Wearing a compression garment after lipo is an essential part of the recovery process as it greatly determines the outcomes. Today we are answering the most frequently asked questions about compression garments so that you don’t disregard using them.
Q: What Are The Benefits Of Wearing Compression Garments?
A: Cosmetic surgeons agree that compression garments are one of the most important post-surgery elements in a recovery that is free from complications and delivers the best results. It is not only important that you wear the compression garments after liposuction as instructed but also that you are wearing the right compression garments.
At SurgiCare Arts & Aesthetics we do have a few catalogs of compression garments and our staff will assist you with choosing the right type based on your measurements and procedure requirements.
As for benefits, wearing a compression garment:
- helps ease post-operative discomfort by applying even pressure over the surgical site to keep everything in place.
- reduces swelling – liposuction patients normally experience significant swelling that can last for several weeks. Wearing a compression garment helps prevent excess fluid build-up and helps fluid that does begin to accumulate be absorbed by your body.
- assists with body contouring – wearing the correct compression garment after lipo will help your body get used to the newly created contours. Your final results will be smoother and tighter and the risk for lax or wrinkled skin will be greatly reduced. Many patients feel that wearing the garments also improves their posture.
- decreases bruising which is normal after liposuction but the degree and length of time the bruising lasts will be unique to each patient. Compression garments will help minimize bruising by providing consistent pressure on the damaged blood vessels, preventing more bleeding, and keeping excess blood away from the surface of the skin where it is more visible.
- helps scars heal faster and appear fainter by reducing the tension on them as they heal.
Q: What Are Compression Garments Made From?
A: Most compression garments are made from synthetic fabrics like nylon and lycra that are strong and stretchy. When worn, these garments apply even pressure to the liposuctioned areas and are available in a variety of support levels and designs.
Video: Compression Garments After Liposuction and Tummy Tuck
Q: How Tight or Firm Should A Compression Garment Be?
A: Support levels (levels of compression) are measured in mmHg’s (millimeters of mercury) which are measurements of pressure. As a point of reference, people often wear compression socks when traveling long distances to prevent their feet or legs from swelling. These socks are normally around 15 – 20 mmHg and are considered a “medium” pressure. Normally the level of compression for use after surgery is higher and sometimes available through a prescription. It is extremely important that you wear the correct post-lipo garment and pressure level.
Your surgeon will provide recommendations of which garments you will need to purchase for your aftercare. It is important that the compression garment you are wearing is the right size and pressure. They should fit snugly but not be bulky or extremely restrictive and should easily cover the entire liposuction area. If your liposuction garment does not fit correctly it can alter your final results as well as cause complications during your recovery.
Many compression garments are designed with the help of plastic surgeons to ensure they are safe and effective. As a patient you want your post-liposuction compression garments to be comfortable and discreet but also effective in reducing swelling and discomfort while promoting healing and slimming your body.
Q: How Long Do I Have To Wear My Compression Garment After Lipo?
A: Typically, liposuction patients are instructed to wear their compression garments around the clock except for showering for three to six weeks after their surgery. After the initial six weeks, they may be instructed to wear the garments only at night and may also change the design or pressure of the garment.
Remember: the type of compression garments and usage will be unique to each person and will depend on the surgical procedure performed.
Your surgeon may adjust your level of compression as your recovery progresses. It is important to stay in close communication with your surgeon and report any issues you may be having with pain or discomfort while wearing your compression garments.
Q: What Will Happen If I Do Not Wear My Compression Garment?
A: If you do not wear your compression garment after lipo, or do not wear it as instructed, you are subject to negative side effects such as:
- excessive swelling, bruising, or scarring;
- increased pain;
- longer recovery time;
- negative aesthetic results – indentations, ridges, or ripples in your skin.
Patients that wear their compression garments per the surgeon’s instructions, experience an easier recovery and notice results sooner than those who do not. Wearing compression garments after liposuction may seem like an inconvenience and may not be the most comfortable thing but it will be worth it! You have just made a significant investment in your appearance and you should do all you can to ensure you achieve your desired goals.
Angelina Postoev, MD, FACS, a triple board-certified cosmetic surgeon, and Christopher Ibikunle, MD, FACS, offer liposuction to patients in Lawrenceville, Suwanee, Johns Creek, Buckhead, and the surrounding areas of Atlanta, Georgia.