Compression Garment and Liposuction Results

I just had lipo on my stomach area, and inner and outer thighs. I had the surgery on the 18th of March but I still haven't seen any change at all. I wore a compression garment my provider gave me for 3 days. When I took it off, that was the only time when I saw real results. Now, I'm wearing a spandex like garment from Walmart. It doesnt seem to be doing anything. My stomach has the same rolls I had before the surgery. Is there another garment that fits tighter that anyone knows of?

Doctor Answers 3

Liposuction vs Abdominoplasty to improve the appearance of the abdomen

As it has now been over seven months since your surgery, any compression garment will probably not provide a substantial change or improvement in your appearance. Have you discussed this with your surgeon? It may be that you would benefit by a secondary or touch up liposuction procedure to contour the area further. You mentioned that you have “rolls” in your stomach area. It is possible that to achieve your desired appearance, you may benefit further by an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) to remove the extra skin causing the rolls. These are issues that you can revisit with your surgeon.

Good luck on your endeavors. I hope you achieve the appearance you desire.

Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Compression Garment Guidelines

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.
If bulging ridges above or below, creases or bands are present then you probably need to change garments - see your plastic surgeon.
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.

Tighter compression garments not always better

There are many compression garments out there that are tighter, but that does not mean they are better. Spanx offers many different levels of compression.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 72 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.