Compression Garment at Bedtime? (1 Month Post-op)

Should a compression garment be worn at bedtime after a tummy tuck? I am 5 weeks post-op.

Doctor Answers 9

Compression garment after tummy tuck

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Typically I have my patients wear an abdominal binder at all times including for sleep for 6 weeks after a tummy tuck.  This helps to avoid fluid pockets under the skin (seroma) and also keeps you from moving in ways that would cause you to stress the internal corset sutures that I place around the muscles.  It also helps with swelling around your lower abdomen.  You should however, follow the recommendations from your plastic surgeon and consult him or her for what  you should do.

Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Wearing a Compression Garment 5 weeks after Tummy Tuck Surgery?

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Thank you for your question.

Each surgeon differs in their opinion regarding how long to wear the compression garment so you should follow the instructions of your surgeon.

In my practice, patients will wear the surgical binder for the first 4 weeks and then change to spanx (which is more comfortable) for another 2-4 weeks.

It doesn't hurt to wear the garment at night time.

Best wishes.

Wear your garment religiously after a tummy tuck

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Thank you for your question. By five weeks after a tummy tuck, I generally have my patients tapering off of wearing their garment. Some patients, however, can still benefit from wearing their garment for longer periods of time. A good rule of thumb is, if you leave your garment off for several hours and, during that time, you get swelling to the point that it is tighter when you put it back of, you can still benefit from wearing it all of the time. If you don't get any swelling, I recommend wearing it just during the day or just at night for another week and then get rid of it completely.

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

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Compression garment at bedtime? (1month postop)

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Hello! Thank you for your question!. The tummy tuck procedure is an excellent method for contouring of your abdomen, often removing the excess skin as well as tightening the abdominal wall. After nearly all surgical procedures, a potential space is created from where the surgical procedure/dissection was performed. This is especially true for the tummy tuck, in where the abdominal flap is raised off of the abdominal wall and then redraped atop the area to contour the abdomen. The procedure alone promotes swelling and inflammation, which typically lasts for 6-12 weeks. This may even last longer if liposuction has been performed in addition. During this time, a few things may be done to allow adherence of the abdominal skin/soft tissue to readhere to the abdominal wall and close that space. Many surgeons use drains to evacuate the expected serous fluid from building up. Stagnant fluid as such may be a nidus for infection as well as does not allow the tissue to adhere back to its normal anatomic position. Drains usually are removed once output is <30cc/day - usually removed within 3-4 weeks on average, sometimes longer. When this occurs, a seroma may develop - which may require aspiration or surgical evacuation to rid this in order to optimize your result.

This is not an uncommon reason for persistent swelling and/or bulging in a certain area of your belly. Of course, thwarting the development of a pseudobursa, or seroma capsule, is always best, to provide the best result as well as avoid any future procedures for this. This may be a troubling consequence and often compromises your overall result. Thus avoiding this complication, in whatever manner, is the objective. "Drainless" tummy tucks are becoming more popular - basically, the overlying tissue is physically sutured to the abdominal wall to close the potential space. In addition, most surgeons typically restrict vigorous activity/strenuous exercise as well as lifting restrictions of usually <20#, especially the core, for 6-8 weeks to allow healing to continue. Most also often recommend an abdominal compression-type binder or garment, which will serve to provide compression as well as assist to decrease swelling and eliminate the dead-space of the area for at least 6 weeks as well.  After this period, it is usually allowed to loosen or remove the binder when resting/sleeping - discuss with your surgeon.  After the initial binder, many patients like the Spanx garments. Most patients are able to return to most activities within a couple of weeks, provided they adhere to the restrictions.

Overall, this is a procedure with a high satisfaction rate. Discuss the procedure and postoperative instructions/restrictions with your surgeon, as these will vary among surgeons. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Compression Garment at 5 weeks

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I am a big fan of compression garments.   I think they help to minimize swelling and help with scarring.   I like an abdominal binder for 4 weeks and then a Spanx or similar garment for 2-4 weeks as needed.


I wish you a safe and healthy recovery.

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Garmet 5 weeks after surgery

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Every surgeon has their personal preferences, but I recommend my patients wear their garmet 23 hours a day for 6 weeks.  This is important at night because many people toss and turn without knowing it and the garmet adds extra security to the surgical site. I hope this helps you.

Kindest regards

Zeil J. Zemmel 


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In our practice we advise our patients to wear there compression garment for a few months post-surgery to help with swelling. Whether your wear it at bedtime it’s up to you if you’re uncomfortable and not able to sleep remove it. During the day use it as much as possible.


Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon


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This is up to your surgeon. It certainly does not hurt anything to wear it at night as well. After four weeks I tell my patients the garment is optional at night

Compression garment questions are best addressed to the operating surgeon

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Thank you for your question. Be sure to ask your surgeon whether you should wear your compression garment.

That said, in my practice I have no objection to patients wearing compression garments at 4-5 weeks if it makes him feel comfortable.

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.