Compression garment or binder?

Why do some doctors recommend binders and some compression garments? Is there a difference, or one better then the other? My dr said since im so small (100 pds) that a binder would bunch

Doctor Answers 16

Compression garment or abdominal binder?

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Thank you for your question.  

I think that this is often a confusing point for many patients who elect to have a tummy tuck.  Some surgeons use these terms interchangeably, but there are some significant differences between abdominal binders and compression garments.  

Abdominal binders are generally an elastic band that can wrap around your midsection and can be adjusted to be made tighter or looser.  These binders are generally employed for the first week or so following a tummy tuck, but are generally not used for much longer as they tend to be less comfortable, require frequent adjustments, and can roll up on patients with prolonged use.  Compression garments are usually made of a spanx-like material, have no boning, and typically have no zippers or clasps.  It is important to note that 'waist trainers' are neither an abdominal binder nor compression garment, and they are not acceptable forms of compression following a tummy tuck.  

In my practice, patients begin in an abdominal binder for the first week or so following a tummy tuck and then transition into a seam-less compression garment until they have reached their 1 month post-op mark.  I have found that compression garments tend to be more comfortable for patients, can be worn easier beneath regular clothing, and provide acceptable compression to help prevent the accumulation of fluid while the soft-tissue of the abdominal flap re-adheres to the soft-tissue below.  

I would recommend following up with your operating surgeon to discuss his/her specific philosophy regarding compression in the immediate post-op period.  Your surgeon will be your best resource and any concerns should always be addressed with him/her.  I hope you find this helpful and I wish you the best.

Compression garment or binder after tummy tuck

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Thank you for asking about your tummy tuck.

  • A very good question - the goal of both is for you to have less pain.
  • I generally use both a garment and a binder.
  • The garment provides skin support for swelling for  6 weeks.
  • The binder provides stronger muscle support in the first 1 -2 weeks.
  • Binders can be cut down to fit almost any size
  • On the other hand, your surgeon has examined you and knows what is planned -
  • Follow her/his suggestion.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes.

Compression garment or Binder?

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I would need to examine you to help you but this is what I do for my patients: I make sure that their garments covers up all of the lipo areas and fit relatively snuggly but not too tight. I would bring in the garment in question to have your plastic surgeon see how it fits. My personal opinion is that 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 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


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Compression garment versus binder

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Every surgeon has his or her own post op protocol which definitely extends to this issue. Binders are often used at first since they are adjustable. Then the patient is moved into a compression garment. Since your surgeon has seen you in person, you to trust his or her recommendation. Best, Dr. Nazarian

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Garments vs Binders

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Dear Ms. Ella W,

Thank you for your questions.  I assume you undergoing a abdominoplasty.

Binders are most useful in the early post operative time because they are easily adjustable.  They can move, roll up and require adjustments.

After the majority of the swelling has dissipated I will have my patients move to a more fitting compression garment usually worn for 6 weeks. 

In liposuction patients there is a first stage compression garment worn for the first 
several weeks and then a second stage more form fitting compression.

I trust your Plastic Surgeon is Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and who are ideally a  member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (denoting by membership as having met additional criteria and a focus on Cosmetic Plastic Surgery).

My best wishes on a safe and successful surgical experience.

Dr. R. A. Hardesty, MD, FACS
Diplomate and Certified by the Am. Bd. of Plastic Surgery
4646 Brockton Ave
Riverside, Ca 92506
(951) 686-7600

Compression garment or binder?

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A compression garment is in my opinion more comfortable and possibly more effective than a surgical binder.

Fred Suess, MD (retired)
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

Tummy tuck recovery. Binder vs compression garment

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In my practice we apply a surgical binder at the conclusion of the procedure but usually recommend that patients obtain a "waist cincher" without any "bones" or plastic struts to gently compress the stomach.  The benefit of the latter is that they are more form fitting and lighter (for hot weather) and much easier to wear under clothing.  In the end, anything that gives even smooth compression will serve your purpose as long as it is adequately supportive.  

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Compression garment or binder?

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Thank you for your excellent question.  In general the choice of a post surgery garment is physician and patient preference.  As neither will effect your long-term surgical results, the choice should be based on what maintains your comfort the best.  As each limits swelling, this will also limit the associated pain that comes with it.  Hope that this helps.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Binders vs. Garments

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Postoperative compression varies from surgeon to surgeon, and when something is a matter of preference, it usually means that either one is a reasonable choice.  Certainly in a smaller patient, I have found that garments seem to sit more securely than a binder. I would recommend following the recommendations of your board-certified plastic surgeon, and best of luck.

Jeffrey Ridha, MD
Saratoga Springs Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Compression garment

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Hello dear, thanks for question, it will depend on the PS, in my practice I recommend the compression garment to my patienst because are more confortable to wear under regular clothes and it will help a lot with the swelling and with your body shape. But is how I ssaid at the begining it will depend on your PS, so I suggest to have a closele comunication with him and see what he prefers for you. Good luck :)

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 441 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.