Where Should my Compression Binder be Positioned?

I had a TT/Lipo about 3 weeks ago. I developed a seroma which is drained every 3-4 days. I was wearing the garment around my love handles thinking it would prevent/reduce swelling. I am wondering if the garment actually forced fluid into my upper abdomen area, slowing skin/muscle reconnection. Should I center it over my navel or position the top of it just below my nipples?

Doctor Answers (4)

Abdominal binders should cover your whole belly after a Tummy Tuck


Cover your whole belly with the binder, from your breast folds to below the incision.

In general the binder is used after a tummy tuck to apply pressure and close off the open space that was created during surgery where fluid may accumulate.  It should be over the entire anterior abdominal area where the surgery was performed to help prevent/reduce seroma formation. 

Usually seromas form in the lower abdominal area where the incision line is because that is where the widest area of dissection for surgery was performed and where gravity will trap most fluid that will form further up in the abdomen.  Because of this, the upper abdomen has a lower chance of forming a seroma than the lower area so it is vital that the lower area is covered by the binder, but still important that the upper area is also covered.

Freehold Plastic Surgeon

Abdominal binder


The placement of the binder does help obliterate the dissected space, but it does not immobilize your trunk.  You must walk, breath, change position and seromas can form.  The best person to take direction from is the surgeon that did the dissection,  only this person knows what happened during the abdominoplasty.

Rodger Wade Pielet, MD (in memoriam)
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Where should binder be positioned


This question really needs to be directed to your surgeon.  Seromas are quite common after abdominoplasty and currently there is no way to insure that they don't occur.  If they do occur, the usual treatment is to aspirate, or stick a needle in every few days to drain it.  This may need to be done 1-6 times or possibly more.  I personally do not think the binder has much to do with seroma treatment or prevention for that matter.  I think the binder helps patients be more comfortable and secure feeling.  It may help to some degree in prevention of seromas.  You want to make sure that the lower edge of your binder stays below your incision line to help give even compression.  I would not raise it up to below your nipples.  This will potentially cause more swelling down near your incision and this is to be avoided.  I definitely would ask your surgeon what he/she would like you to do.  The seroma will go away.  That is the good news!

Jeffrey E. Kyllo, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

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Compression Garment

The support garment should cover the incision – if you notice it has slid upwards, you can slide it back down by pulling down at the sides.

The compression garment should be worn day and night for 3 weeks, removing it only to shower or wash the garment. From 3 to 6 weeks, the garment should be worn during the day, but you can take it off at night. 

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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.