Liposuction is a surgical procedure for body contouring. It is most effective for patients close to ideal body weight with persistent fatty deposits that are unresponsive to diet and exercise. Surgery may be performed under local or general anesthetic depending on the extent of liposuction and a compression garment is recommended for 4-6 weeks post-operatively. What is the purpose of a compression garment after liposuction?
A compression garment after liposuction applies pressure to the surgical sites, which reduces swelling. Swelling may fluctuate, particularly during early healing. It may increase following increased activity or due to positioning changes. For example, swelling may increase following liposuction of the lower extremities when walking due to effects of gravity and ambulation. Elevation is important to decrease swelling. Exercise should be avoided over the first 4-6 weeks to decrease swelling and bruising. The compression garment also limits the amount of swelling at the surgical site during this time period.
Promotes fluid drainage and resorption
Tumescent fluid is injected before liposuction. This fluid contains local anesthetic, which provides pain control during the early post-operative period. The fluid also helps to break down fat cells prior to liposuction. Infiltrated fluid drains through the small liposuction incisions following surgery. The compression garment increases drainage from these sites if left open. If sutures are placed, the compression garment promotes faster resorption of the tumescent fluid.
The amount of bleeding following liposuction has decreased substantially following advances in the field. The tumescent fluid contains epinephrine, which decreases blood loss by constricting blood vessels. The compression garment after liposuction further reduces bleeding by applying pressure to the surgical sites. This may also reduce bruising after the local anaesthetic effect wears off.
A compression garment also provides support at the surgical site and maintains contour during early healing. It may lower the risk of developing asymmetric swelling. Wearing a compression garment after liposuction may also reduce the risk of developing soft tissue irregularities. Compliance with compression garment wear is important for your final aesthetic outcome following liposuction. You will awaken in the recovery room wearing the garment, which should be worn full-time except when showering over the first 4-6 weeks. Individualized recommendations will be made during follow up with Dr. Power based on extent of liposuction, location of surgical sites, and healing progress. The type of garment will vary based on the body sites undergoing liposuction.
If considering liposuction or other body contouring procedures, please contact female plastic surgeon Dr. Stephanie Power to schedule a consultation.