5 Weeks Post-Op Liposuction, Compression Garment Is No Longer Tight on Me, Should I Invest In a Smaller One?

I'm 5 weeks post op of liposuction on abdomen, hips, and inner& outer thighs. My compression garment isn't tight anymore, but my surgeon didn't prescribe me a 2nd stage smaller size garment. I was wondering if it is necessary for me to get one? Will I still get the best possible result if I dont get one?

Doctor Answers 10

New Garment Needed if Loose

For my patients the short answer is you are probably OK by 5 weeks not to wear a garment but if you still have some edema: Yes, buy a well fitted Spanx. Here is the long answer:
Compression garments type and when applied varies from plastic surgeon to plastic surgeon and not dependent usually on the type of lipo performed. I would recommend following your plastic surgeon's advice. In my practice, A compression garment placed in surgery immediately after liposuction (steristrip protects the sutures) is recommended and beneficial after liposuction because:
  1. It restricts the amount of edema that forms and hastens its resolution by mechanical pressure.
  2. It decreases the amount of bruising.
  3. It assists the loose skin in retracting or shrinking.
If bands are present then you need to change garments - see your plastic surgeon.
It is common to have weight gain due to edema, serum that collects in the area, and the tumescent fluid that was injected. This will resolve over time. The more you wear the garment initially, the quicker this fluid resolves.
Edema: a condition characterized by an excess of watery fluid collecting in the cavities or tissues of the body.
The length of time that the garment should be worn varies depending 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 advice, however this is the general 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 so I can confirm that it fits well.
Most important advice is to listen to your surgeon, as he or she knows how much fat was removed, the elasticity that remains in your skin, and amount of skin redundancy.
I recommend that my patients wear their garments for a minimum of three weeks full time then for twelve hours at a time (day or night). If there is not a lot of redundant skin, this continues to a maximum of six weeks.
To be effective, the garment needs to fit snugly—but not too tight as that can make it difficult to sleep or cause pressure problems (inspect your skin when it is exposed if you are uncomfortable). As the edema resolves it is common for patients to switch to a smaller garment that fits. A Spanx-type garment would work fine, rather than ordering one or paying more at your doctor’s office. For Small or moderate amounts of liposuction it probably doesn't make a difference if a garment is used or not.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Compression garments

There are no hard and fast rules about how long a patient needs to wear compression garments after surgery. My patients are generally out of compression garments at this point. If you feel better with them on buy a smaller garment but otherwise look forward to enjoying your new slimmer shape!

Ann F. Reilley, MD (retired)
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Compression garment after liposuction

I recommend that patients wear the garment full-time for three weeks and then three weeks part-time for torso and extremity liposuction.  At this point, you've achived almost the full therapeutic course so I would not invest in another garment.   Spanx or other compressive undergarments should be all you need at this point.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Compression garments after liposuction

Dear Tavia, At 5 weeks post liposuction you may not need another garment, most of the swelling post op has subsided. This should not affect your results. Best, Dana Khuthaila, MD, FACS

Dana Khuthaila, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Garment wearing after liposuction

You should check with you surgeon to find out what his/her recommendations are about wearing another compressive garment at 5 weeks post liposuction. Personally, my patients do not wear a garment at this point in time as I don't feel that it will affect the outcome.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Garment after lipo

I am a firm believer in garments after lipo for at least a month.  Now this doesn't mean the heavy duty one immediately post-op but something like spanx type garment, any brand.  This usually works well and provides comfort and compression.  Good luck with your results, Dr. Schuster from Boca Raton FL

Steven Schuster, MD, FACS
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Wear garment 3-5 days after liposuction

For over ten years I have told patients that they are asked to wear the garment 24 hours after the drainage stops. This ususally ends up being three to five days. Wearing the garment longer may be helpful for comfort and support but does not improve results.

For those that want to wear a garment longer, try something more comfortable like Spanx shapewear.

T. Wayne Day, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Liposuction garment?

Thank you for the question. At this stage your recovery much of the swelling has resolved (resulting in the loose fitting garment).  I personally do not think any harm will be done without purchasing a tighter fitting garment. However, it would be best for you to check with your plastic surgeon for his/her recommendations. 

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Compression Garments 5 Weeks After Liposuction

I ask my patients to wear their compression garments for 24 hours for the first 10 days and 12 hours for the second 10 days after which they no longer need to wear them. After about 3 weeks or so the swelling should have gone down. Every surgeon has a different protocol so it's best to ask your doctor what he would like you to do. Hope this helps. Dr. David Amron - Beverly Hills, CA

David Amron, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Except for liposuction of the ankles and calves, garments are not important.


We usually don't use garments at all.  Certainly after five weeks, you no longer need them.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 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.