Our GYN clinic is committed to ensuring that your post-operative experience is as comfortable as possible. The following information will help answer frequently asked questions and will help you understand some of the common experiences that may occur after your surgery.
You will have your first post-op appointment 3-4 weeks after surgery for evaluation if possible. If you have any questions or concerns prior to or after that, please call Dr. Ivanov at his office, (215) 631-3873.
If an ER visit is necessary post-operatively, always go to your nearest hospital emergency room.
Call your doctor right away if you experience:
- Fever higher than 100.4 degrees
- Shortness of breath
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Severe pain not relieved with your pain medication
- Persistent nausea or vomiting
- Increased pain, redness, or swelling at the incision
The most important tenant of your recovery is to minimize excessive stretching and rubbing of the area repaired – the vaginal opening. The crucial time frame is the first 3 weeks after surgery. Most separations start in the first 2-3 weeks after surgery. Dr. Ivanov does his best to secure the operative site, understanding that of course you have to walk and perform a level of minimal activities. The ultimate success of your surgery is largely dependant on your self-care in the weeks after your procedure/s. Your incisions are VERY delicate, it is very imperative that you follow the instructions as given. Instructions are as follows:
Starting the evening of your surgery, take warm “sitz” baths (soak the perineal are in clean warm water) for about 15-20 minutes.
After each urination and bowel movement rinse yourself well with your “peri-bottle” and gently dab (DO NOT RUB/WIPE) the area (upper vagina ONLY, DO NOT touch near the bottom where the incision is located) with a “Tucks” (witch-hazel) pad, then apply a clean sanitary pad.
**If you had a Labiaplasty as well, you will not begin your baths until post-op day 10 and will follow “Showering” instructions from Labiaplasty post-op sheet.**
For the first 5-7 days you should relax and take it easy. This is a great time to catch up on your reading, television shows or other leisurely activities you rarely have time for. It is extremely important to minimize activities including walking, stair climbing, “ups & downs”, heavy lifting (over 10-15 lbs.), all ambulating activities, etc. for two weeks after surgery. When you sit, make sure there is no direct pressure on the incision – sit on soft cushions or the “donut” cushion we provided you with.
*Perineoplasty ONLY – Should be kept to a minimum (very short trips, automatic transmission only) for the first full week after surgery. Be most careful of perineal pulling with “ins & outs”.
*Hymenoplasty ONLY – DO NOT plan on driving a vehicle for the first full week after surgery. After week one, routine driving is OK but automatic transmission only. Be most careful of perineal pulling with “ins & outs”.
DON’T! Until ONE MONTH after surgery
Not until ONE MONTH after surgery
Swimming (laps, waterskiing, etc.)
Not until ONE MONTH after surgery
“Things in Vagina” (tampons, fingers, massagers, etc.)
*Perineoplasty ONLY – Not until 6 WEEKS after surgery. Self-pleasuring (outside only) is OK after ONE MONTH.
*Hymenoplasty ONLY – Nothing may be inserted into the vagina UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO HAVE INTERCOURSE.
If given anti-biotic medication by Dr. Ivanov, please take it as directed.
Dr. Ivanov strongly encourages use of your pain medication beginning when you get home (or leave the office) and every 4 hours for a minimum of 18 hours after surgery and then using it on an “as-needed” basis. Always take your pain meds with food. Please do not drive while taking pain meds. *Pain medications can cause constipation. See below for prevention instructions.
Start your Arnica (homeopathic, gentle anti-inflammatory) as soon as possible. Take it as directed on the packaging starting the day of surgery until the swelling and “oozing” is gone. *Take Arnica on an empty stomach, then eat, then take your pain medication.
Take your pain medication only if you need it (after the first day), stay hydrated, eat dried prunes (8-10 per day) or drink ice cold prune juice. AFTER SURGERY ONLY – a stool softener such as Dulcolax or Colace (taken twice/ day) may be helpful. If you have not had a bowel movement after 3 days, drink “Smooth Move” tea and/or take Senekot, Miralax or other laxative if needed.
It is normal to have modest pain/soreness, a small amount of blood or bloody discharge for up to 3-4 days, occasional spotting tannish or yellowish discharge for 3 weeks. The area should not exhibit increasing tenderness or redness day-by-day.
If you experience painful urination, inability to urinate or urinary frequency, drink plenty of fluids and try emptying your bladder while taking a long warm shower or bath. If symptoms persist, please contact Dr. Ivanov.
Evidence of infection (redness, swelling of the incision areas, fever of 100 degrees or higher, foul smelling vaginal discharge, increasing day-by-day pain or bleeding.