia Monologues


Disclaimer:  This is NOT is medical advice.  I am simply telling my story.  I am 40 years old, very fit, 5'3", weigh 120 lbs, and have given birth to one child (vaginally) sixteen years ago. 

Before reading any further, if you are of the faint of heart or get offended easily by vagina pictures, please stop reading.  I am writing this because I had so many questions about the surgery process and wanted to provide women that are considering this procedure with a real story.  Here's mine:


I decided to have labiaplasty for the reason that most women do, I suppose.  My labia minora (inner) have been outside of my labia majora (outer) for at least 10 years.  I didn't notice that much when "BUSH" was in but since shaving, waxing, and laser hair removal of the genital area have become more comfortable and sanitary (at least for me) I was quite disenchanted with the appearance of my labia. I was constantly pulling the outer labia down and over the inner...essentially tucking the innner lips up inside me.  I liken it to butterfly wings hanging out of my vagina.  For the record, I have never had any sex partner complain (or even mention) that of the butterfly but it was one part of my body that made me quite self-conscious.   I had a few other things done at the same time which included: labia majora rejuvenation, mons pubis liposuction, and clitoral hood reduction.  My labia majora had become deflated with age.   Fat was taken from my innner thighs (yes, liposuction) and injected into my outer labia.

I did my research and found a female cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Jennifer Walden, in Austin, TX.  She is well decorated with honors and awards for her art.  I read about her, initially, in Harper's Bazaar Magazine.  During the consult, she said "I'm a girl,  I get it".  I knew she was the one to eliminate the butterfly and to make my labia magically come back to life.
The day before surgery
The day before surgery
Surgery Day:
I got suited up in my white robe and was directed to the OR that happened to be in the surgeon's office.   I stood naked in front of her as she drew a pattern of purple Picasso-esque patterns where the changes were to take place.  The last thing I remember was lying on the operating table and the nurse telling me to take deep breaths and to think happy thoughts.  As I lie there inhaling the magical gas and thinking of the ocean breeze, I drifted quickly to sleep.  (I think my surgery lasted about 2.5 hrs)  I woke up with my granny panties already on with a large maxi pad inside them.  I chuckled at the fact that the last time I wore a maxi pad was probably eighth grade.  I don't remember much of the rest of the day.  There was still so much anesthesia on board that I couldn't feel anything from my mons pubis down to my inner thighs.

Day 1:  I woke up in a percocet fog and was afraid to pee.  But that was not a problem at all, thankfully!  I was told to blot the area, not wipe.  Then I did the unthinkable, I looked at my vagina...and I would highly recommend NOT looking.  It looked like something out of a Frankenstein movie.  The entire area was not just bruised, it was black...from the top of my labia all the way to my inner thighs.   My outer labia was swollen at least 3 times of normal (keep in mind that I had fat grafting to the labia majora).  I was horrified but still couldn't feel much pain.  I took a shower, and dared not touch anywhere near my vagina.  But the BEST part is that when I looked into the mirror, absolutely nothing was hanging out of my vagina!  I waddled to the car and my mom took me for my follow-up.  I remained calm about the "look" of it all (thank you pain pills).  My surgeon gave me a thumbs up and told me to elevate my legs as much as possible over the next week and to ice the area.  I was also given a 10cc syringe to fill with water and rinse the area after I urinated.  I thought this was fancy...kind of like a mini portable bidet! And was also instructed to apply an antibiotic ointment at least 3 times daily.
3 days post-op

3 days post-op

Week one has just passed:  It's been a challenging week with intense uncomfortableness...it's hard to say "Pain" because it's not like that.  It just uncomfortable. Kind of like walking with a porcupine between your legs.  I kept an ice pack on my crotch for most of the first week.  I had no idea how much the ice pack was my friend until this experience, but what a relief!  Sleeping has also been an issue.  The biggest point of contention now is EXTREME Itching!  Ice helps as well as an Rx for hydroxyzine that my surgeon gave me (I had my one-week post-op follow up today).  She also suggested claritin during the day and benadryl at night (antihistamines).  Nerdy fact:  Your body produces histamines when trying to repair a wound and man oh man...these little histamines are such a pain!  Attacking you 24/7!  The bright part of this week has been that the area looks better and better each day.  My labia majora are no longer the size of mini-bananas and the bruising continues to subside.  After asking my surgeon if I could begin to clean the area a little more aggressively, she said yes.  So, I have been carefully cleaning with dial soap and water in the shower.  My outer labia are still really hard to the touch but she said the fat would soften up over time.  I can also see the swelling of my labia minora decreasing.  I'm not seeing the playboy-like vagina I had in mind.  But in time, I trust that it will be just that!  More to come...

Before I move into week 2, here's a few fun facts to keep in mind:

*I was given antibiotics to start the day before surgery
*I was also given diflucan to prevent any yeast infection since antibiotics can cause yeast infection
*I increased my (once weekly dose) of pro-biotics to every other day (I use Rx grade probiotics I get from my Dr.) since antibiotics kill the natural balance of flora in the gut.
*Anti-biotics can also cause diarrhea so be prepared just in case
*Pain pills usually cause constipation
*I used percocet for pain the first week then switched to tylenol and advil
So there's all that~~

2 Weeks Post Op:  and I feel fantastic!  I have not used tylenol or advil in about 3 days.  And I even sported a pair of (boyfriend-fit) jeans over the weekend~still in my granny panties, though.  I continue to have itching but it pales in comparison to last week.  The dissolvable stitches are slowly releasing the inner and outer labia that were previously stuck together.  Everything is beginning to take shape and the swelling is down tremendously from last week.  The bruising (and blackness) have all but disappeared from the labia majora but  I still have bruising from the liposuction on my inner thighs.  I also have slight numbness from the lipo...which is completely normal.  This numbness has not been a bother or concern since day 1.  Overall, I'm absolutely thrilled with my healing process.
2 weeks post-op

4 Weeks Post Op:  I just had my 4 week check up and I am beyond thrilled with my new labia!  Week 3-4 post-op have been absolutely magical...swelling gone, itching gone, outer labia are soft, and I am back into my favorite panties and jeans!  My surgeon is pleased with my healing and suggests that I come back on 3 months for a follow-up.  I am no longer self-conscious and the most incredible aspect is slipping into my favorite Lululemon tights and I don't have to adjust my girl parts so that my labia minora don't rub on the seam!  My expectations have been blown out of the water.  Dr. Jennifer Walden is a true artist!  www.drjenniferwalden.com

4 weeks post-op
4 weeks post-op
Final Result:  Before and After

Final Result:  Before and After

If you are considering this surgery for reasons similar to mine, I highly suggest that you go through with it.  Was the recovery difficult?  Yes, but only for the first 7 days. Please feel free to contact me with any questions at labiamonologues@gmail.com  .  This was truly a life-changing experience for me and I owe it all to a magnificent surgeon!  www.drjenniferwalden.com

1 comment:

  1. Hello. I have a consult in a week and am doing alot of research. Did you get a clitoral hood reduction also? Thanks alot. I enjoyed your story

    ReplyDelete