How Long Do You Recommend Wearing the Compression Garment After Liposuction?

I had my flanks, back, under butt area, and a little fat under the arms done with Smart lypo. How long do you recommend wearing the compression garment? I was told 6-8 weeks with night time up to 6 months.

Doctor Answers 55

How long to wear Compression Garment after Liposuction

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It is my standard practice for liposuction patients to wear compression garments 24 hours a day (except when bathing, etc.) for about the first 3 weeks, depending on the extent of liposuction and then 12 hrs per day (day or night time) for 3 additional weeks.

The reasons for the compression garment:

  • There are little cavities beneath your skin where the liposuction was done, and if these are not compressed they will fill with fluid.
  • Compression (but not too much) will reduce swelling/edema.
  • The compression garment may improve your final result by assisting skin to shrink.

Compression garment after liposuction

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Thanks for the question -

Compression garments accomplish goals.

They help keep the subcutaneous tunnels created by liposuction collapsed as scar tissue forms. This helps to maintain the improvement in contour.

It also helps reduce the swelling in the area which will accelerate healing and create a better result as well.

In our San Francisco office we have patients wear garments for 6 weeks.

I hope this helps.

Compression and return to activity after liposuction

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As you can see there are many answers to this question with no definitive consensus, and so it comes down to experience and opinion.

I find quality of the garments make a big difference and sometimes excessively tight garments can compress and cause areas of adherence and tourniquet effects, producing even greater swelling.

I generally prefer firm compression for the inflammatory phase of wound healing (first 4 days) followed by light compression for 3 weeks. I have become a fan of the Under Armor type garments as they are readily available form fitting and comfortable.

I have recommended immediate but gradually progressive return to exercise using the week as the general guide for speed on a treadmill. For example: Week#1 = 1MPH, Week#2 = 2MPH, Week # 3=# MPH, and so on...

I hope this helps.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Compression garment usage after liposuction

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This is a wonderful and common question! My patients are provided with two compression garments  I request that my patients wear these compression garments 24 hours a day 7 days a week, only removing to shower, for the first 2 weeks followed by 12 hours a day for the next two weeks. My patients generally are easing back into their regular exercise routine around week 3 with the understanding that as the activity level increases the swelling may increase as well. The final results of liposuction are typically not seen until 6 months out from the procedure date with a majority of the swelling subsiding at 3 months post-operative.
I do hope you have found this information helpful and I wish you luck!

Ronald Downs, MD, FACS
South Bend Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Compression after liposuction

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I have my patients wear compression 24 hours a day (except when showering) for at least 2-3 weeks. They can switch to lighter compression like a spanx after that and start to "wean" their compression garments as they are comfortable. This is a fairly short process for some small areas of liposuction, but for large areas or legs, most patients use some sort of compression for 6-12 weeks. I also tell patients to expect extra swelling with air travel and altitude or with intense exercise for a few months, so compression garments may need to be resumed for short periods here and there.

Dana Goldberg, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

About 3-4 weeks

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Hello Cincin

In our Santa Rosa plastic surgery practice, we ask that patients wear around-the-clock post-surgical compression for 3-4 weeks. An additional 3 weeks of wearing some form of less restrictive compression (Spanx, Lycra) is also recommended.

There is no universal answer, but do listen to your body and your doctor. In the end, you are the best judge as to when the swelling has finally subsided and the body can go without support.

Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

You should wear the garment for at least 48 hours

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While this information is general advice, you should consult with your doctor to discuss your individual needs. I generally recommend to my patients that they wear the compression garment continuously for 48 hours immediately after the procedure. The compression will aid with draining of fluid injected during the procedure and will reduce a lot of the swelling. Beyond 48 hours, studies show that wearing the compression garment will have no long-term benefit. However, for short-term swelling, wearing the compression garment longer than 48 hours will help. Therefore, if you have an event coming up and want to fit into your clothes faster, I recommend you wear the garment for a few hours everyday to reduce swelling. If the garment is uncomfortable, however, there will be no affect on your long-term results if you stop wearing it after 48 hours. Hope that helps. 

David P. Rapaport, MD, FACS
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Compression Garments after Liposuction

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Many doctors believe that compressiong garments can be worn for much less than 6 weeks.    In patients who experience minimal swelling, I find this to be true.   

However, I find that the majority of my patients want to take every precaution to ensure the best possible result.   In this case I recommend 6 weeks of compression, followed by compression during heavy physical activity for 3-6 months.  

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

1-3 weeks wearing compression garments

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I like my patients to wear them all the time for 1 week. I use Topifoam beneath the garment as well. After that if they would like to leave them off at night, it is fine. Most patients prefer to wear them during the day when they are active. By holding the fat layer more firmly, the fat moves less and it hurts less. Will you still get a good result if you don't wear them? Sure, but you will swell more if you don't use them.

William H. Huffaker, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Compression Garment After Liposuction: Length of Use Recommendation

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Patients will find a great variability in terms of the recommendation from different surgeons about compression garments. In my own experience, along with what I hear from patients of other surgeons, the average amount of time is 4-6 weeks. For my patients, I prefer them to wear their compression garments 24 hours a day for 2 weeks followed then by 12 hours a day for 2 weeks after that. Rarely in complicated cases I will have a patient wear them a little bit longer. I’m not convinced that wearing it longer will contribute to a better result. If one understands the role of compression garments, the first 24 hours is to prevent bleeding and bruising, after that it helps the tissue to conform. After 4 weeks, the tissue has already established its attachment to that area. I don’t feel that wearing it longer can contribute to a better result. With that said, I respect the recommendations of other surgeons. 

David Amron, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 63 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.