How Long to Wear Compression Garment After Smart Lipo

I had Smart Lipo done a week ago. I feel excellent and I'm healing nicely, but I feel uncomfortable wearing the compression garment. How long do I have to wear the compression garment?

Doctor Answers 36

Compression garments for liposuction

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Thanks for your question.

As with any treatment you have received you should direct questions like this to your doctor.

The concept of compression garments after any form of liposuction are two fold.

First the garment helps collapse the tunnels within the fat that have been formed by the liposuction. This improves the result and that compression needs to be in place until the scar tissue has formed to help hold those tunnels in a collapsed position. This usually takes 2 weeks to a month and in rare cases as long as six weeks.

The second concept of a compression garment is to reduce swelling and edema in the area. This usually only requires about one to two weeks.

There is some variability on length of compression I use in my practice depending on the site of the liposuction I have performed. In general if a patient can tolerate the compression garment a little longer the results tend to be better.

I hope this helps.

Steven Williams, MD

Wear your garment as long as you feel comfortable.

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SkinnyForever, I suggest that patients wear their garment at least 1 week after Smartlipo (or any lipo) to help keep the swelling under control. You may more comfortable garments in your local department store, such as Spanx at Bloomingdale's which are more comfortable. In any case, it will not make any long-term difference, but will help with the swelling in the short-term. Good luck with your recovery. David Shafer, MD New York City

Use of Compression Garments after liposuction

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This answer varies dependent 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 advise. However in general this is the 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 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. My routine for Smart Liposuction would be the same as traditional liposuction. I do not see feel there is any benefit with smart lipo despite the companies' claims.

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

Compression garments and Liposuction: Smart Lipo and Ultrasound Liposuction

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Compression garments and Liposuction: Smart Lipo and Ultrasound Liposuction

Compression garments play an important role in the management of liposuction patients. They reduce the duration of edema and help contour the body.

Keep in mind that another major factor to succesful surgery is gentle but rigorous massage of the affected area. Our office recommends the Endermologie treatments post liposuction to minimize contour irregularities. The system is excellent in the long term management of these patients.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Compression garments after liposuction and SmartLipo

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Different plastic surgeons have different protocols for compression garments after liposuction and SmartLipo.  It would be best to discuss this with your surgeon, however, in our practice we usually recommend wearing the compression garments for anywhere between two to six weeks. In general to longer you wear your garments, it is believed that they will enhance your results.

Kambiz Jacob Cohen-Kashi, MD
Long Island Plastic Surgeon

How long do you wear your compression garment?

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We encourage our client to wear their compression garments for 2 weeks- 1st week 24 HOURS on at all times; 2nd week 12 hours on and 12 hours off-   
It is your preference if you would like to do that 12 hours during the day or 12 hours while you are sleeping. After that 2 week period- You can wear it as you like! at our office we measure you before your procedure so we can make sure that  your garment fits and is comfortable. which is very important, we have a lot of clients that after they wear it for the suggested time the first 2 weeks after procedure they will come in and get re fitted for another one - Just so they can continue to wear the garment and improve the smoothing of the skin in the areas they received the smart lipo. I hope this helps! :)

Chaitali Nangrani, MD
The Woodlands Family Physician
4.2 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

How Long to Wear Compression Garment After Smart Lipo

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While I can't speak for your surgeon, I personally have my liposuction patients wear the garment 24/7 except to shower for 4 weeks post op for 3 main reasons:

1.) Controlling swelling: the compression on your tissues helps your body to reabsorb the edema fluid that accumulates in the tissues after any procedure. This can take quite some time to happen without help from the compression garments

2.) Improving contour: the compression helps to keep the tissues adherent to the underlying structures while healing, this can help prevent the wrinkled skin appearance that can happen when the tissues heal in ways we don't want them to.

3.) Improving scarring: pressure has been shown to improve the appearance of scars. A tummy tuck scar is quite long and right on the front of your body so anything that can help make it flatter, softer and less visible is to your advantage.

For those reasons many of us would argue that the compression is as important as, if not more important than, the method of liposuction used in determining the final outcome.
Hope that helps!

Mathew A. Plant, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Listen to your surgeon

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You should ask your surgeon about this, however I generally recommend patients wear their compression garment day and night for 3 weeks then another 3 weeks during the day only

Compression Garment After Smart Lipo...

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After having smart liposuction surgery, compression garments should be worn for at least 3-6 weeks.  The compression garments apply pressure to the areas that were focused on and help the skin to tighten.  Wearing the garment reduces swelling, and lessens the chance of severe bruising.  Some patients do fine with only wearing the garment for a week, but to give yourself the best chance of having great results, you should wear it as much as you can for the six weeks.



Garment after Smartlipo

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After traditional liposuction we recommend patients wearing the garment for 2-4 weeks, occasionally up to 6 weeks for patients who had significant amount of fatty tissue removed.

After Smart lipo we divide all the patient's into 2 categories. The patient's who have only Smartlipo and patients who have had traditional liposuction along with Smart lipo.

The advantage of Smart lipo is that it can result in additional skin tightening, the disadvantage of laser body resurfacing that the swelling after use of laser can stay in a but longer than without it.

Therefore, I usually recommend patient's to wear the compression garment for 2 to 6 weeks for body contouring and at least a week for neck tightening. The longer the patients wear the garment, the less residual swelling they will have and the faster they will heal.

The surgical garments are not the most comfortable to wear, using over-the-counter minimizers is also a very acceptable way of maintaining a gentle compression.


Boris Volshteyn M.D., M.S.

Boris Volshteyn, MD, MS
East Brunswick 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.