What Can You Expect from Your Labiaplasty Recovery? (It’s Easier Than You Think!)

An enlarged inner labia, also called the labia minora, can be an embarrassing, frustrating, and physically uncomfortable issue for women. Though it may cause them irritation, discomfort during normal daily activities and exercise, hygiene issues, and reduced self-esteem, many women believe there is nothing that can be done and suffer in silence. Others believe that the pain and recovery process of surgery is just not worth it. If you are one of these women, you should know that there is help out there. Dr. Diehl can perform a surgery called labiaplasty which corrects enlarged labia. Not only is this an effective way to improve your appearance and comfort, but it also involves much less recovery than you might think.

What is Labiaplasty?

Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure that is performed most often under local anesthesia (VERY well tolerated, especially with Pro-Nox) but can also be done under general anesthesia depending on your preference. The procedure usually takes around one hour and can be performed in two different ways: the trim technique or the wedge technique. With the trim technique, extra tissue is removed along with the whole length of the inner labia and is usually recommended for those who have excess tissue and hyperpigmentation on the edges of this tissue. This is an effective method that produces natural-looking results and normally has a shorter recovery period than the wedge technique. After patients heal from this surgery, they generally have a scar that is virtually undetectable.

The wedge technique involves a V-shaped wedge being removed from the inner labia, then stitching together the tissues of the surrounding areas. This produces a natural-looking result but does not address any hyperpigmentation issues. The scar resulting from this technique is also easily hidden and does not trouble most patients. Both techniques use dissolving sutures, so there is no need for patients to return to the office to have stitches removed. The best method will depend on your unique anatomy and desired results.

What Can You Expect from Your Recovery?

The benefits of labiaplasty are many, especially if you’ve been dealing with discomfort or embarrassment for many years. They can include a reduction of pinching and chafing with daily activities and exercise, increased sexual enjoyment, freedom to wear swimsuits/underclothes/yoga pants without embarassement, less moisture retention, and increased self-esteem. But is the process worth it? The answer is definitely yes, especially when you see that the recovery from labiaplasty is easier than you might expect.

During the procedure, you should feel little to no pain. After the surgery is complete, you will likely feel some mild discomfort and will be given pain medication to deal with this symptom. We encourage frequent icing of the area for several days after.  Over the next few days or weeks, you may see some bruising or swelling and may experience some discomfort while urinating.

There may be discomfort in your labia region while you heal. Try to avoid wearing any tight underwear or other clothing and avoid using tampons until your recovery is complete. You will also have to abstain from sexual intercourse for 4-6 weeks after your surgery to prevent infections or  unnecessary trauma to the region while it heals. Most patients can return to work in a few days and will experience a full recovery in about six weeks. After the first few days, the discomfort and other symptoms should start to fade, and most women find they do not even need pain medication after the first few days. Many only take Tylenol. Because sutures dissolve, there is no need to return to the doctor’s office for removal of stitches (just for the usual follow-up visits) and patients can relax and recover in the comfort of their own homes.

How Can You Find Out More?

Having labiaplasty surgery is a very personal decision. It’s important that you are fully informed about the procedure before you make any decisions. The best way to move forward is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Diehl. She can answer all your questions and provide you with a professional opinion on the type of technique that would be best for you.

You no longer have to live with the discomfort or embarrassment of an enlarged labia. With labiaplasty, you can recover your self-esteem and live a life free of discomfort. For more information, schedule your consultation with Dr. Diehl today.












What Happens to Fat Cells After Liposuction?

If you are in relatively good shape yet have pockets of stubborn fat that won’t go away no matter how much you diet or exercise, you may be a good candidate for liposuction. Many of those who consider liposuction, however, are confused about where the fat cells go after they are removed during this surgical procedure. Do they grow back? Will they show up in different areas of the body? These are valid questions, and ones that can be easily answered by a knowledgeable and experienced plastic surgeon such as Dr. Diehl. Here is a bit more information on the liposuction process and what really happens to those fat cells once they are removed.

What is Liposuction?

Traditional liposuction is a surgical procedure that is conducted under general anesthesia and sometimes local anesthesia. It is usually performed in a hospital or in a medical office that is equipped for outpatient surgery. After the anesthesia is administered, the surgeon will insert a stainless steel instrument called an infusion cannula to “tumesce” the area.  This means that a large volume of fluid is administered to the entire area of fatty tissue.  Then, through the same small incisions, a different type of cannula is inserted that is attached to a suction device. He or she will then gently suction out the excess fat in the predetermined areas to create a slimmer, smoother appearance. After the surgery, you will be given time to rest and recover before being released to fully recuperate in your own home. You should have someone to drive you home and should expect to take it easy for a week or two after surgery before returning to your normal schedule.

