What type of compression garment (stage2) is recommended for tummy tuck recovery?

I have found it overwhelming the different brands, styles and prices that are out there when searching online. Is it necessary to buy a post surgical cg or is your run-of-the-mill shaper work? Should it be knee length or can it be shorter? Please let me know what you recommend?

Doctor Answers 14

Tummy Tuck : Compression Garments

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It can be overwhelming with all the different brands of garments.
There is no standard answer, and it will vary with your doctor. Make sure you check with him.

I believe the garment is extremely important to help heal well. The first month, I recommend you wear it full time. The second month, the garment can be worn less frequently. This might be just 10 hours or so a day.

The brand of garment is not important. The concept is pressure. The pressure can be achieved with shapers at most departments stores. The plastic surgery ones are more expensive and do not provide added benefit. You must apply pressure to all sites that you had surgery. Don't stop at the navel, for example, or you could get fluid above the garment.

Interestingly, the garment has value beyond just fluid and swelling. It actually helps with the scar itself. Burn victims will be placed in garments for a year! The garment can help you heal your scar better.

Finally, the garment helps us eat better by helping with portion control. It's old fashioned but the pressure helps us eat less because it makes us feel full. This can help some people lose weight if needed.

I hope this helps!

Go to my web page. I have an educational writing that covers this topic exactly. You might like to read it.

Dr Chris Saunders

Wilmington Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Do I need a compression garment and what type after abdominoplasty

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Although most surgeons recommend some kind of compression, I have found in long term experience ( over 25 years), that a garment is not necessary, and so I give patients a choice.  About 2/3 of patients feel more comfortable without a garment because the abdomen is sore.  I have never had a patient with a problem from not wearing a garment, but many patients feel more comfortable with wearing a garment  for a week or two.  I tell patients to wear what is comfortable, and I do not think the type matters..

That type of compression garment ?

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Thank you for your question.

In my own practice we provide a compression binder for our post operative patients. Many surgeons do the same.

Generally I have my patients go into Spanx at about the second week. I wish I had invented Spanx.

I like my patients to have even and gentle compression from the thighs to the breasts. Their slim cognito shape suit does a nice job without being too tight.

Hope this helps you !

Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 115 reviews

Garment after abdominoplasty

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The correct garment is the one that is tight enough to reduce swelling but not so tight as to reduce blood supply to the remaining skin which could create scarring.  The abdominal velcro binder can be customized in terms of tightness to the appropriate tension.  It is simple to take off, wash and reapply.

Compression post abdominoplasty?

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Dear militarywife,
This is a difficult question to answer because every patient is different and the recommendations are individualized. You need to ask your surgeon as the answer depends upon what was done. After 3-4 weeks however, I find that my patients feel more comfortable exercising in some form of compression - if only for the muscle support. Just make sure that it fits smoothly and there is no undue pressure that can interfere with healing. Best wishes.

Kevin L. Smith, MD, FACS
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon

Tummy Tuck Compression Garments

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Compression garments after abdominoplasty serve three primary purposes: patient comfort, assistance with patient mobility and control of edema.
Most tummy tuck patients feel better and have an easier time changing positions (laying to sitting, sitting to standing, etc) and ambulating with the feeling of abdominal support that a compression garment provides. My preference is to start patients out with a three-panel, Velcro-fastened abdominal binder that is easily applied and removed. This allows easy access to surgical dressings and easy inspection of the abdominal skin in the early postoperative period.

Not all compression garments are created equal. As with surgeons and surgery centers, you tend to get what you pay for. In my practice we provide the compression garments for abdominoplasty patients (there is no added fee for compression garments), and we have tried out almost every major company’s garments. We have been happiest with Marena’s compression garments as the fabric is very soft, elastic and comfortable yet durable. They are also the most aesthetically pleasing garments we have used. If modified with scissors the fabric does not ‘run’ or split.
If the garments are not pleasant to wear then patients will inevitably discontinue their use earlier than would be ideal. Some practices ask patients to purchase their own garments (I’ve even heard of patients being sent to Wal-Mart for this), which is leaving an important part of the postop care regimen in inexperienced hands. If a practice advises you to purchase your own compression garment, they are probably more interested in controlling costs than your postoperative comfort.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Lipo Compression Garment Recommendation

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My personal opinion is that the first elastic garment/girdle 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 and confirm that it fits well.
Most important advise is to listen to your surgeon's advice as he best knows how much fat was removed, the elasticity that remains in your skin and amount of skin redundancy.
I recommend my patients wear their garments for a minimum of 3 weeks full time then for 12 hrs (day or night). if not a lot of redundant skin following liposuction to a maximum of 6 weeks. To be effective the garment needs to fit snug but not too tight as to cause pressure problems (inspect your skin if discomfort and when skin is exposed), or prevent you from sleeping. As the edema resolves it is common for patients to switch to a smaller garment that fits - A Spanx type garment would work rather than ordering one or paying more at your doctor;'s office.
Liposuction requires compression garments for three main reasons:
it restricts the amount of edema that forms and hastens its resolution by mechanical pressure
It decreases the amount of bruising
It assists the loose skin in retracting or shrinking


Second stage compression garment after tummy tuck

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After 2 weeks, I tell my patients who do not have support garments already to use Spanx or snug biking pants to give firm but comfortable compression to the abdomen.
Depending on your shape, a short leg or no leg garment will be more comfortable. Either are fine.
A body suit is fine and goes higher than a girdle.
I have patients wear the garment for 6 weeks and then they can wear it for comfort, or not if they do not swell without it.

Garment Choices After Tummy Tuck

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Most of my patient  that have had a tummy tuck or mini tummy tuck swear by a hook and eye compression  garment or a abdominal binder. Plastic surgery data has not shown that a garment or compression improves the ultimate outcome. However , my patients for that last 15 years feel the compression they get from an abdominal binder or a good compression garment  reduces their swelling and and gives them a sense of security and comfort during the recovery period.

Following a tummy tuck when the patients have a drain in to  help prevent a seroma fluid collection , I have the patients wear a abdominal garment for its ease of use with good compression and comfort. After a week  I have the patients switch to a compression garment( Lipoexpress/ Marena) hook and eye only!!
Zipper garments bunch up and can be seen under clothes and compression is not as good.
Patients  wear compression garment  at least a month if not two months at least 12 hours of the day.

There is no question that the swelling time is decreased and patient comfort  using the compression garments!! There has been many patients that start off prior to surgery wearing a 12 - 14 size dress and after tummy tuck and liposuction of waist end up after 2-6 months of garment time they are in a size 8 dress. Unbelievable..

 Dr. Phillip Craft   

  Miami Florida      Board Certified Plastic Surgeon  

Phillip R. Craft, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Abdominoplasty compression garments - #abdominoplasty #tummytuck

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I use a velcro binder early after an abdominoplasty because of the easy access.  After about 1-2 weeks, a liposuction compression garment with hook and eye closure works well.  I thing to the knee works best.  After that, you can go to a stage 2 garment (no hook and eye closure).  Unless you have had liposuction or have contour irregularities, the compression is not strictly necessary at later stages, but does help with shaping, comfort and scar management.  Use whatever your plastic surgeon recommends.  With all you spend on an operation, do you really want to skimp on a sub optimal garment?

Mark D. Wigod, MD
Boise 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.