Will Stop Wearing Garment After Liposuction Ruin Results?

I had Liposuction for banana rolls 10 days ago and can no longer tolerate the girdle. If I go without it will it just prolong the eventual outcome of the lipo or will it ruin it?

Doctor Answers 24

What ever makes you feel better is important but the results will be the same with or without.

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When I first learned liposuction from Dr. Illoze while attending his first teaching course in Paris, I was taught that we had to tape the area that had been treated with liposuction with French Elastoplast. This was keep on for up to 10 days. People could not take showers, and many developed tape burns.

From this we went to pressure garments which answered the problem of showers and tape burns. After a while some one asked the question do you have to use these pressure garments. A study was done to see if there was any difference in the long term results if you wore the garments or not. It seems that most patients are more comfortable wearing the garments for 2-6 weeks but in the end the results are the same whether you wear the garments or not.

Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

I don't think garments make any difference.

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In New York City, we have stopped using garments for most liposuction patients. Several other experienced surgeons agree with me.

We found that if you wear a garment, you will look better at one week after surgery. But at 3 weeks, patients look the same whether or not they wore a garment.

So don't worry. You won't do any harm.

You may want to look at some of my other answers about this.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Swiss Cheese

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The quick response is YES, not wearing the compression garment after Liposuction can thoroughly ruin your results. Why?
Visualize your fatty layer before surgery like a block of cheese. Liposuction removes fat in straw-like tunnels leaving the 'cheese' fenestrated and honey combed like Swiss cheese. Failure to compress these areas will allow the tunnels to flood with fluid which quickly turns to scar tissue. This would leave you looking like no fat was removed. Worse, the scar tissue would remain stiff and bulky and is not easy to fix.
My patients wear their garment for 6 weeks! Your compliance with this is as important as your surgeon's skill.

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The garment will help contract your skin evenly

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The compression garment is used to help control the swelling and keep the skin even while contracting. Think of the area that was liposuctioned as a sponge filled with water from swelling. If you don't wear the garment during the first 2 to 4 weeks, you may have faster swelling in one area as opposed to another and have a "dried sponge" irregularity and lumpiness. The garment helps to evenly squeeze the swelling and control how the skin shrinks.

Ricardo Izquierdo, MD
Oak Brook Plastic Surgeon

I recommend Comfortweave compression garments with Epifoam

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We have done studies on compression garments after liposuction and we have fought that they are quite helpful. I think that there is more rapid recovery from the swelling, bruising, edema with compression garments after liposuction. That being said all compression garments are not equal; there are different types of fabric weaves that can make a difference.

We prefer Comfortweave garments such as those made by Marena as opposed to most traditional liposuction garments that utilize a Powernet weave. We have found the Marena garments are cooler, they are easier to get on and off, they are more comfortable, and have reduced pain and itching when compared to the traditional garments. We scientifically studied these garments head to head and presented this work recently at the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery national meeting in 2009.

Also it is important that the garments are properly sized in each patient. If they are extremely uncomfortable, then either they are too tight and you need the next size, or it could be that that particular garment has a seam or edge that is putting extra pressure in the area that "needs to be compressed" after liposuction. When you have a banana roll liposuction just below the lower buttock crease, this is a very sensitive area. Any time I am really focally targeting a specific area like that, I use epifoam (silicone based foam) and lay this directly over the area and the garment goes on top of this. This "targets" the area of compression and is also a bit more comfortable.

I have my patients wear the initial compression garments 24 hours a day (except showering) for 3 weeks and then at night only for the next 3 weeks. In addition, it's extremely important to commence post lymphatic massage to the areas of liposuction after the initial 2 weeks to minimize scar tissue and depression lines that can be created by just compressing and not having a proper massage program as well.

I hope this helps!

There are very few absolute answers in surgery

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With over 20 years of experience, I have come to realize that there are very few absolutes in surgery. Each patient, each doctor and each situation is unique. Although many surgeons have abandonded garments, I currently continue to use them at least in the immediate post operative period.

Patients like the secure feeling of the garment, and it also holds absorbent pads in place which are typically removed the next day. Without these pads, there is substantial leakage of fluid onto your bed linnens.

At 10 days, without having the benefit of knowing your personal medical situation, it is probable that the garment could be stopped. However, you should stick to your surgeon's recommendation who has more complete information about your case.

Darrick E. Antell, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Garments are important for some patients post liposuction

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Garments following liposuction seem to help minimize swelling and help with even flattening of the skin. However, the patient with excellent skin elasticity could 'get away' with not wearing garments. I do empasize the importance of post liposuction garments with my patients for 3 weeks following the procedure. I think it may help with marketing if you tell your patients or advertise that you do not use garments; however, most plastic surgeons will have their patients wear them.

Sanjay Grover, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 242 reviews

Find a garment you can tolerate

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While not having the compression on this early after surgery will not ruin the results, compression really does help.  Try to find a garment you can tolerate.

Post-liposuction compression is important

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With liposuction, not only is fat being removed, there is a lot of trauma to the subdermal or subcutaneous layer of skin. During the healing process, fibrosis results in skin contraction. The compression garment helps to ensure maximum skin contraction and that the skin heals evenly, without unwanted folds or creases. I recommend compression for all my patients.

Felix Kuo, MD
Long Island Dermatologist

Are Garments Necessary after Liposuction

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My suggestion is try a Spanx which will likely be more comfortable. A compression garment 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. Finally, it is likely that if small or moderate amounts of tat were removed a garment may not even make much of a difference in the long run though I am not aware of a double blind controlled specific study to prove this.

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.