Do I Need To Wear Compression Garments After A Tummy Tuck?

According to the annual Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Statistics, abdominoplasty (tummy tucks) ranked third among the top five aesthetic surgeries, with approximately 243,000 performed in 2021.

Sometimes, weight loss patients will undergo a tummy tuck to help address loose skin, torn or stretched muscles, and excess fat deposits left behind by massive weight loss. However, 94% of the tummy tuck recipients are women, and most seek them to repair structural and cosmetic damage they experienced through pregnancy.

The results of a tummy tuck will be largely dependent on the expertise of the surgeon you choose to perform your procedure and how well you take care of yourself during your recovery. One of the key components of tummy tuck aftercare is the use of post-tummy tuck compression garments.

Today we are going to go into detail about the reasons behind wearing a compression garment post-tummy tuck and why it is so important to your recovery and results.

A Quick Overview Of The Tummy Tuck

Tummy tucks, also called abdominoplasty, are a type of cosmetic surgery that removes excess skin and fat from the abdominal region. This procedure usually also involves liposuction, the surgical removal of excess skin, and repairing or tightening the abdominal wall by pulling stretched or torn muscles together with sutures.

A tummy tuck not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of the abdomen, making it tighter and flatter, but also serves to help repair structural damage that can be caused by pregnancy, labor, and delivery.

What Is A Post-Op Tummy Tuck Compression Garment?

Tummy tuck compression garments are similar to girdles in that they are made of highly elasticized fabric that is designed to tighten and flatten the abdominal area. It wraps securely around your torso and usually extends from the region below the breasts to the pelvic region.

When a compression garment is worn after surgery, the stretchy fabric keeps constant pressure on the affected area. It’s meant to speed up the healing process after a procedure such as an abdominoplasty.

Why Do I Need To Wear A Compression Garment Post Tummy Tuck?

How we prepare for the surgical process, our general mental and physical health, as well as what we do throughout our recovery period, all play a significant role in determining the outcome of any type of surgery. This is especially true when the results of our surgery are aesthetic and will be clearly visible.

Compression garments speed up the healing process after a tummy tuck and help reduce the swelling and pain that come with an abdominoplasty. Good-fitting, high-quality compression garments tend to speed up the healing process and help create a smooth, even skin texture while minimizing the risk of bleeding, lymphedema, and the formation of seromas.

The 6 Top Benefits Of Post-op Tummy Tuck Compression Garments

1. Reduces Swelling
One of the most common side effects of any surgery, including a tummy tuck, is post-operative swelling, or edema. This condition develops when fluid leaks out of the body’s tiny blood vessels. The tissues surrounding the areas of treatment swell due to the accumulation of fluid.

Compression garments keep the swelling to a minimum by distributing even pressure across the entire treatment area, also removing the potential for a fluid collection pocket to form.

2. Lessens Recovery Discomfort
These special garments help to make you more comfortable and speed up your recovery process because of the way the constant, even compression increases the blood flow to the area as well as keeps the swelling at bay.

Additionally, the pressure that is holding the treatment areas firm by the garment makes situations such as moving around, coughing, sneezing, or laughing less uncomfortable.

3. Improves Circulation
Blood clots are one of the most significant risks associated with any surgical procedure, but they are particularly high with invasive procedures like tummy tuck surgery. Clots of blood can form anywhere in the body if there is insufficient blood circulation, which can result in serious and life-threatening complications. The use of compression garments helps to improve circulation and decreases the likelihood of developing a blood clot.
4. Reduces The Risk Of Infection
After a surgical procedure such as a tummy tuck or liposuction, compression garments serve as a protective barrier over the abdominal incisions, which lessens the risk of infection in these areas. Additionally, it helps improve circulation, which helps your immune system deliver the necessary antibacterial agents to an area where an infection may begin to develop.
5. Reduces The Visible Appearance Of Scars
Wearing post-tummy tuck compression garments provides the necessary support to the surgical site and holds it still and stable. This helps the incisions heal without the skin being stretched or otherwise damaged during the healing process. This reduces the risk of developing rough, uneven scarring patterns.
6. Provides Optimal Results
Wearing a post-op tummy tuck compression garment after your surgery helps to form the final contour of the treated area. Wearing these supportive garments helps keep the skin firmer and wrinkle-free as your body adjusts to its new, more streamlined form.

