How to Recover from a Vaginoplasty

A vaginoplasty is a gynecological procedure that is performed to tighten the loose muscles of the vagina .This helps to increase vaginal strength, control and the contraction of the muscles. The procedure is usually performed on women who have had multiple child births or whose vaginal muscles have become loose with increased age.


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    Understand what a vaginoplasty involves. A vaginoplasty is done under general anesthesia or sedation. The procedure involves joining the muscles that are stretched at the back of the vagina and shortening them with dissolvable stitches. The unwanted tissue is removed and this helps to tighten the tissues and muscles of the vagina, as the excess lining is reduced.
    • The operation may take up to an hour and the patient can usually be released from the hospital after 24 hours.
    • During these 24 hours the patient is kept in the hospital for close monitoring to ensure that they are stable before being discharged.
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    Expect some pain and discomfort at the incision site. The doctor will prescribe painkillers for pain management. While in the hospital, the patient can be given strong, intravenous painkillers. Once they are discharged they will be prescribed oral painkillers to take until the pain has subsided.
    • At first, the patient may be given 1 gm of acetaminophen intravenously ,three times daily. Upon discharge, this can be changed to an oral tablet of the same dosage. The patient is advised to take the tablet when in pain but they should not exceed the maximum dosage of 3 gm per day.
    • This drug works by inhibiting the release of pain receptors (prostaglandins) in the body and this helps to reduce pain.
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    Practice good hygiene. The incision site should be kept clean at all times and the patient is encouraged to ensure that they maintain good personal hygiene.
    • The patient is allowed to take a shower 1 to 2 days after the surgical procedure, but not before. The patient is advised against putting anything into the vagina in order to try to clean it.
    • When the patient passes stool, they are encouraged to ensure that the incision site is gently and thoroughly cleaned with mild soap and water. They are also encouraged to soak in warm water after passing stool to ensure that the area is clean, which allows it to heal without infection.
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    Take antibiotics to prevent infection. After a vaginoplasty, the patient may need to take an antibiotic such as augmentin. The dosage is usually 1 gm, two times daily for 5 to 7 days depending on the doctor’s prescription. This drug acts by destroying and killing microbes in the body, thus preventing infection.
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    Abstain from sexual intercourse for approximately two weeks after surgery. This allows the incision site to heal without any complications or infections. It is important that both the woman and her partner are aware of this before the surgery.
    • Abstaining from sex is also necessary because the contraction and expansion that is experienced during sexual activity can lead to tearing of the vaginal muscles.
    • This can lead to delayed or incomplete healing of the vagina after the procedure.
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    Do exercises that help to tighten and strengthen the pelvic muscles. The patient is encouraged to perform kegel exercises to tighten and strengthen the vaginal muscles. Kegel exercises also help to stretch the vaginal muscles, which reduces the amount of scar tissue that is formed. These exercises should be performed very gently at first, to prevent re-injury.
    • To perform kegel exercises, the patient first needs to locate the right pelvic muscles that are used to stop urination in midstream. Once the right muscles have been identified, the pelvic floor muscles should be contracted and then relaxed for five seconds at a time.
    • This can then be done 4 to 5 times in a row. The time spent contracting and relaxing the muscles can also be increased with time.
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    Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water daily. This helps to flush out toxins that may be present in the body and also helps to soften the stool. It is important for the patient to avoid straining when passing stool because this can cause the sutures at the incision site to rupture.
    • The patient can also be given stool softeners to help soften the stool and ensure that the patient does not strain. The patient can take 10-20 mls of duphalac three times daily, but should stop immediately if the stool becomes watery.
    • The patient should observe the stool after taking then medication to ensure that they do not start having diarrhea.
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    Avoid doing heavy work or lifting any heavy objects. This reduces the amount of pressure on the incision site and allows the area to heal faster. When there is a lot of pressure, the stitches may come out and this can lead to complications.
    • During the recovery period the patient is encouraged to take things easy and rest a lot. This allows the body to recover and helps to promote healing.
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    Follow a balanced diet. The patient is encouraged to follow a balanced diet that contains carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and plenty of vegetables.
    • They should also eat foods that are rich in iron, includes lean meat, liver and green leafy vegetables. These foods help to produce blood, helping to replace the blood that was lost during the surgical procedure.
    • Foods that provide the body with carbohydrates include whole grains, brown bread and cereals. The recommended daily amount of carbohydrates is 225 grams .
    • Foods that provide the body with protein include milk, beans, meat and nuts. The recommended daily amount of protein is approximately 50 grams.
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    Maintain close contact with your surgeon. The patient should be able to contact them in case of any issues. The patient should also ensure that they go for follow up evaluation. This enables the surgeon to check on the incision site to ensure that it is healing well.
    • It is also important for the patient to report to the doctor in case of increased bleeding, as this indicates that there may be a complication that needs immediate intervention. The patient is also encouraged to monitor the incision site for swelling, bruising and redness.
    • It is also important for the patient to watch out for signs of infection such as excessive tenderness, redness or unusual discharge from the incision site.


  • The recovery period after a surgical procedure usually takes approximately six weeks, but this can be longer depending on the outcome of the surgery.

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 | Pain Management and Recovery