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 26

Compression garments for liposuction

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.

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

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Use of Compression Garments after liposuction

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

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 107 reviews

Compression garments and Liposuction: Smart Lipo and Ultrasound Liposuction

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Compression Garment After Smart Lipo...

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.



Compression garments after liposuction and SmartLipo

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Listen to your surgeon

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

Garment after Smartlipo

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
4.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Compression garment usage following smart lipo

This is a wonderful and very common question! I typically will request my patients where their compression garment 24 hours a day 7 days a week only removing to shower for the first two weeks. I have found this helps to control swelling and provides comfort as they are easing back into daily activities. By weeks 3 and 4 I request for the compression garment to be worn for up to 12 hours a day. Upon completion of the first month following surgery patients are relieved of wearing their garments. Smart liposuction offers a beautiful option for body contouring with very minimal down time. I do hope you have found this information helpful and I wish you luck! 

Patrick Viscardi, MD
South Bend Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

2 Weeks Is Usually Enough

I perform quite a bit of Smartlipo at my practice, and I'm glad to hear that your recovery is going well. Typically, surgeons provide patients with specific postoperative directions tailored to their specific case. Compression garments help during the healing process by preventing seroma formation and swelling. Although they can be uncomfortable, they are important to wear. I usually advise my patients to wear the garments for 2 weeks, but no longer than that. Occasionally, the garment can be too tight and actually cause a crease or groove, and if that is the case, we will advise the patient to discontinue wearing the garment at 1 week and wear something less compressive for another week. I would contact your surgeon to ask if there is a reason to continue wearing the compression garment longer than 1 or 2 weeks. Good luck with the rest of your recovery.

Kevin M. Johnson, MD, FACS
Spokane General Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 14 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.