|Where is the procedure done?
Simple and partial vulvectomies are usually done in the
outpatient setting. The procedure usually takes about 1 hour.
Radical vulvectomies are done in the inpatient setting, usually take
2 1/2-3 hours, and will require a 3-5 day hospital stay. You will be
in the recovery room for 1-2 hours.
What do I need to do prior to the procedure?
Most vulvectomies are done under general anesthesia. Because of
this you cannot have anything to eat or drink after midnight the
night before your surgery. You will be given specific instructions
if bowel prep is needed. You may also be given a prescription for
What can I expect after the procedure?
You will be given medication to help ease your discomfort. After
you are home, it may be comforting to mix crushed ice and cold water
in a ziplock bag and place on the area of pain. Sitting on an air
cushion may also be helpful.
The sutures used are dissolvable and may pull out or separate at
the edges. In some instances these are removed in the office if they
are not dissolved by follow-up visit.
What do I need to do after the procedure?
Depending on the type of vulvectomy, follow-up care and
instructions may include:
- To aid healing and to help prevent infection, you should
refrain from sexual intercourse, using tampons, vaginal
douching, public pools and hot tubs.
- To help keep the area clean, you may be instructed on the use
of a sitz bath. To do a sitz bath at home, place a clean towel
in the bottom of the tub, and run warm water continuously and
lift the towel to let water out after it gets just deep enough
to cover the area. Keep running the water and repeating. It is
best to do sitz bathes after bowel movements and urinating.
- For comfort and cleansing, use a squirt bottle filled with
- After cleansing dry area with a hair dryer on low setting.
- Avoid constipation by using a stool softener as needed and
drinking 6-8 glasses of fluid a day.
- To avoid stress to the area, refrain from activities such as
jogging or horseback riding, avoid prolonged sitting, and wear
loose fitted clothing.
When should I call the doctor?
Please notify our office if you experience a fever over 101
degrees, foul smelling discharge, heavy bleeding, clots, or if you
experience increased pain that is not relieved with your prescribed
Please call the office for a follow-up appointment 3-4 weeks
after your surgery.