Compression garments are recommended following several types of plastic surgery, including tummy tuck, breast augmentation, and liposuction procedures.  They should generally be worn full-time – even when sleeping – over the first 6 weeks post-op.  Dr. Power will make recommendations for you based on your specific surgery and recovery, but here are some key points about compression garments and their importance.

Why Should I Wear a Compression Garment?

Wearing a compression garment following body contouring surgery is useful during early healing and for your final aesthetic outcome.  By providing support, it lowers the risk of developing a fluid collection or bleeding at the surgical site.  It applies fairly uniform pressure, which reduces swelling and stabilizes the soft tissues during early healing.  Wearing a compression garment following tummy tuck surgery also reduces discomfort by bracing the abdominal muscles following repair.  Most patients report feeling more comfortable when wearing the garment, particularly when coughing or getting out of bed.

Compression garments work by applying gentle pressure to the surgical site.  Following a tummy tuck, the garment is particularly useful in closing the space between the elevated soft tissues and the underlying abdominal wall.  These potential spaces also exist after liposuction when redundant fatty is suctioned and are reduced when wearing a compression garment.  By applying constant gentle compression, the tissues can more easily adhere to the new contours.

What Are the Benefits of Wearing a Compression Garment?

There are many benefits of wearing a compression garment, which include the following:

  • Reduces swelling: A compression garment applies pressure to your surgical site to restrict fluid buildup that commonly causes swelling.
  • Lowers the risk of bleeding and bruising: Ongoing bleeding following surgery may result in a collection of blood called a hematoma. A compression garment lowers the risk of developing  a hematoma or further bruising by applying constant pressure during early healing.
  • Improves contours: Since the goal of body contouring is to improve the look of your figure, compression garments can help your body heal in the way that your plastic surgeon intends – which is with more defined curves and contours. It holds and supports your body as skin retraction occurs.
  • Reduces pain and discomfort: Supporting your surgical site and providing constant pressure may reduce discomfort, especially following a tummy tuck while protecting the muscle repair.  This will help you get the rest you need over the first few weeks after surgery.  Most patients enjoy wearing the compression binder and miss it when removing it briefly to shower.   Some patients even choose to continue wearing the compression garment even longer than required!

Compression Garment FAQs

How long should I wear a compression garment?

This may vary based on your unique surgical procedure, but it’s typically recommended to wear the compression garment for 6 weeks post-op.  If it begins to irritate your skin, you may wear a camisole underneath for comfort.  Not wearing your compression garment as recommended may increase the risk of developing complications, including bleeding, fluid collection, and greater swelling.

Do I need to wear it 24/7?

Yes. It’s recommended to wear your compression garment full-time, even when sleeping.  You should remove it only to shower and then reapply it afterward.  Dr. Power will advise when you may discontinue wearing the garment based on your specific surgery and healing.

How do I pick the right compression garment?

You do not have to pick the garment!  One will be provided for you based on your measurements and specific surgery.  We choose compression garments made from quality materials that are durable enough to wear for the recommended time period.  For patients undergoing tummy tucks, Dr. Power prefers a three-flap binder since the flaps may be adjusted separately.  Patients have found this more comfortable, particularly following mommy makeover surgery when breast incisions are also present.  Angling the top flap downward may avoid irritation of the lower breast incisions.  If you experience discomfort related to your compression garment, it’s possible that it isn’t fitting properly and should be adjusted. Let us know any time.  We are happy to help!

Schedule a Consultation

Following post-op instructions regarding compression garments and wound care instructions will help your healing following plastic surgery. To learn more about your body contouring options, we invite you to contact our Toronto office by calling or filling out our online form.

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