How to Prepare for a Vaginoplasty

Two Parts:In the Weeks Leading Up to the SurgeryDirectly Before the Procedure

Older women and women who have had multiple child births sometimes find that the muscles in their vagina have become weak and loose. A vaginoplasty is not an aesthetic procedure (as most people believe), but a functional one. This is because the procedure is done to tighten the outer and inner muscles of the vagina, to enhance the strength, control and tone of the vaginal muscles. The primary goal of a vaginoplasty is to increase the sexual gratification of the patient and her partner.

Part 1
In the Weeks Leading Up to the Surgery

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    See your gynecologist. It is recommended that you make an appointment with your gynecologist before the procedure so that the procedure can be explained in detail. The doctor will explain how the surgery is performed along with the risks that are involved.
    • Any vaginal surgery best performed when the woman is not on her period, therefore proper planning is essential. This helps to reduce the risk of developing an infection.
    • As this procedure is performed in order to tighten the muscles of the vagina, it is usually only recommended for women who don't intend to have any more children, as giving birth puts a strain on the muscles.
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    Undergo testing before the surgery. Before your surgery, you will need to provide both blood and urine samples. The blood same will be tested to check the amount of hemoglobin in the blood and ensure that the patient is in good health.
    • It will also help to determine whether it is safe for the women to go through with surgery, as the woman may lose a lot of blood during the procedure.
    • The urine sample is used to ensure that the woman is definitely not pregnant before going ahead with the surgery.
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    Avoid taking aspirin or any other blood thinning medication. This is very important, especially for the patients who are on blood thinning drugs, because these medications increase the risk of bleeding after surgery. The woman should stop taking these drugs approximately two weeks before the surgery to ensure that there is no risk of increased bleeding.
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    Stop smoking and drinking at least two weeks before the surgery. It's important to cut out smoking because the nicotine in cigarettes reduces the size of the blood vessels (this is known as vasoconstriction) which can prolong the healing process.
    • Alcohol also needs to be cut out before the surgery because it increases the amount of toxins in the body, which can also interfere with the healing process.
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    Reduce your salt intake two weeks before and after surgery. This is important, as salt increases fluid retention in the body's tissues, which may lead to increased swelling after the surgery. Therefore, cutting down on salt helps to prevent excess swelling and speed up the healing process.
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    Drink a lot of water in the weeks before the surgery. The woman is advised to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water a day in the weeks running up to the surgery. This helps to flush toxins from the body which could slow down the healing process.
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    Fill any necessary prescriptions before the surgery date. It's a good idea to fill any necessary prescriptions before the surgery, so that any necessary medications will be easily at hand after the procedure. This is especially important when it comes to the antibiotic and pain medications that will be necessary after the surgery, as these will ensure that the woman remains free of infection and pain.

Part 2
Directly Before the Procedure

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    Take some time off work. It's recommended that the patient take a couple of days off work to go through with the procedure allow for recovery time.
    • The amount of time needed will depend on the type of work that the woman is involved in, as jobs that are very active or require heavy lifting can interfere with healing and will require more time off.
    • Most people will take approximately five days off before they resume work.
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    Fast for 8 hours prior to the procedure. This helps to clear the digestive tract, especially the small intestine and the colon. There are different methods that can be used to clear the gut and this will depend on the surgeon advice and the patient’s preference.
    • Some surgeons will prescribe laxative medications, while others will simply advise the patient to drink a lot of fluids. This helps to ensure that the bowel is clear when the operation is being performed.
    • It also allows the vagina time to heal after the operation because the patient won't need to pass stool again for some time. This helps to prevent infection at the incision side.
    • The patient will also be advised to drink plenty of fluids after the operation as this helps to enhance the healing process.
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    Shave your genital area before the operation. This helps to reduce the risk of infection. It also provides a good working field for the surgeon as they are able to see the operation site more clearly.
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    Arrange for transport to take you home after the procedure. This may be a close friend or a relative that the patient can call when they are ready to be taken home. Keep in mind that this will usually be 24 hours after the procedure, as the woman will need to stay in the hospital for close observation immediately following the procedure to ensure that she is stable enough for discharge.
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    Discuss what type of anesthesia will be used with your surgeon. A vaginoplasty can be performed under general anesthesia, where the patient is made to sleep throughout the procedure.
    • It can also be performed under sedation, where the patient is given a short-acting sedative drug which enables them to sleep while the procedure is being done but wake up just a few minutes afterwards.
    • The patient is encouraged to be honest with the surgeon and ask any questions. The patient is also encouraged to raise any fears or concerns that they may have concerning the surgery so that they can be explained in detail and their fears can be allayed.
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    Be aware that you will need to abstain from sexual intercourse following the surgery. It is important for the patient (and her partner) to be aware that she will need to abstain from sexual intercourse after surgery in order to give the vagina time to heal and prevent infection
    • The woman should go for regular check-ups with her surgeon/doctor following the procedure to check on the healing. The doctor will then be able to advise on when it is safe for her to have sex again. This usually takes approximately a month but this can vary from one patient to another depending on how the procedure has been performed.
    • However, the patient does not need to abstain from sex before the procedure, in fact she can still engage in sex up to a day before the surgery.


  • For information on how to recover from a vaginoplasty, see this article.

Sources and Citations

  • Goel, N., Rajaram, S., Mehta, S., & Agarwal, N. (2013). State-of-the-art: Vaginal surgery. New Delhi [etc.: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers.
  • Tosun, Zekeriya; Hoşnuter, Mübin; Savaci, Nedim; Çpar, Metin; Şentürk, Sadik. (2004). . Experience with vaginoplasty. Scandinavian Journal of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery & Hand Surgery. 3(1), p27-31. .
  • Kim, Seok Kwun; Jeong, Jae Oo; Kwon, Yong Seok; Lee, Keun Cheol; Park, Ki Jae; Jung, Ghapjoong. (2011). Laparoscopic rectosigmoid flap vaginoplasty. Journal of Plastic Surgery & Hand Surgery, 45(4/5), p226-231.

Article Info

Categories: Women’s Health