I need post op help with tummy tuck and breast lift. Do I need a compression garment?

8 days post op i have had a tummy tuck, breast lift with implants and liposuction to my thighs and arms. Since leaving the hospital i have had no advise on what to be do. i also have not been given any type or compression garment. Dr un contactable 1. Will not wearing a garment effect my recovery? 2. Am i ment to be massaging my breast? 3. How long do i leave the steri strips on my breast for? 4. My breast look very square atm will this change?

Doctor Answers 18

Wearing a Compression Garment Following the Mommy Makeover

The purpose of the post-procedure #garment is to provide some gentle #support and to reduce swelling following a #TummyTuck or #Abdominoplasty. If it feels too tight or causes pain, take it off. Patients wear the #elastic garment for several weeks after surgery, as directed by their doctor. Some choose to wear it longer for several months for comfort.

If you have concerns about your #healing, or pain that you question to be unusual, it is important to call your plastic surgeon to discuss these further asked to be examined.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Post-operative instructions after mommy makeover

Hi, Dcromie.  Sorry to hear that you have not had any post-operative instruction from your surgeon and that he/she is not reachable.  For my patients, they are given all their post-operative instructions at their pre-operative appointment.  They and their family members/friends get reminders on the day of surgery as well.  
Unfortunately, your questions should be directed to your plastic surgeon as each plastic surgeon varies in his/her post-op care/recommendation.  For my patients, they will have compression garment on when they wake up with surgery.  I usually have them start massaging breast after the first post-op appointment when I demonstrate them on the massaging.  I take the steri strips at their first post-op appointment.  Your breast shape will change and improve for next couple months.  Try to reach your plastic surgeon.  Good luck.

Sugene Kim, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 76 reviews


I recommend all my patients to use compression after surgery, because that helps the liquid to get out your body, prevents swelling and hardiness...

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 418 reviews

Postoperative care

Postoperative care is really important to your result and to your piece of mind. I spend a lot of time going over it with my patients so there are as few surprises as possible.  I support the use of compression garments and a bra. I can't speak for your surgeon though.  Everyone does things differently and I would advise that you contact them with your concerns.  I am sure they would want to set your mind at ease.

Dr Rodger Shortt
Plastic Surgeon
Oakville, Ontario
Assistant Clinical Professor &
Director of Cosmetic Surgery Training Program,
McMaster University

Rodger Shortt, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Post-op advice

I agree with the other surgeons, you must be able to contact your surgeon. Following a Mommy Makeover, patients should prepare to rest for one week after their procedure. An elastic compression garment should be worn under clothing for several weeks. Patients with jobs that do not require physical labor may return to work one to two weeks after surgery. Many patients will feel strong enough to resume activities early, but we encourage patients to minimize unnecessary motion for the few weeks following surgery. Normal exercise routines and lifting may typically be resumed approximately 6 weeks following surgery. As for your dressings you should definitely consult your surgeon. We recommend lymphatic massage for the first 2 weeks after surgery. 

Carolina Restrepo, MD
Colombia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

8 days post op. some advices:

Thanks for sharing your concerns with us.

FIRST OF ALL you have to contact your plastic surgeon !!

In my practice to reduce swelling I recommend you perform daily lymphatic drainage massage therapy over the abdomen and wear a postoperative girdle from thigh to the breasts.

Best regards, 
Dr. Emmanuel Mallol Cotes.- 

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 270 reviews

Contact your surgeon

Why can you not contact your surgeon or at least his office?  These are very specific questions that your surgeon should answer based on what he or she did during surgery.

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Compression garment - yes or no?

Thank you for your question about your tummy tuck and breast lift.
  • You have a real problem if you cannot contact your surgeon -
  • First, above all, please contact his/her office, arrange a post-operative appointment immediately.
  • Do not massage your breasts.
  • Leave the steristrips in place until you are seen.
  • Usually a garment helps a great deal with comfort and support during recovery 
  • Your surgeon needs to advise you about what kind of garment is recommended.
  • If your surgeon has gone AWOL - let's sincerely hope not - you need to find another plastic surgeon in your area to help you during recovery.
  • Breast shape is affected by swelling and the shape should improve with time.

Always consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes.

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Post Operative Care

I am sorry you were not given post operative instructions.  That is very odd.  Contact your surgeon for a meeting to discuss your care.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

I need post op help with tummy tuck and breast lift. Do I need a compression garment?

First, I would continue to try to get in touch with your surgeon.  It is very unusual for a doctor to operate on a patient and then be out of touch with them for any significant length of time.  I usually recommend that my patients wear a compression garment (Spanx can be bought online) for the first several weeks following a tummy tuck.  At 8 days post op, it should be safe to remove the steri strips.  Daily breast massage could be started at this point if you had smooth, round implants.  The square breast shape should improve over the coming several weeks as you skin stretches.  If you are unable to make contact with your surgeon, I would suggest you contact a local plastic surgeon and ask if they can follow your recovery.  You will probably be charged for this service, but it will be worth your while.  Best wishes, Dr. Lepore.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 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.