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How Long Do You Recommend Wearing the Compression Garment After Liposuction?

I had my flanks, back, under butt area, and a little fat under the arms done with Smart lypo. How long do you recommend wearing the compression garment? I was told 6-8 weeks with night time up to 6 months.

Doctor Answers 29

2 to 4 weeks

There really is no correct answer for the use of compression garments. However, 2 to 4 weeks is usually advised. The garments will definetly reduce the short-term swelling and may help inprove the contour. Some people really like wearing the garments and end up wearing them for months. Other people can't stand them and wear them only a few days. Most people end up just find whatever they choose to do. Good luck with your surgery.

New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

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I don't use compression garments on most patients.

Hi!  They don't do any harm, but they are uncomfortable and do not improve the final result.  You will look better at 1 week with a garment, but at three months there is no difference.

Other plastic surgeons in New York who do a lot of liposuction have come to the same conclusion.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Compression garment after liposuction

Thanks for the question -

Compression garments accomplish goals.

They help keep the subcutaneous tunnels created by liposuction collapsed as scar tissue forms. This helps to maintain the improvement in contour.

It also helps reduce the swelling in the area which will accelerate healing and create a better result as well.

In our San Francisco office we have patients wear garments for 6 weeks.

I hope this helps.

Compression and return to activity after liposuction

As you can see there are many answers to this question with no definitive consensus, and so it comes down to experience and opinion.

I find quality of the garments make a big difference and sometimes excessively tight garments can compress and cause areas of adherence and tourniquet effects, producing even greater swelling.

I generally prefer firm compression for the inflammatory phase of wound healing (first 4 days) followed by light compression for 3 weeks. I have become a fan of the Under Armor type garments as they are readily available form fitting and comfortable.

I have recommended immediate but gradually progressive return to exercise using the week as the general guide for speed on a treadmill. For example: Week#1 = 1MPH, Week#2 = 2MPH, Week # 3=# MPH, and so on...

I hope this helps.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

1-3 weeks wearing compression garments

I like my patients to wear them all the time for 1 week. I use Topifoam beneath the garment as well. After that if they would like to leave them off at night, it is fine. Most patients prefer to wear them during the day when they are active. By holding the fat layer more firmly, the fat moves less and it hurts less. Will you still get a good result if you don't wear them? Sure, but you will swell more if you don't use them.

William H. Huffaker, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

I Recommend 3 to 4 Weeks of Compression After Liposuction

Patients who undergo liposuction can expect swelling and discomfort following this procedure. In an effort to decrease swelling, most surgeons utilize compression garments in the post-operative period. Although each patient should be considered individually, we generally recommend three to four weeks of compression following liposuction.
Compression minimizes swelling and decreases post-operative pain. It helps to remodel the soft tissue by collapsing the tunnels created by the liposuction cannula during the procedure. Compression contributes significantly to the contour improvement seen with this procedure.

How long to wear Compression Garment after Liposuction

It is my standard practice for liposuction patients to wear compression garments 24 hours a day (except when bathing, etc.) for about the first 3 weeks, depending on the extent of liposuction and then 12 hrs per day (day or night time) for 3 additional weeks.

The reasons for the compression garment:

  • There are little cavities beneath your skin where the liposuction was done, and if these are not compressed they will fill with fluid.
  • Compression (but not too much) will reduce swelling/edema.
  • The compression garment may improve your final result by assisting skin to shrink.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Depends on liposuction technique and area

I mostly use Body Jet liposuction, and if there is a chance of skin sagginess, I add Smartlipo for skin retraction.

I instruct 2 weeks, and i recommend 4.

About 3-4 weeks

Hello Cincin

In our Santa Rosa plastic surgery practice, we ask that patients wear around-the-clock post-surgical compression for 3-4 weeks. An additional 3 weeks of wearing some form of less restrictive compression (Spanx, Lycra) is also recommended.

There is no universal answer, but do listen to your body and your doctor. In the end, you are the best judge as to when the swelling has finally subsided and the body can go without support.

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

One month

I advise my patients to wear compression 24 / 7 for one month.  After that, about 30-40% of them ask "permission" to go a couple of weeks longer because they like the feel and sense more security. 

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.