What is “Laser Liposuction” or SmartLipo?

Laser liposuction is basically the same process, but with two big differences.  Most patients having laser liposuction are under local anesthesia only, avoiding the need for general anesthesia.  The tumescent and suctioning process is the same, but sandwiched between them the laser is passed.  The laser gives the additional advantages of some improved skin tightening and less bruising (resulting in a more comfortable recovery).  Otherwise, The procedure, garment use, and post-operative care is the same.

How Does It Work?

The reason that liposuction works is that the number of fat cells in our body remains quite stable after we reach adulthood. When you lose or gain weight, you are not actually losing or gaining fat cells—your existing fat cells are just getting smaller or larger. That means that if excess fat cells exist in certain parts of your body such as your thighs or lower belly, it is much easier to gain weight in those areas and it may not be as easy to get rid of excess fat with diet or exercise alone. You can not ‘spot reduce’ fat cells. When you lose weight, you will lose it in all of your fat cells—even in areas where weight loss is not desired. If you want to reduce your proportions or reduce fat in a certain area, you should consider a procedure like liposuction that can achieve these results.

So What Really Happens to Those Cells?

Liposuction permanently removes fat cells from targeted areas on your body. Your body will not replace them, and you will not accumulate more fat in the remaining cells that are in the treated areas as long as you maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep your weight stable. Some people believe that removing fat cells from one area causes them to increase in another, but this is not true. It may seem that way since the treated area will be noticeably slimmer, but fat cells that are manually removed can never return to your body. If you do not maintain your weight, however, you could gain more weight in untreated areas as they will still have the same number of fat cells as they did before the surgery.  Liposuction is really only changing your proportion of fat cells in an area, so after liposuction if there is weight gain, it will show where there are more fat cells.  For example,  a patient feels that their problem area is the abdomen and a large number of the fat cells from this area are removed with the liposuction procedure. If that patient were to gain a significant amount of weight, proportionally they now may have more fat cells in the butt and thighs.  This area will enlarge proportionally more because there are now more fat cells that can get larger in the part of her body compared to the abdomen (which used to proportionally have more before the surgery).

How Can I Maintain My Results?

Committing to a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a good diet and stable weight is the best way to ensure you maintain the results that come from liposuction. Those who experience the best results from liposuction are those who are already within five or ten pounds of their goal weight and simply have excess fat in certain areas that never seem to go away.

Keep in mind that the natural aging process will still have an effect on your weight and body shape after liposuction. Your metabolism will likely slow down as you age and you may notice additional changes in your body. Some liposuction patients return to their surgeon a few years down the road when additional procedures are desired. At this time, your surgeon will consult with you to see if an additional liposuction surgery is warranted or if other procedures could produce the results you want to see.

Working with a skilled and knowledgeable plastic surgeon such as Dr. Diehl for your liposuction procedure is imperative to both your safety and your satisfaction with the results. If you are interested in learning more about liposuction and if the procedure may be right for you, contact Dr. Diehl’s office to schedule a consultation.




Cellfina®’s Results are Now Proven to Last Longer

Cellfina® is our favorite cellulite reduction treatment and we are excited to share that new studies have shown Cellfina® treatment results to have long-lasting efficacy at 5 years.  Previous to Cellfina®, nothing had been shown to last more than 9 – 12 months. In this blog we are sharing the science behind Cellfina® and why it is so long-lasting.

Why Cellulite is a Challenge to Treat

Below the skin, connective tissue attaches the skin to muscle, creating small compartments that store fat cells. When there are few or small fat cells, and patients have good skin elasticity, skin looks smooth and toned.

However, fat cells can grow and accumulate with weight fluctuation. As fat cells grow within these compartments, they begin to create tension. The connective barriers do not grow to accommodate new fat cells; they remain taut, causing fat cells to push against the skin. This creates the appearance of bumps and dimpling that are characteristic of cellulite. Weight gain isn’t the only cause of fat cell expansion and cellulite, however. Genetics, pregnancy and an inactive lifestyle can also contribute to cellulite growth along the thighs and buttocks.

