How Would Not Wearing a Compression Garment Affect Liposuction Results?

I had abdominal liposuction on june 12th, but my girdle was stolen from my gym july 17th. I seem to be doing fine without it, but i still have that "clay effect"- long term creasing from clothes or when i sit for a long period of time, and my abdomen does swell from time to time. my pain is also very minimal but i still have itching and soreness.

Am I OK to go without my girdle from this point on? Will I still get the same results in the end anyway?

Doctor Answers 3

Liposuction and compression garments

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We don't use compression garments for most liposucton patients, and other experienced plastic surgeons in New York agree.  We don't think that garments improve the final result.

For the abdomen, we use a binder for 2 weeks.  Garments will probably not benefit you at this point. So you can relax.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Compression Garment Needed after a Month?

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For Small or moderate amounts of liposuction and after the length that you have already used it, it probably doesn't make a difference if a garment is used or not Compression garments type and when applied varies from plastic surgeon to plastic surgeon and not dependent usually on the type of lipo performed. In my practice, A compression garment placed in surgery immediately after liposuction (steristrip protects the sutures) is recommended and beneficial after liposuction because:
  1. It restricts the amount of edema that forms and hastens its resolution by mechanical pressure.
  2. It decreases the amount of bruising.
  3. It assists the loose skin in retracting or shrinking.
If bulging ridges above or below, creases or bands are present then you probably need to change garments - see your plastic surgeon.
It is common to have weight gain due to edema, serum that collects in the area, and the tumescent fluid that was injected. This will resolve over time. The more you wear the garment initially, the quicker this fluid resolves.
Edema: a condition characterized by an excess of watery fluid collecting in the cavities or tissues of the body.
The length of time that the garment should be worn varies depending on the amount of fat removed, the elastic nature of your skin, how much loose skin remains, and other factors. Your surgeon would give you the best advice, however this is the general routine for my patients.
The first garment should be fitted for you in the office prior to surgery and applied in the operating room. Often it will become loose as the edema is mobilized, and then it will need to be replaced. Spanx is a reasonable compression garment if it gives enough support and is the right size. I have my patents bring them in so I can confirm that it fits well.
Most important advice is to listen to your surgeon, as he or she knows how much fat was removed, the elasticity that remains in your skin, and amount of skin redundancy.
I recommend that my patients wear their garments for a minimum of three weeks full time then for twelve hours at a time (day or night). If there is not a lot of redundant skin, this continues to a maximum of six weeks.
To be effective, the garment needs to fit snugly—but not too tight as that can make it difficult to sleep or cause pressure problems (inspect your skin when it is exposed if you are uncomfortable). As the edema resolves it is common for patients to switch to a smaller garment that fits. A Spanx-type garment would work fine, rather than ordering one or paying more at your doctor’s office. 


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You really need to discuss this with your plastic surgeon.  I have all my patients wear the compression garment for 6 weeks but there are differing opinions on the amount of time the garment is needed.  You should follow your own doctor's advice.

Edmond A. Zingaro, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

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.