Compression Garment Concerns After Lipo

I'm 26yrs old, 113 lbs and had 550 cc's removed from my stomach/flanks through Liposuction exactly 1 week ago. The compression garment the doctor gave me is adding to the lumpiness (I knew to expect some). Is the type/brand of garment important for outcome? Is tighter/stiffer better? My ribs are little sore. Is this amount of unevenness normal? Thank you!

Doctor Answers 23

Compression garments after liposuction

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 The garment you show in your photos is really one that is used primarily for tummy tucks.  I prefer garments that you have to zipper on like a girdle.  They don't usually cause as many ripples.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

1 week after lipo is early to get worried

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1 week after lipo is early to get worried about anything. You still have considerable swelling to resolve. In the long run, the garment does not really matter. The garment helps with short-term swelling reduction and helps reduce pain due to shearing forces. You are not wearing a garment anyway, you are wearing a binder. You might want to consider something like a Spanx garment, which is form fitting and seamless. You will get less short-term ridging like you have from the binder. All this goes away anyway with time since it is due to short-term differential swelling. Any lumpiness is due either to your anatomy or the liposuction technique. In any case, it takes several months to see the long term results. Good luck.

Liposuction and Contouring

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Contouring is all done in the operating room. The garment is to help with the edema and swelling and comfort. It really will not shape you, your surgeon does that. The fact that you see some lumpiness is common after surgery and you are very early to tell how your result will be.

You need to wait about 3-4 months for you final result. At this point I would continue with the garment and follow your surgeons instructions.

Good luck.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Han in there!

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Confluent, even compression after liposuction is critical to a good result.  I am hard core on this issue and require my folks to wear the garment for 6 weeks.  Not all garments are created equal! Beware of ripples and folds resulting from an improperly sized garment.  They can create problems. That said, it is totally normal to feel lumpy like "a bag of rocks" at one week.  Have your surgeon check and verify your fitting and be patient.

Topifoam and girdle type garments

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Like Dr. Marosan a couple of posts above me, I'm a great fan of topifoam (or epifoam). I also recommend Spanx after the first couple of weeks.

The skin heals best when it is "splinted" and under compression. The epifoam protects against creases when sitting or moving around and concentrates the pressure in an even form over the liposuctioned area. The garment should extend above and below the liposuctioned area. I prefer those with straps over the shoulders as they keep the garment really "in place".

As to the question of Vitamins and Aspirin, that is really meant for PREOPERATIVE precautions. Both Aspirin and some types of multivitamins (especially those containing herbal supplements) can cause increased bleeding tendency. Post operatively, don't worry.

Ricardo L. Rodriguez, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 97 reviews

Compression garments don't affect final lipo results

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Dear Picky

That compression garment really is unimportant to the final outcome of your liposuction. There are several good reasons why we ask patients to wear the garments after liposuction.

First immediately after liposuction, we believe that gentle pressure on the area that has had liposuction reduces the already small incidence of bleeding. The compression garment also support the tissues and this helps with overall comfort.

For this reason, some find that wearing the compression garment makes them more comfortable after the period of time they have been advised to discontinue the compression garment-the compression prevents the tissue giggle less.

Some surgeons also believe that the compression garment reduced the incidence of seroma formation, a somewhat uncommon problem where fluid collects in the tissues in pockets.

Ultimately, the role played by a compression garment is truly supportive. The garment ultimately has no bearing on tissue swelling, lumpiness or the final result. The fact that you are a week out and have minimal bruising is actually great! A proper compression garment should provide comfortable, firm support without binding, pinching, or constricting.

Since you are doing so well with the garment you have, there is not pressing need to change garments. Swelling and lumpiness are completely normal for many weeks after a liposuction and generally will ultimately resolve.

Dr. Steinsapir

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Compression garments after liposuction

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There is no perfect compression garment and this is an area of research that may be negelected and warrants further study.

This often comes down to the physicians personal preferences and experience and so I will describe my regimen. The other physicans have brought up the standard goals of compression.

Typically during the first week, I use a similar type garment to the one shown in your photos plus a special foam over the liposuction treated areas to evenly distribute the pressure and minimize folds or creases.

The appearance you currently have is very common after surgery and is likely to resolve.

After the first few days and if there is no sign of seroma, I then switch to a so called level 2 type garment. Typically a spandex like garment similar to bodyshapers with one popular brand known as spanx but there are several other comparable brands that patients show me.

The compression should be firm but not that uncomfortable. Amazingly, around 2-3 weeks when I recommend cessation of the garment wear, the patients prefer to continue wearing the compression which makes them feel more secure.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

At one week after liposuction, you're OK

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The compression garment decreases swelling, but willnot dictate the final shape.

The liposuction is defined at surgery. The final appearance willdepend on that surgery. Keep on the compression garment, and don't worry about it until the swelling isgone in3 to 12 months.

G. Gregory Gallico III, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon

Getting Lipo Garment that Fits

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My personal opinion is that 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 and confirm that it fits well.
Most important advise is to listen to your surgeon's advice as he best knows how much fat was removed, the elasticity that remains in your skin and amount of skin redundancy.
I recommend my patients wear their garments for a minimum of 3 weeks full time then for 12 hrs (day or night). if not a lot of redundant skin following liposuction to a maximum of 6 weeks. To be effective the garment needs to fit snug but not too tight as to cause pressure problems (inspect your skin if discomfort and when skin is exposed), or prevent you from sleeping. As the edema resolves it is common for patients to switch to a smaller garment that fits - A Spanx type garment would work rather than ordering one or paying more at your doctor;'s office.
Liposuction requires compression garments for three main reasons:
it restricts the amount of edema that forms and hastens its resolution by mechanical pressure
It decreases the amount of bruising
It assists the loose skin in retracting or shrinking


Lumpiness has to do more with technique than the garment

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No matter which modality you use for liposuction, the area should be uniform and without major lumps. During healing when there's tissue inflammation there can be some irregularities, but these resolve over time. A form fitting compression garment with thick foam (like epifoam) underneath causes uniform compression. I tell my patients when they sit, to slouch and keep the abdomen straight and not wear any constricting clothing or belts especially in the first week. The binder you have on is a favorite of general surgeons after incisional hernia repairs.

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.