Before Cellfina®, massages, and creams were all marketed as the best treatments for regaining smooth skin. Unfortunately, these options fail to address the true source of cellulite, leaving less-than-satisfactory and always temporary results. While some patients have tried to treat cellulite with comprehensive treatments like CoolSculpting® and liposuction, these don’t fully address the cause of the issue either since they are only reducing fat. Patients who invest in topical creams and fat removal procedures can still leave their surgeon’s office feeling dissatisfied with the dimple correction.

Why Cellfina® Works

Cellfina®’s success comes directly from how the treatment targets the structures that create skin dimpling. Cellfina® uses a form of microblading known as subcision to specifically target the subcutaneous fibrous bands. Often used for treating acne scars and wrinkles, subcision uses a special hypodermic needle to cut the subcutaneous skin fibers that cause dimples or depressions in the skin. Cellfina® utilizes the same concept for cellulite treatment. During the procedure, the target area is numbed and the device is then inserted just below the skin. Using a specialized technique, Dr. Diehl cuts the connective tissue bands, releasing the tension responsible for creating the cellulite dimpling.

Whereas other cellulite treatments require multiple sessions until results are noticeable, Cellfina® is a one and done treatment. After their session, patients can see their skin bouncing back to a smoother texture in in as few as three days. Best of all, new studies have shown that patients are enjoying their results for years after treatment. In 2015, one study found that 98% of participants have continued to enjoy their results two years post-procedure. In 2018, however, the FDA cleared Cellfina® as a treatment that treats cellulite for up to five years post-procedure!

Get Smoother Skin Today

At Diehl Plastic Surgery, we know how disappointing failed cellulite treatments can be to anyone’s self-confidence. Minimally invasive Cellfina® has helped our Raleigh plastic surgeon improve our patients’ appearances and self-esteem for years. If you’re ready to get rid of your cellulite for the long-term, we encourage you to call (919) 381-5540 to schedule your consultation.


The Rise of Labiaplasty: Why More Women are Electing this Procedure

Labiaplasty is quickly becoming a popular treatment option for women across the country. By some estimates, the procedure has jumped in frequency by nearly 217% since 2012. But why is this treatment gaining traction among women across the country?

The Mechanics Behind Labiaplasty

To understand the growing popularity of the procedure, it’s important to understand the treatment process.

What is Labiaplasty

Every woman has uniquely shaped body parts. For some, the labia minora sits tightly within the labia majora. For others, however, the labia minora tissue extends past the outer lips. For women experiencing this condition, large inner lips can cause patients to feel uncomfortable with the appearance of this intimate area and the excess tissue can make intercourse, bike riding, running and other physical activities painful.   They may feel significant irritation or “pinching” during normal daily activities.

Labiaplasty is a common plastic surgery procedure in which the excess tissue is removed so that the inner lips of the vagina have less prominence and redundancy.

Why Labiaplasty is Gaining steam

There are a few reasons why the procedure is gaining popularity among women. Beyond the relatively straightforward treatment, changes in attitude and better communication between patients and their networks have contributed to shifting attitudes around labiaplasty.   The internet has made information readily available also.

Breaking Down the Taboo Around Women’s Reproductive Health

As the discussion around plastic surgery and women’s reproductive health becomes more commonplace, more women are feeling comfortable bringing up their physical discomfort resulting from the size of the labia and the social anxiety this can also cause. This improved communication has led to a shift in how the topic is broached by both patients and their physicians.

Word of Mouth

As with almost any other procedure or process, word spreads. More women are becoming comfortable discussing procedures with their physician, often leading to more openness with close friends and relatives. Once the taboo is removed, they feel more comfortable sharing their experience with other women considering similar procedures.

Long-Term Benefits

The physical and mental advantages of choosing labiaplasty have helped spur patients to make the decision. Beyond enhancing the appearance of the vagina, this form of rejuvenation can also help to relieve hygiene issues tied to excessive moisture. This type of vaginal rejuvenation also helps alleviate discomfort that can occur during normal daily activities, exercise, and intercourse due to large labia. The procedure can be incredibly liberating to women who enjoy exercise and have constant irritation and chafing.  The bulk of tissue in swimsuits, tight jeans, and yoga pants is another reason patients seek labiaplasty.  By decreasing the size of the labia minora, the volume of tissue is also decreased in clothing.

