HF 8351

Home Care After Wide Local Excision of the Vulva

This procedure involves removing tissue from one side (or both sides) of the skin that creates your vaginal entrance. This is due to recurrent biopsies of this area which were positive for abnormal cells (dysplasia). This can lead to cancer if untreated. This procedure removes all the abnormal tissue.

Pain Medicine

You may have some pain after the procedure. You may use ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®) 400-600 mg. Take every 4-6 hours as needed. Do not take more than 2400 mg of ibuprofen daily. In some cases, narcotic pain medicine is ordered. You should take this as directed.


  • You may resume your normal daily activities.

  • No lifting restrictions.

  • Avoid anything that causes pain.

  • Avoid douching, sex and tampon use for 1 month.

Caring for the Surgical Area

You have an incision that’s closed with sutures. These sutures will dissolve on their own in about 8 weeks. There is no need to have them removed.

  • Pat the surgical area dry after you urinate. It’s normal to notice spotting a few days after the procedure. Heavy bleeding is not normal.

  • It is important to keep the surgical area clean and dry.

  • Wear cotton underwear.

  • Look at your incision at least twice daily using a hand-held mirror for signs of infection, such as:

  1. Redness and/or swelling on or around the incision.

  2. Abnormal colored drainage

  3. Foul-smelling discharge coming from the incision.


  • Avoid tub baths, swimming pools, hot tubs, lakes, and other large bodies of water. This is for 1 month after the procedure.

  • You may shower after the procedure.

  • Pat the surgical area. Do not scrub.

Follow-Up Care

In most cases, you will return to our office for a post-op visit 2-3 weeks after surgery. If you do not have this visit scheduled yet, please contact us.

When to Call

Most patients have very few problems after surgery. Please call our office if you have:

  • A fever over 100.4°F taken 2 times,2 hours apart.

  • Heavy bleeding that soaks your pad every hour for more than three hours in a row.

  • Constant, severe pain that doesn’t improve with pain medicine.

  • Signs of infection.

  • Chest pain or shortness of breath.

  • Leg swelling, redness, or pain.

  • Dizziness or faintness (passing out).

  • Unable to urinate (pee).

  • Frequent, urgent, or painful urination.

  • Any questions or concerns.

Who to Call

Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic
Weekdays, 8 am-5 pm

After hours, you will reach the paging operator. They will connect you with someone who can help you.