I Had Liposuction of the Pubic Mound and Stomach Two Weeks Ago. When Should I Expect to See the Doctor for a Follow-up?

My compression garment is extremely tight and when I called the dr's office they told me that I should look at Dillards to buy a new one in a bigger size since they don't have one in stock. I'm much larger in the chest than in the waist. Should I complain or just try to see a new plastic surgeon to make sure everything is healing correctly an to deal with problems. According to the nurse I don't go to them for another appt until after a month.

Doctor Answers 10

Best Fitting Compression Garment Important

I suspect that your plastic surgeon was not involved in this decision as the proper fitting for a compression garment is important. Try to reach your surgeon directly. If this is still the case a second opinion is always possible. A compression garment is required and beneficial after liposuction because:
  1. It restricts the amount of edema that forms and hastens its resolution by mechanical pressure.
  2. It decreases the amount of bruising.
  3. It assists the loose skin in retracting or shrinking.
It is common to have weight gain due to edema, serum that collects in the area, and the tumescent fluid that was injected. This will resolve over time. The more you wear the garment initially, the quicker this fluid resolves.
Edema: a condition characterized by an excess of watery fluid collecting in the cavities or tissues of the body.
The length of time that the garment should be worn varies depending on the amount of fat removed, the elastic nature of your skin, how much loose skin remains, and other factors. Your surgeon would give you the best advice, however this is the general routine for my patients.
The first garment should be fitted for you in the office prior to surgery and applied in the operating room. Often it will become loose as the edema is mobilized, and then it will need to be replaced. Spanx is a reasonable compression garment if it gives enough support and is the right size. I have my patents bring them in so I can confirm that it fits well.
Most important advice is to listen to your surgeon, as he or she knows how much fat was removed, the elasticity that remains in your skin, and amount of skin redundancy.
I recommend that my patients wear their garments for a minimum of three weeks full time then for twelve hours at a time (day or night). If there is not a lot of redundant skin, this continues to a maximum of six weeks.
To be effective, the garment needs to fit snugly—but not too tight as that can make it difficult to sleep or cause pressure problems (inspect your skin when it is exposed if you are uncomfortable). As the edema resolves it is common for patients to switch to a smaller garment that fits. A Spanx-type garment would work fine, rather than ordering one or paying more at your doctor’s office.

See your surgeon

Your surgeon will want to see you to discuss your concerns.  If he does not, then I would consider getting a second opinion.  In my practice I see patients weekly for the first month after such surgery to make sure they don't have unanswered questions and concerns such as these.  You certainly will want a garment that fits you- if your surgeon doesn't have one in stock, he or she can order one!

Follow up from Surgery

Any surgeon will want to see you for follow up after surgery when you have questions or concerns, regardless of your next scheduled appointment.  Call the office and let them know you need to see your doctor.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

When to follow up

You should feel comfortable contacting your plastic surgeon any time you have a concern or question about your surgery, regardless of when your next follow up visit is scheduled.  

I would not recommend trying to see a different surgeon, as your doctor knows your situation best.

Mennen T. Gallas, MD
Katy Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Liposuction follow up

You should never feel like you are complaining to your surgeon.  If you have a concern, make a sooner follow up appointment with your surgeon.  Generally, my follow up protocol for uncomplicated cosmetic surgery is 1-3 days, 1 week, 3-4 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year.  If there are any concerns or questions, my patients can see me anytime in between.

Naveen Setty, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Good communication and adequate follow up after liposuction is a must!

I follow up with my patients 5 days, 1 month, 2 months and 6 months. Of course, if there are any concerns outside of these time intervals, patients are encouraged to come in for additional evaluation as needed.  For best results, it takes "a team work effort" between the doctor and the patient.  If your doctor does not know you are having problems, she may not be able to provide the most comprehensive care. I would strongly advise you to contact your surgeon's office for evaluation as soon as possible.

Windell C. Davis-Boutte, MD
Atlanta Dermatologic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

Follow up after liposuction

I typically see my patients 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months after any surgery. But there is a completely open door policy to be seen at any time in between if there is ever a concern. Most plastic surgeons would prefer if you come in to see them for a concern. You shouldn't have to feel as if you are complaining. Just let the office know that you have a concern and would like to be seen. Trying to find a new plastic surgeon is not usually recommended, but might be the right answer if you do not have confidence in your choice of surgeons.

Wm. Todd Stoeckel, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 76 reviews


I normally see patients between 5 and 12 days post-op. It is extremely unlikely that anything is wrong, that will be changed by seeing the surgeon, but if you are concerned, you should call the office and explain your concerns/fears, and they should arrange for you to be seen.

Liposuction and garment

I usually see patients within one week after liposuction surgery.  You should contact the office if you have specific concerns and go in sooner than one month.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Compression Garment after Liposuction

  I usually see liposuction patients within the first few days and then at 10 days or so.  I really try to emphasize the importance of the compression garment and the appropriate fit.  I also educate the patient to be on the lookout for fluid collections.  Patients should return to the plastic surgeon whenever there is a concern.  There is no reason to go to another plastic surgeon.  Call the office and tell them you want to come in for a checkup.

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.