Can a Compression Garment Smooth Hips?

I am young (20), skinny, and fit but my hips have a "violin deformity". I would prefer not to remove the fat, i.e. lipo, but to move it downward so that my hips appear smoother. Would wearing a compression garment for a length of time solve this issue? Are there any alternatives to liposuction that would apply?

Doctor Answers 16

Body contouring garments that melt fat

Conventional wisdom states that a "spanx-like" garment or bodyshaper will certainly alter your shape....temporarily. However, you do have a good point and one that I have pondered. I have observed that men that wear particulary tight belt buckles or females as well tend to develop atrophy in the suprapubic area that appears directly related to the pressure applied. I have believed that perhaps this observation could be applied elsewhere. IT is a fine balance and that is the problem. Excessive presure will cause a sore. Perhaps garments will be designed that can monitor the exact pressure. We shall see......?

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Compression versus lipo

Good question.  From a non-medical standpoint, compression makes perfect sense.  Unfortunately, from a medical standpoint, it doesn't.  You could wear a compression garment all day every day for months and only result with a skin rash and discomfort.  It will not mold fat one millimeter.  However, this does not mean that you need liposuction.  Liposuction, though aggressively marketed, is best for people who are otherwise fit.  What I would suggest is to amplify your workout routine.  If you've reached a point where you plateau, then consider other options.  If may be a good idea to talk with a personal trainer to focus on exercises that will shape your external olbliques (these help to shape your waist and hips).  Hope this helps.

Jason Hess, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Compression Removes Residual Edema

Unfortunately, compression garments have minimal long-term impact on body contour.Unless the fat cells were somehow destroyed by pressure, they would still be present and behave in a normal manner.For this reason, short-term changes following the use of compression garments are probably related to the removal of residual edema.

For this reason, changes in body contour usually always require removal of fat cells.This usually requires techniques such as liposuction or CoolSculpting.

If you’re interested in changing the contour of your hip area, consultation with a Board-Certified plastic surgeon is appropriate.This surgeon should be able to formulate a treatment plan that addresses your anatomic findings and achieves your aesthetic goals.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Probably not

Probably not, unfortunately. It would probably be more effective to perform exercises that could help contribute to the shape you'd like if you don't want to consider liposuction. Good luck!

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

Compression garments will not move fat around

While the use of compression garments after liposuction is standard postperative care, such an approach without liposuction will not be successful at reshaping or moving fat around. Fat must first be 'loosened' or partially removed to have a compression garment help in reshaping any excess fat area. A compression garment does not have magical properties, it is a passive device that does more to control swelling after liposuction than it does in reshaping fat contours.

Barry L. Eppley, MD, DMD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Alternatives to liposuction = not compression garment but Zeltiq Coolsculpture

No, compression garments won't help and no Zeltiq Coolsculpture won't give you the same volume reduction as liposuction, but without liposuction or surgery, Zeltiq coolsculpture which is an FDA cleared device for fat chilling, can lessen fat for some people as much as 20% with one treatment that takes one hour, and the results can be seen in the first several months. Love handles, lower abdomen and flanks, no surgery. We're still getting experience with it but there is a high satisfaction rate. Speak to a physician to learn of the risks and advantages, but remember, it's not the same as liposuction!

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Compression garments do not permanently change body contour

Compression garments are not a replacement for liposuction.  They can help mask contour abnormalities but will not leave behind a lasting effect once taken off.  Liposuction is very effective in changing body contours, unlike many non-surgical treatments that are on the market today.  None of those can produce the effect of a real liposuction.
Martin Jugenburg, MD

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 471 reviews

Compression garment versus liposuction

A compression garment is used post-liposuction. It is not used for changing the shape of areas that have not been treated.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Can compression garments to alter shape.

I don't know of any credible product on the market which will thin areas of the body or redistribute the fat using compression.  At best, firm compression will temporarily flatten areas but these areas will quickly return to the original shape once the compression is gone.  Although you would like to avoid it, liposuction is a relatively quick procedure with a quick recovery and predictable permanent results.  Other modalities, though heavily marketed, are not proven to be as effective as liposuction.

Jeffrey M. Darrow, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Compression garments to change shape

The "Squeem" product claims to be able to do what you want but I have no personal experience with the results.  I do know of two people who are trying it to change their shape.  Sounds sort of Victorian England to me though.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 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.