Compression Garments are killing me! Is it shaping me or reducing swelling, reducing scars etc? Super excited re results (Photo)

I am post op day 9 from a belt lipectomy, tummy tuck and arm lift. I have had a pretty easy journey with pain hovering 5-6 out of 10 and sometimes 7. I went to my surgeon Wednesday PO day 5 and was changed from hospital garment to design by Veronique. It hurts my ribs, my crotch and makes me sore all over. I'm going to go in to my dr and order a different one (knee Knee length not bathing suit style) tomorrow but am just wondering besides the swelling what is the purpose?

Doctor Answers 6

Compression is REALLY important!

Compression garments after plastic surgeries like you had really are important to wear. Their main goal is to control swelling and to reduce the potential space that can fill up with fluid. At the time of surgery the tissue flaps on the ABD/Back and arms are lifted up, re-stretched and repositioned, and then the excess tissue is cut off. If fluid is allowed to build up in those tissue planes that were opened, then you can develop chronic fluid pockets that can distort your results, stretch the skin or create abnormal scar tissue. The pressure of the garments helps stop this from happening. It is important that the garments fit properly, however, if they are too tight they can actually impair the blood flow to the tissue and cause would breakdown or necrosis. If your garments are that uncomfortable I suggest you get right back in to your plastic surgeon and see if they can get you ones that fit better. The garment really should not be the worst thing you experience with your surgery!

Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Purpose of a garment

Thank you for your question about your body lift.

  • The garment is supposed to support you so you are more comfortable as you heal,
  • And it reduces the swelling so the swelling does not stress the healing.
  • But an uncomfortable garment is not good at all and can damage the skin.
  • Your surgeon will need t order another size or type for you.

Always consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes.

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

Compression Garments

Congratulations on your transformation!  

Garments are commonly used after body contouring surgery to control swelling and potentially limit bruising.  While many patients find them uncomfortable early after their procedure, it is surprising how many get used to the support and continue to wear compression long after their physician permits them to stop.  There is also some evidence that the use of compression long term may help the maturation of scars.  

I would suggest you discuss the matter with your surgeon and discuss methods to make the garment more tolerable.  Sometimes this can be achieved by changing the size, padding the sites that are most tender, or even wearing a t-shirt under the garment so that the material and seams are less irritating.  Good luck and best wishes for a speedy and easy recovery!

Larry Lickstein, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Compression garments are killing me.

Compression garments should be snug, yet comfortable to move and wear under clothing. There as many brands and they will fit differently so one is out there that will work for you. The purpose is to reduce swelling, and provide support and comfort, so if what you are wearing is not a good fit look into others.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Body lift

  • Hello, and thank you for this question. It appears based on the pictures you've shown that you're doing quite well and you had an excellent early result. We typically use the garments in the first month following the procedure to help with support and also decrease the swelling. The garments have to be fit correctly and I would recommend you have this checked by someone in your plastic surgeons office. Best of luck with your recovery.

John J. O`Brien, Jr., MD
Saint Petersburg Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Compression garment

Most PS use compression garments as we think
it makes the patient feel more secure and I do think it helps to keep your shape by keeping your body more stable as the swelling reduces.   The pain you are feeling is probably from the procedures themselves and really not the garment.

Anh Lee, MD
El Paso Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 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.