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 39

Compression garment after liposuction

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.

One month

I advise my patients to wear compression 24 / 7 for one month.  After that, about 30-40% of them ask "permission" to go a couple of weeks longer because they like the feel and sense more security. 

How long to wear Compression Garment after Liposuction

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.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Compression and return to activity after liposuction

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Compression after liposuction

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

1-3 weeks wearing compression garments

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

I don't use compression garments on most patients.

Hi!  They don't do any harm, but they are uncomfortable and do not improve the final result.  You will look better at 1 week with a garment, but at three months there is no difference.

Other plastic surgeons in New York who do a lot of liposuction have come to the same conclusion.

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

About 3-4 weeks

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 26 reviews

2 to 4 weeks

There really is no correct answer for the use of compression garments. However, 2 to 4 weeks is usually advised. The garments will definetly reduce the short-term swelling and may help inprove the contour. Some people really like wearing the garments and end up wearing them for months. Other people can't stand them and wear them only a few days. Most people end up just find whatever they choose to do. Good luck with your surgery.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

How Long Do You Recommend Wearing the Compression Garment After Liposuction

Thank you for submitting ypur question. You will have a variety of answers to your question. I recommend to my patients to use compression for 2 weeks, then switch to a contour garment such as SPANX. Follow your Plastic Surgeons recommendations. Best Wishes.

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.