Most patients find their compression garments also help improve their posture, which better highlights their new body contours.

How Do I Choose The Best Post Tummy Tuck Compression Garment?

It is important that you choose a high-quality compression garment because you will have to wear it for between 4 and 6 weeks after your tummy tuck. Usually, you will begin your recovery with one garment and then switch to one that is firmer and provides more support.

The most effective compression garments are those that are both comfortable and completely supportive. It should fit properly and be durable enough to be worn every day for at least six weeks. Here are some things to look for when choosing a post-tummy tuck compression garment:

Antibacterial Fabric
Choose compression garments that have antibacterial properties. Infections can develop when germs enter open wounds. Using antimicrobial compression garments helps lessen the likelihood of developing an infection while your incisions are healing. Additionally, antibacterial fabric will help reduce odors between launderings.
Choose Garments Made From Breathable Fabrics
Breathable fabrics provide maximum comfort and are less likely to be itchy or scratchy, which can be particularly aggravating after surgery. Additionally, breathable fabrics allow air circulation to keep your skin dry and comfortable and reduce perspiration.
You Compression Garments Should Be Well Made
The best post-tummy tuck compression garments will be durable enough to last your entire recovery period. They should have enough stretch to be comfortable but also provide the necessary amount of stability.

You also want to look for compression garments with durable, high-quality closures that make the garment easy to get on and off and are adjustable in different areas if necessary. Look for patient reviews to learn about the quality of the garments before making your choice.

Ensure your garment is made from moisture-wicking fabric
Since you have to wear this garment 24/7 for several consecutive weeks, you need to ensure it is comfortable and promotes healing. After a tummy tuck, your compression garment needs to keep your surgical areas dry, protected, and stable. Moisture-wicking fabrics help keep moisture away from your skin by pulling it to the outer layer of the garment, where it will evaporate. This helps to reduce the growth and spread of bacteria as well as cut down on odors.
Choose Garments Without Bulky Seams
Choosing compression garments that are seamless in design or have flat seams will increase your comfort. These will not irritate your tender incision sites or cause indentations in your newly contoured skin while you are healing which could jeopardize your results.

Additional Tips For Post Tummy Tuck Compression Garments

  • Wear your compression garments according to your surgeon’s instructions. A tummy tuck is an invasive surgical procedure, but it can yield dramatic results. Most surgeons instruct their patients to wear their compression garments for six to eight weeks after their surgery to get the best results.
  • Your compression garments should fit snugly enough to provide your surgical areas the support they need, but not so tightly that they are interfering with your daily routine or are painful. A garment that fits too tightly can cause complications. Your surgeon can assist you in finding the right garment for you and your circumstances.
  • Usually, after your tummy tuck, you cannot shower for a few days. However, when you are permitted to shower, you can take off your compression garments long enough for your shower. Dry yourself gently afterward, and put your garment back on.
  • It is a good idea to have at least two identical compression garments so you have a backup for laundry day. Most compression garments can be washed delicately in the washing machine but need to be line dried. You do not want to have your clothes off except when you are in the shower.

A tummy tuck can be life-changing for an individual. However, to make sure you experience an uncomplicated recovery and get the results you want, it is imperative that you wear your compression garments for the exact time recommended by your surgeon.

If you are interested in a tummy tuck or the very popular mommy makeover that includes a tummy tuck and a breast augmentation, reach out to SurgiCare Arts & Aesthetics today! Our team of highly skilled professionals, led by Dr. Angelina Postoev, a triple board-certified cosmetic surgeon, provides the highest quality cosmetic surgeries and procedures in the Southeast.

When you visit our beautiful locations and meet our exceptionally talented, qualified, and compassionate team, you will know you are in good hands! Contact us for a consultation today and let us help you make your aesthetic dreams come true.

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