Multiple Garments After Liposuction Because of Medical Issues?

I am scheduled for Liposuction on December 22, 2009 for upper and lower abs, flanks, and bra roll. I am 41 years old, female, 5’3” and 160lbs. I have 2 medical conditions: Crohn’s/colitis (currently inactive) and hidradenitis suppurativa. I had surgery 8 years ago to remove the affected skin in the groin.

My question is about compression garments. My plastic surgeon wants me to wear it for 1-2 weeks, then 12 hours a day after that. With the HS, I will have a hard time with the compression garment irritating the groin. Is it possible to use multiple garments (hi-cut panty, band, compression bra) instead? I'm really not sure if I am going to make it past my first shower in the garment from the hospital.

Doctor Answers 10

Liposuction and Hidradenitis

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Don't get liposuction in the face of any ongoing HS infection!  This would be an unnecessary risk for a soft tissue infection.  As for recovery and garment use, garments seem to control swelling and most patients feel less vulnerable when their tender areas are covered.  Garments do not change the final result.  In your situation, simplicity is key.  I would recommend a mere binder for the abdomen and flanks and a sports bra for the bra region.  Either can be removed as needed if discomfort or irritation arises.  The groin should be left alone.      

Chicago Plastic Surgeon

You can use velcro binder farments after liposuction

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You can use a velcro binder for the abdomen and flanks. You can also use nothing if ultimately needed. Don't know of any studies regarding compression vs no compression and timing of compression.

As with the other Dr's, NO LIPO with active hidradenitis!

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Garments not needed after liposuction.

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We hardly ever use compression garments after liposuction, and other experienced colleagues don't use them either.  Garments do not improve the final result.

The exceptions are CIRCUMFERENTIAL liposuction of the thighs and liposuction of the ankles.  For these patients we use garments.

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

Think again about having Liposuction near or in an area of Hidranenitis

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I agree completely with Dr. Rand. Those of us who treated Hidradenitis Suppurativa are both respectful of it and mistrusting of the quite in its apparent absence.

With the exception of early cases, the only good permanent solution for hidradenitis is complete removal of the skin and fat of the involved areas followed by skin graft coverage.

Performing liposuction near or in a hidradenitis area will literally pull bacteria from there and spread them throughout the liposuctioned area resulting in a serious infection.

Your liposuction surgeon SHOULD BE a real Plastic Surgeon ( who should advise you clearly on this risk.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Liposuction and hidradenitis are a dangerous mix

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Probably the most horrifying complication from liposuction other than death is an infection rampaging through the tunnels filled with serum in a warm dark environment (perfect culture medium). The barriers to the spread of infection have been broken down by the cannula so infection can spread like wild fire.

Patients with HS have chronic infections and are rarely free of some infectious issue. This can significantly predispose you to a post-op infection as described above.

I would plead with you to make sure you are seeing a real plastic surgeon (Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery) and that these issues have been clearly discussed. Under no circumstances should you have liposuction if you have even the least evidence of an HS infection anywhere on your body!

Lipo and Hidradenitis suppurtiva

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It is important that you do not have an active infection from your HS at the time of surgery to minimize your chance of infection. Your surgeon might also want to find out the usual bacteria and their sensitivities when you do have an infection to use the best antibiotic to prevent another infection afterwards. Liposuction garments do not necessarily have to be used, and can be modified not to cover problem areas for HS like groin, arm pits and areolar regions. 

Garments and liposuction

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If you have hidradenitis you probably would be more prone to have a flare up with the garment. I would review this with your doctor, he may suggest for you to not wear one post-op.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Compression not obligatory following Liposuction

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A velcro abdominal binder would work very nicely in your particular situation. Both the position and amount of compression is adjustable to provide the ultimate comfort without irritating your Hidradenitis Suppuritiva. The other option is to remove the garment whenever it is necessary. Compression is not obligatory after liposuction and will not affect the final results.

Todd B. Koch, MD
Buffalo Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Liposuction and Hidranenitis

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I agree with all above. If you have have any active Hidradenitis, then liposuction would be contraindicated because of risk of spreading infection into the liposuction areas. Post liposuction garments help reduce the swelling and smooth the skin. It is up to you whether you want to wear them. I usually recommend two weeks just as your surgeon has recommended. Some patients wear the garments for months and some stop after a few weeks. Good luck with your procedure.

Liposuction with Hidradenitis Suppuritiva

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I would agree with Dr. Rand. If you have had surgery and the HS has been excised than you should be at low risk. IF however, you have ongoing wounds, there is a potential to seed your liposcution wounds. If this amounted to a small area, it is possible you could proceed. However, you do describe extensive liposuction and this is concerning. Discuss your plans with a board certified plastic surgeon.

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