Lipo 1 Wk Ago. Compression Garment is Creasing Between Hips, Waist and is Dented and Painful, Should I Stop Wearing It?

Lipo of abs and flank with fat transfer, one week ago. First garment was ex. small and was denting/creasing between waist and hips. It has become very painful. I have been placing pads (kotex) in the creases to help comfort the pain but it still hurts. I'm worried that this crease that has formed is going to be painful. Dr.s office gave me a small garment but I feel like I need a medium because of all of the swelling. Should I switch to a med. garment? Will the crease become permanent?

Doctor Answers 7

Discomfort from garment after liposuction

The reasons to wear garments after liposuction are comfort and contouring.  The garment should provide smooth and even compression to help shape you as you heal.  If the garment is uncomfortable or fits so poorly that it is causing creases it should not be worn (creasing is very bad as it can cause irregular results).


Wear ANYTHING else as long as it provides some compression and is comfortable.

Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Creasing With Compression Garment Not Good

If bulging above or below, creases or bands are present then you probably need to change garments - see your plastic surgeon.  Compression garments type and when applied varies from plastic surgeon to plastic surgeon and not dependent usually on the type of lipo performed. In my practice, A compression garment placed in surgery immediately after liposuction (steristrip protects the sutures) is recommended 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. For Small or moderate amounts of liposuction it probably doesn't make a difference if a garment is used or not.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

DIscomfort from liposuction compression garment

We were discussing this very issue in the office yesterday. I don't know how the manufacturers size the garments but wonder if they are measured for real people! Frequently, it is difficult to find ones that fit all the proportions properly. A garment marked small is typically extra-extra small. If the garment is too tight, it can cause complications. You should release it and contact your plastic surgeon. You probably need a larger garment. I prefer medical garments for the first two weeks and Spanx and other commercially available products thereafter.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Uncomfortable garment after liposuction

You must adjust or replace the garment. It can cause blisters, skin creasing and scarring and delay healing. Plus pain itself is bad for us. How to adjust -- 

  1. If a band at the waist or hips is too tight, cut it until it is comfortable.
  2. If the band is too high at the waist, release the hooks (if any) and zipper, fold down the band to waist level.
  3. If you have an adjustable velcro binder, loosen it.

Next, call your surgeon - you need either a larger size or a garment made of softer material. Yes, if you are usually small, medium is good after liposuction because of swelling. 

If you not your surgeon need to replace it - buy a soft elastic garment like Spanx. Ideally try it on first. This is the most common problem after liposuction. Best of luck.


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

Get fitted by surgeon

You need to see your surgeon and have them recommend the right size for you. Overly tight compression garments can lead to contour irregularities.

Ronald Levine, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Liposuction compression garment sizing

I perform a lot of body contouring and liposuction and I think compression garments are an important adjunct to getting a nice result.  First of all there is nothing critical about starting wearing a compression garment at one week and if it is too tight and painful then leave it "unzipped" or simply wear a larger size.  I am sure in several weeks the garment you have will fit just right, but with standard postoperative swelling it may be just a bit tight for you now.  We also use epifoam compression under the garments that we use that helps target compression and adds comfort to the patient.  I hope this helps!

James F. Boynton, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Painful garment

Yes you should stop wearing it and get the next size compression garment that is not as tight but still imperative that you wear a garment for alest the first 2 weeks and then off and on for another month.

John S. Poser, MD
Gainesville Plastic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 11 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.