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Is It Possible to Wear Binder to Tight? Will Cause Your Feet to Tingle?

I'm 4 weeks po and at night when my swelling is the worst, I get pains all through my legs and my feet get cold and tingly. I was wondering if I should have my binder on where my PS marked it or should I let it out a bit?

Doctor Answers (5)

Is it possible to wear binder too tight? Will cause your feet to tingle?

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Hello! Thank you for your question!. The tummy tuck procedure is an excellent method for contouring of your abdomen, often removing the excess skin as well as tightening the abdominal wall. After nearly all surgical procedures, a potential space is created from where the surgical procedure/dissection was performed. This is especially true for the tummy tuck, in where the abdominal flap is raised off of the abdominal wall and then redraped atop the area to contour the abdomen. The procedure alone promotes swelling and inflammation, which typically lasts for 6-12 weeks. This may even last longer if liposuction has been performed in addition. During this time, a few things may be done to allow adherence of the abdominal skin/soft tissue to readhere to the abdominal wall and close that space. Many surgeons use drains to evacuate the expected serous fluid from building up. Stagnant fluid as such may be a nidus for infection as well as does not allow the tissue to adhere back to its normal anatomic position. Drains usually are removed once output is <30cc/day - usually removed within 3-4 weeks on average, sometimes longer. When this occurs, a seroma may develop - which may require aspiration or surgical evacuation to rid this in order to optimize your result.

This is not an uncommon reason for persistent swelling and/or bulging in a certain area of your belly. Of course, thwarting the development of a pseudobursa, or seroma capsule, is always best, to provide the best result as well as avoid any future procedures for this. This may be a troubling consequence and often compromises your overall result. Thus avoiding this complication, in whatever manner, is the objective. "Drainless" tummy tucks are becoming more popular - basically, the overlying tissue is physically sutured to the abdominal wall to close the potential space. In addition, most surgeons typically restrict vigorous activity/strenuous exercise as well as lifting restrictions of usually <20#, especially the core, for 6-8 weeks to allow healing to continue. Most also often recommend an abdominal compression-type binder or garment, which will serve to provide compression as well as assist to decrease swelling and eliminate the dead-space of the area for at least 6 weeks as well.  Certainly just have the garment snug - not too tight to strangulate or restrict movement/activity...or the other symptoms you describe.  After the initial binder, many patients like the Spanx garments. Most patients are able to return to most activities within a couple of weeks, provided they adhere to the restrictions.

Overall, this is a procedure with a high satisfaction rate. Discuss the procedure and postoperative instructions/restrictions with your surgeon, as these will vary among surgeons. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!


Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Tummy Tuck and Use of Binder?

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Thank you for the question.

Probably best to check with your plastic surgeon, but I would suggest that you “let it out a little bit”.

I'm sure most plastic surgeons would agree that the purpose of the abdominal wall binder is not necessarily to provide compression.  An abdominal wall binder that is too tight make apply excessive pressure on a sensitive abdominal wall flap,  cause restriction of pulmonary/lung  function,  and  potentially compromise the venous return from the lower extremities etc.

I would suggest that you follow your plastic surgeon for examination of the lower extremities  to rule out other potential problems as well.

Best wishes.

 

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 791 reviews

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Tingling and cold feet after TT

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By 4 weeks most patients can stop wearing their binder as the tissues have healed enough to be without the compression, but you should check with your plastic surgeon to be sure this is OK.  I try not to have my TT patients wear their binders too tight , but just snug, otherwise it becomes uncomfortable and patients don't wear it.  You should also have your plastic surgeon examine you to be sure there is not some other reason for the symptoms you have in your legs.

Jeffrey M. Darrow, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
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A binder after a tummy tuck is great...but make sure it's not too tight!

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It sounds like your binder may be too tight.  Give your plastic surgeon a call so that he/she can see you and evaluate the situation and possibly loosen or discontinue your binder.

Jeffrey E. Schreiber, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

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.