Is It Harmful to Wear a Compression Garment for an Extended Period of Time After a Tummy Tuck?

I am 18 weeks out, and I wear the garment during the day for comfort and to reduce swelling. I don't have much swelling without it but I do have some. I don't care for the Spanx type, they aren't as comfortable. I have some swelling in my mons pubis (at least it is bigger than I care for), and I was wondering if the compression garment may have contributed to that. When I stop wearing the garment, do I still have to wean off of it? Thank you!

Doctor Answers 11

Is It Harmful to Wear a Compression Garment for an Extended Period of Time After a Tummy Tuck?

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Hello! Thank you for your question!. The tummy tuck procedure is an excellent method for contouring of your abdomen, often removing the excess skin as well as tightening the abdominal wall. After nearly all surgical procedures, a potential space is created from where the surgical procedure/dissection was performed. This is especially true for the tummy tuck, in where the abdominal flap is raised off of the abdominal wall and then redraped atop the area to contour the abdomen. The procedure alone promotes swelling and inflammation, which typically lasts for 6-12 weeks. This may even last longer if liposuction has been performed in addition. During this time, a few things may be done to allow adherence of the abdominal skin/soft tissue to readhere to the abdominal wall and close that space. Many surgeons use drains to evacuate the expected serous fluid from building up. Stagnant fluid as such may be a nidus for infection as well as does not allow the tissue to adhere back to its normal anatomic position. Drains usually are removed once output is <30cc/day - usually removed within 3-4 weeks on average, sometimes longer. When this occurs, a seroma may develop - which may require aspiration or surgical evacuation to rid this in order to optimize your result.

This is not an uncommon reason for persistent swelling and/or bulging in a certain area of your belly. Of course, thwarting the development of a pseudobursa, or seroma capsule, is always best, to provide the best result as well as avoid any future procedures for this. This may be a troubling consequence and often compromises your overall result. Thus avoiding this complication, in whatever manner, is the objective. "Drainless" tummy tucks are becoming more popular - basically, the overlying tissue is physically sutured to the abdominal wall to close the potential space. In addition, most surgeons typically restrict vigorous activity/strenuous exercise as well as lifting restrictions of usually <20#, especially the core, for 6-8 weeks to allow healing to continue. Most also often recommend an abdominal compression-type binder or garment, which will serve to provide compression as well as assist to decrease swelling and eliminate the dead-space of the area for at least 6 weeks as well. After the initial binder, many patients like the Spanx garments. Many patents like the additional compression for extended periods of time postoperatively.   Most patients are able to return to most activities within a couple of weeks, provided they adhere to the restrictions.

Overall, this is a procedure with a high satisfaction rate. Discuss the procedure and postoperative instructions/restrictions with your surgeon, as these will vary among surgeons. Hope that this helps! Best wishes!

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Prolonged garment wearing after tummy tuck

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I tell my patients the more you wear the garment the faster your swelling will come down and the happier you will be with your result.  One side effect however is that it can push swelling into the mons.  If this is bothering you, I recommend you stop the garment.  You do not have to wean off it.

Compression Garment 18 Weeks after Tummy Tuck

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I doubt the garment is of any help at this time. If you are wearing it too tight, it may contribute to swelling in the mons below the garment.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Compression garment and tummy tuck

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In my practice i have never had a patient regret having done this
procedure. But a great outcome requires the patient to follow
directions, and the doctor to give patients a realistic expectation
rather than "sell" the procedure. Not everyone is a great candidate for
every procedure like fancy adds may claim. Also, every doctor has a
different approach that works for him/her. In my office, I tell patents,
back to work in 10 days (take off the weekend on either side of a work
weeks). They wear compression garments for six weeks (no harm in wearing it later if your are comfortable). I tell them you will walk and shower the next day and there is no restrictions on
walking. I prefer to keep people walking a bit hunched for the first
three days to keep the incision as low as possible. Drains are out about
5-7 days. Increase cardio after two weeks and full workouts after 8
weeks. They may have intercourse (let your body dictate your comfort level) after 3 weeks. In my practice I also give free personal training intro sessions
and dietetics counseling to get you started on the right path during your
healing. I want the tummy tuck to be just the start of the journey and I
want my patients to lead a happy and healthy lifestyle. Hope this

Compression garments after TT

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Glad to hear your TT went smoothly.

Most of the benefit from compression is in the first 4-6 weeks.  After that, it's really very much up to the patient.  Some people like the support they get from a compression garment.  But at this point, you may stop it any time, and you don't need to wean yourself off it gradually.

All the best,

Garment after a tummy tuck helps

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Wearing a garment after a tummy tuck is helpful initially but now at 18 weeks it is not essential.  You can wear it and it won't cause any harm.  The mons pubis swelling could be swelling, or it may simply be that after your tummy tuck it is not relatively speaking 'swollen' when in fact it is the same as it was before but the belly is smaller.

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 521 reviews

Is it harmful to wear a compression garment for an extended period of time after a tummy tuck?

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Thank you for your question.  Many women choose to wear their compression garment for extended periods of time after having a tummy tuck.  Patients tend to feel more comfortable when the garment is on.  Wearing the compression garment should not cause you any problems.  You may find that areas that are not compressed by the garment, such as the mons pubis region and legs, may show a slight increase in swelling.  When the garment is discontinued, the areas with greater swelling will decrease.  You may also notice a slight increase in the amount of swelling in the areas that were previously compressed for a short period.  Weaning the use of the compression garment will minimize the slight increase in this swelling but is not necessary.  Your body will eliminate the additional swelling when the healing is complete.  I hope this helps.  Best wishes!

William J. Vinyard, MD, FACS
Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon

Wearing a compression garment for an extended period

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Hello. Wearing a garment for extended periods should not be harmful. When you decide to discontinue use of the garment, no weaning is needed. The swelling in your mons pubis may be due to not having liposuction done in that area. If the mons does not get liposuction a tummy tuck can make it look large by comparison. Discuss this issue with your surgeon.

Jaime Perez, MD
Tummy Tuck Specialist
Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Extended Wear Of Compression Garment After Tummy Tuck

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Thank you for the question. Many patients become used to wearing the compression garment and feel more comfortable with it on than off. There is no reason to suspect that wearing the garment for an extended period of time will harm you or your results in any way, the mons included. Once you decide to discontinue the garment no weaning is necessary. Good luck.

Compression garment after Tummy Tuck

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There is no reason why you should not wear the compression garment for an extended period of time after surgery. Discuss the mons issue with your surgeon at your next visit. 

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 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.