Is a Compression Garment Necessary Post-lipo?

I had lipo 4days ago-4.5l removed from thighs,abdomen,flanks,upper arms&chin. My surgeon used a "super wet" technique & did not place be in compression garments immediately after surgery as I was leaking from the incisions. I went for a check up yesterday & my doc said I looked good & told me to start wearing compression garments for 4 weeks 24/7 minus showering but I'm finding it unbearable. It makes me feel trapped, stiff, hot & uncomfietable. Is it ok to skip this stage? I want great results!

Doctor Answers 5

What Is The Value Of A Compression Garment After Liposuction

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After 3 decades of doing liposuction, I think the compression garment is a very useful tool to decrease swelling and speed recovery.  I had some patients refuse to wear it, and they have done okay, but of course, they had longer swelling and a slower recovery.  I think the use of DMSO and ultrasound (the kind physical therapists use on sore muscles) are equally as important to one's speedy recovery as is the pressure garment. 

Perhaps an anti anxiety medication will make the garment tolerable.  This is a good area of discussion with your plastic surgeon. 

Garmet after liposuction

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A compression garmet is a must! I place my patients in them immediately after surgery and have them wear it for at least three weeks.  The garmet allows the surfaces that were liposuctioned to adhear back together.  If not worn, people experience more swelling and may even develop a seroma or a pocket of fluid under the skin.  It is worth the discomfort for the best results. Hang in there.

Kindest regards

Neil J. Zemmel


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Compression garments are extremely important post liposuction. they help reduce swelling and bleeding. Consult with your doctor on the length of time that they feel you should wear a garment.

Gloria J. Thomas, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon

Compression Garment Necessary for Best Results following Liposuction

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The Need for a Compression Garment  and its Purpose after liposuction
Following Liposuction compression garments are required 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
It is common for weight gain due to edema and serum that collects in the area as well as the tumescent fluid that was injected. This will resolve over time. The more you wear the garment initially the quicker this fluid resolves.
The length of time that the garment is worn 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.
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.

Compression Garments after Liposuction

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I believe that compression garments after liposuction procedures are very important. When liposuction procedures are performed the surgeon is making multiple tunnels in the deep fat layer and aspirating the fat with suction. This results in a significant amount of space in that layer that needs to be "squished" together so that the tunnels do not fill with swelling fluid and stay open, which would result in little if any contour improvement.

An analogy would be a wet sponge that you put a heavy pan on and leave the pan there until the sponge dries out and the spaces in the sponge stick together. The result will be a flat sponge that stays that way. Wearing a compression garment flattens the tunnels in the fat layer until the tunnels heal together, resulting in a contour improvement.

I know the garments are tight, hot, and uncomfortable, but they are important. Hang in there! 

Douglas Leppink, MD
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 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.