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 44

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.

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.

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
4.9 out of 5 stars 72 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 31 reviews

Compression garment usage after liposuction

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 8 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 29 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
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

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. 

Post-lipo garment

In reading responses, it appears as though their is some debate on the specific recommendations for wearing a garment post-surgery, but most surgeons do agree it is a critical part of the healing process.  In our practice, we place liposuction patients in their garment in the OR before they are brought to recovery.  Underneath the garment, we apply reston foam to help with compression even further.  Our patients are instructed to stay in this dressing for 4 days.  During this time, we ask that they sponge bath only and do not remove the garment.  The reasoning behind this is to prevent seroma (fluid pocket) formation, assist with swelling, and improve the contour of their results.  After day 4, they can remove the garment and foam to shower and can then begin washing their garment.  For the first 4 weeks after their surgery, we ask patients to wear their garment "full time" (all day, with the exception of showers and washing the garment).  They can then wear the garment "part time" (12 hours a day, during the day under clothes or at night while sleeping) for 2 additional weeks.  After 6 weeks, they no longer require the garment, though many patients choose to wear it a while longer as they grow accustomed to it's support.  While opinions differ on the recommendations regarding garments, we have seen  optimal results with what we recommend to our patients.

Nana N. Mizuguchi, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Compression Garments after Liposuction

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 80 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.