How to Choose the Right Compression Garment
Wearing compression garments after liposuction is one of the most important things you can do to ensure proper recovery. Most of the patients who comply with recommendations to wear compression garments after the surgery have better results and are happier with the results over patients who do not wear them.
Why compression garments are useful?
Liposuction removes subcutaneous fat located between the skin and muscle. When it is removed, the layer of skin does not immediately adhere to the muscle underneath; rather, fluid accumulates in the space previously filled with fat. A compression garment applies pressure to these areas so this fluid disperses rather instead builds up.
Compression garments are beneficial for your aesthetic results, they also lessen certain post-procedural risks associated with liposuction.
Wearing your garments after liposuction can:
- Reduce fluid build up and swelling.
- Increase circulation.
- Aid in skin healing.
- Keep stitches and dressings in place.
What kind of compression garment do I look for?
When you are getting yours, make sure you keep certain things in mind.
Fit and Accurate Pressure: A quality compression garment will apply constant and consistent pressure specific to the physiology of the surgical region. The fit needs to be just right in order to facilitate proper healing. A garment with an inconsistent fit increases the possibility of fluid retention under the dermal layer.
The garment worn immediately following lipo will be tighter out of necessity. It should feel snug but not constricting and fit tighter than regular athletic wear. The overall fit of the garment should provide constant compression tailored to the specific surgical area, and it is normal for the garment to stress when worn.
Excessive compression may cut off circulation to the surgical site. If your extremities go numb or tingle, or if you have trouble breathing, then the compression garment is too tight.
A poorly fitting garment may cause an increased risk of:
- lumpy or uneven skin composition
- exaggerated or red scars
- necrosis (tissue death)
Shape: A compression garment should be shaped to facilitate an ideal figure. Most patients undergo liposuction to create the hourglass or V-shaped figure, in which case, the garment should be structured to promote this shape.
Comfort: The compression garment will be worn for up to 23 hours a day (being removed only for bathing and washing), which means it need to be comfortable. No compression garment will feel like wearing sweats, but it should be reasonably comfortable while still applying enough pressure to encourage fluid dispersement.
Quality Fabric: Post-surgical compression garments should be made from fabric that is breathable, durable and anti-microbial. Spandex and nylon are ideal fabrics. Natural fibers like cotton should be avoided along with fabrics that illicit allergic reactions like latex and rubber.
The fabric should keep moisture away from the skin to prevent irritation. And any lace trim should be lined with silicone to hold it in place.
Waist: Garments used after lipo on the lower portion of the body (i.e. thighs, hips, butt, etc.) must have a good waistband. Ideally, the waistband should be at least two inches wide to stabilize the garment position. A properly constructed waistband will prevent rolling and sliding up or down when putting clothes on over the garment.
Style: Compression garments come in a variety of styles to fit the various body types. Visit a manufactures website to browse the different styles available. Also, consider what will offer the most comfort. All zippers and closures on the garment should be easy to reach and maneuver. The seam needs to stand up to high stress, otherwise the function of the garment will be compromised. Also it should have adjustable, removable shoulder straps.
Compression garments aid in the recovery after liposuction. Diet, exercise and lifestyle changes also increase your chances of getting the best results.