Risks Associated with Labiaplasty Surgery & Laser Procedures
General Risks of Surgery
Because surgery is such a vital part of modern medicine, there is a tendency to forget that there are risks associated with every type of surgery. While these risks are small, every person undergoing surgery should be aware of the risks.
All internal and external wounds need time to heal after surgery. Sutures or stitches and other materials are used to hold wounds closed while they heal.
In a small percentage of cases, tiny areas of the scar will not completely heal. This may leave a tiny hole where the stitch was, or a small area approximately 3-5 mm long, which does not close as fast as the rest of the stitches. When this occurs, there are two options:
- Watch and wait – the wounds will gradually close and heal on their own or;
- if, after assessment, Dr. Konrat feels the overall result will be improved by closing the small wound breakdown, then this is done by placing a few stitches in the open area to assist with healing faster and giving a better aesthetic result.
This is rare: Despite taking precautions, infections can occur during and just after surgery. These may be general, such as pneumonia, or specific to labiaplasty surgery. Because labiaplasty patients are generally in good health, they usually have a lower risk of developing general infections such as pneumonia.
However, minor infections can possibly occur and can affect the rate of healing. If this happens, some small areas may take a little longer to heal than others. This is an area where a large number of bacteria and other organisms normally live every day. Their environment is disturbed following surgery and laser procedures, with the potential for very minor infections to occur which is why taking the prescribed antibiotics is so important.
Bleeding / Bruising
Rarely a small clot or hæmatoma may develop. This is not serious unless a very large and painful lump develops. This is very rare and almost never occurs. When it does occur, please notify Dr. Konrat or her surgical nurse so that they can assist you immediately and perform an assessment. Early intervention is best and assists with healing as expected.
The tissues in this area are very delicate and minor swelling may persist for some weeks. This is not unusual and will heal well in time. Women often experience similar healing after childbirth, particularly if they required stitches.
Although all care is taken to achieve complete symmetry, both sides may not be exactly the same prior to surgery and is therefore difficult to make them perfectly symmetrical after the surgery. During your consultation, Dr. Konrat will help you understand what you can expect.
Patients have a risk of forming a blood clot in the leg (deep vein thrombosis) that breaks off and gets stuck in the lung circulation (pulmonary embolism). This is minimised by the wearing of surgical ‘stockings’ during the surgery, and by getting out of bed as soon as possible. You will also be encouraged to breathe deeply when you wake up from the anæsthetic, as this expands your lungs and helps ensure your blood oxygen levels are good.
Risks of Anaesthesia
Labiaplasty is performed either under Twilight anæsthetic with long-acting local anaesthesia, or in a Day Hospital under general anaesthesia. As a rule, risks posed by anaesthesia are very low in cosmetic surgery patients, because the patients are generally in good health. Dr. Konrat will take a full medical history, will order a number of tests prior to surgery and will make lifestyle recommendations to ensure your health is optimal before the surgery. This will minimise any general risks.
Mental Health Disorders and Elective Surgery
It is important that all patients seeking to undergo elective surgery have realistic expectations that focus on improvement rather than perfection. Complications or less than satisfactory results are sometimes unavoidable and may require additional surgery. This can be stressful for patients.
In your consultation prior to surgery with Dr. Konrat please openly discuss any history of emotional depression or mental health disorders. If you are unsure whether a matter is relevant, please mention it anyway. Although many individuals may benefit psychologically from the results of elective cosmetic surgery, the effects on mental health can never be predicted, and could possibly have a negative influence on emotional stability.