I Didn't Wear a Compression Garment for 8 Hours - is This Damaging?

I had lipo of my lower abdomen done two weeks ago, and I have been wearing my compression garment consistently for 24 hours a day for these 2 weeks. Today I removed my compression garment for about 8 hours (it's a long story, but I definitely needed to take it off). I did wear spanx but they weren't tight at all. Will this hinder my healing at all? My stomach still felt swollen and stuck out over my pants just like before I had surgery. I thought the swelling would've gone down a little by now...

Doctor Answers 10

Is A Compression Garment Necessary After Two Weeks?

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As you can see, each plastic surgeon has his or her own technique for wearing compression garments.  In my practice, I only require my patients to wear a compression garment for 2 weeks after liposuction.  I have been doing liposuction since 1983, and I find 2 weeks is more than sufficient to get the results one hopes for out of compression.  We do ultrasound (the kind physical therapists use for sore muscles) for a minimum of 4, and sometimes up to 8 times, post liposuction to decrease swelling and bruising.  Also, DMSO is an important component of my post liposuction program. This also decreases swelling and bruising. 

Compression garments certainly have their place after liposuction, but in my practice, after you have worn it for 2 weeks, your girdle has done all it can do.  Don't worry, not wearing it for that 8 hours made no difference whatsoever. 

Ask your surgeon

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The fat that is removed during your surgery creates extra space under your skin. Your body naturally fills this space with fluid, leading to swelling and possible complications. Your compression garment compresses your skin against your body so that the amount of fluid buildup is dramatically reduced. It also makes your skin follow the leaner contour of your body so that it does not sag. Wearing a compression garment can also improve your circulation. You need to wear your garment as advised by your surgeon, since you now understand how much swelling you can experience by not doing so. While 8 hours is a long time, please wear your garment and talk to your surgeon if you have concerns about your recovery. Best of luck.

2 Weeks after Liposuction and Removal of Garment for 8 Hours

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   The patients who tend to have healing issues with larger volume liposuction procedures tend to be the ones who do not wear the compression garments at all, wear them very inconsistently, or do not wear them snugly covering all areas of liposuction.  8 hours should not have much of an effect.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Liposuction and compression garments

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It is important to wear a compression garment following liposuction.  The garment helps reduce bruising and swelling and can help with your final contour.  That said removing the garment for a few hours, two weeks following your surgery, should not be a problem.  Be sure to check with your surgeon to see how much longer they would suggest you wear it.  Best wishes.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Liposuction garments to reduce swelling.

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Liposuction garments are useful in the postoperative period, especially in areas that tend to swell considerably after surgery such as the abdomen.  Make sure to massage your skin between washings to ensure that your skin rebounds appropriately.  Taking a small break with the garment will likely not compromise results. I always advise my liposuction patients to take supplements to reduce postoperative swelling. 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Break from compression

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You did not hinder your liposuction results by removing your garment for that time frame.  You are still very early in your recovery period and will notice swelling for some time yet.  I know it's hard, but be patient.  Make sure you keep your follow up appointments with your plastic surgeon so he/she can monitor your progress.

Mennen T. Gallas, MD
Katy Plastic Surgeon


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Not wearing your compression garment does not change your outcome you are still early on from your surgery. Try to wear it as much as possible for the first 2 months. You are still swollen and that takes months to subside. Make sure you follow up with your PS.


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

Compression garment

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I doubt that not wearing the compression garment for 8 hours will cause untoward results.  Some surgeons do not even use them.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Taking off girdle after liposuction

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While it is optimal to wear the girdle per your plastic surgeon's instructions, taking it off for 8 hours should not compromise the result. Sometimes it takes longer than you'd like for the swelling to resolve so be patient.

Wearing support girdle after liposuction in los angeles

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wearing a support girdle after liposuction is very important in keeping swelling, brusing, and the chance for developement of seroma to a minimal. Even more important than wearing a girdle is to massage all the areas that were liposuctioned. I usually ask my patients to wear thier girdle 24 hours a day for the first 3 weeks, and then half time for the second 3 weeks.

Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 51 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.