What Type of Compression Garment Should I Wear After Liposuction?

I got lipo on my love handles 5 days ago but wasn't sent home with any compression garment. I was told by a nurse high waisted biker shorts would be sufficient but after online research am getting conflicting advice.

Are biker shorts a good compression garment or do I need something tighter? I am concerned if I don't have anything the swelling won't go down or my body will return to its original shape. Right now I am very swollen and puffy.

Doctor Answers 2

Liposuction garments and compression

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Garments are important after liposuction. They should be strong garments, and I find the spanx and biker shorts not as effective as medical grade garments.

Why do you need compression?

1. Swelling and bruise. When you are up on your feet, particularly if you had liposuction of the thighs, you will get swollen. Every patient is different in how much they swell. Bruising is related to this as well--a little bit of pressure keeps your blood vessels compressed to help those teeny tiny vessels stop oozing. You will heal faster when you swell and bruise less.

2. Shaping. Unclear if garments help with the overall shape, but as your skin is forming scar to the underlying tissue, I like it to do so in the place I want it and smoothly.

3. Future swelling / ie why do you make me wear them for a month? When doing liposuction you impair your body's ability to get rid of swelling AND you make it so it swells more easily. If you get dull, achy, throbby pain after being on your feet all day it is a sign you are swollen. Garments help by helping prevent the swelling from occurring in the first place. All my patients want to get moving as quickly as possible. Don't return to normal exercise routine until your swelling is completely gone.

Good brands: I like design veronique garments and sigvaris support hose. Get 30-40mm pressure hose if you did your calves as part of the liposuction procedure.

Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon

Compression after liposuction

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Controlled compression after liposuction is important for predictable long term results. Having said that, there are a plethora of garments available for purchase on the Internet and/or your physicians office. They range from simple elastic binders to elaborate zip up garments. Providing even, wrinkle free compression is most important. In patients who have had liposuction of their flanks (love handles) I typically recommend an elastic binder which provide a little more compression than biking shorts.

After 2-3 weeks of compression, patients will then transition into biking shorts or spanks. The flank area tends to retain edema (swelling) for a prolonged period of time, so persisted compression facilitates your recovery. Every surgeon has a different protocol for post op recovery, I highly recommend you call your surgeon and ask for his/her advice on compression. I'm sure he/she will be pleased to assist you during your recovery.

Best of luck!

John Renucci, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

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