Aside for relieving physical discomfort, another major benefit of labiaplasty is the mental health benefit. Dr. Diehl sees many patients with social anxiety as a result of the appearance of the labia.  By redefining the shape and appearance of the vulva, labiaplasty allows these individuals to restore their confidence and self-esteem.

Rebuild Self-Confidence with Labiaplasty in Raleigh

At Diehl Plastic Surgery, our team is dedicated to helping women feel their absolute best about their bodies. If you feel that having an enlarged labia is keeping you from feeling confident in yourself or your appearance, call Dr. Diehl at 919-381-5540 to schedule your personal and private consultation. During your visit, we will walk you through the treatment process and develop a completely customized treatment plan tailored to address your concerns and achieve your goals.


Effectively Spot Reduce Stubborn Fat with Liposuction

Diet and exercise provide whole body benefits such as improving health, building muscle, and helping you lose excess fat. For head to toe weight loss, these traditional methods are your best bet. However, fat doesn’t always accumulate evenly, hence the little nicknames for unwanted fat pockets: love handles, muffin tops, and banana rolls. If you’re close to your ideal weight, but stuck with rolls and bulges that won’t budge, what can you do?

Focus your fat loss on targeted areas with a body contouring procedure like liposuction. Using this powerful surgical treatment, we can effectively spot reduce stubborn fat and create your ideal shape. Call today and learn more about your options for liposuction at Diehl Plastic Surgery.

Where Do You Have Stubborn Fat?

Stubborn fat is a common problem for both men and women in Raleigh, NC. Most of our patients have at least one trouble spot where excess fat seems to gather and is difficult to lose. Unlike traditional weight loss that reduces the size of fat cells across the entire body, liposuction removes fat cells. This allows us to target specific areas. Since fat cells don’t regenerate, once we remove them, they are permanently gone. If you maintain a consistent weight, you should enjoy long-lasting results from your treatment. Many of our patients will never again struggle with stubborn fat pockets in the areas they treat with liposuction.

What areas can we enhance with this body contouring procedure? We use this treatment to shape and sculpt the body from top to bottom. Liposuction can remove stubborn fat from:










Diet and exercise alone aren’t the solutions for isolated fat pockets. Plain and simple, it’s just too hard for most patients to lose this type of fat on their own. Many give it a diligent effort and give up when the results don’t come after weeks and months of trying. Our body contouring treatments make it possible to eliminate the fat you can’t lose on your own. You focus on making your body strong and healthy, and we’ll take care of your trouble spots.

I’m Thinking About Liposuction and Want to Learn More About the Procedure

Turn your liposuction thoughts into body changing actions by calling our offices and scheduling a consultation. A consultation will provide you with personalized information and will give you the chance to sit down with a board-certified plastic surgeon and ask questions.

While you wait for your appointment, here is some information about the liposuction procedure and recovery.

What Happens During Liposuction?

This treatment is performed in our operating suite or in the procedure room, depending on the type of anesthesia selected. On the day of surgery, you’ll arrive at the facility and be escorted to a private waiting room. Patient privacy is very important to us.

Liposuction is performed under local or general anesthesia, depending on the extent of the procedure, patient preferences, and other factors. We’ll talk about this in detail during your consultation. Small incisions are made near the treatment area. Dr. Diehl carefully places each incision to minimize visibility. A special tube called a cannula is inserted through the incision and used to suction out fat. The treated areas are carefully shaped, to ensure a smooth, even result after treatment. We offer both traditional liposuction and laser liposuction with SmartLipo.

After the fat is removed and ideal shape is achieved, the incisions are sutured closed, and the area is wrapped in bandaging. We often use compression garments to ensure proper healing.

Patients return home after the procedure.  The level of post-operative recovery depends on the type of anesthesia selected.  You will go home in compression garments.

What Is Recovery Like After Liposuction?

You’ll be back on your feet and enjoying sexier curves shortly after your treatment. Many patients are back to work within a week, often sooner. Bruising, swelling, and tenderness are common side effects during healing.

How Long Until I See Results from My Treatment? How Long Do They Last?

Liposuction results evolve over time.  The most dramatic changes happen over the first month.  Final results evolve over 6-8 months.  Remain at a stable weight, and you may enjoy your results for years to come.

Trouble spots? Shape and contour your body to perfection with liposuction. Call our offices at 919-381-5540 to learn more about body contouring in Raleigh, NC.