Post-lipo Compression Garment Bunches Up Fat in Between the Hooks

I've read here about PostLipo compression garments. The two I use after my abdominal lipo 2 days ago hurt and have hooks 2"-3" apart on sides underneath the zippers. Fat bunches up between the hooks around my ribcage, even when I'm standing. Will this mold the fat and make my sides uneven?

Doctor Answers 5

Post-lipo compression garment bunches up fat in between the hooks

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Call your surgeon immediately!!!! The garment is either TOOO tight or you have too much swelling. I would remove it until you contact the operating surgeon.

From MIAMI Dr. B

Garments Should Fit Well

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Compression garments type and when applied and for how long 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, creases or bands are present above, within or below your garment, then you probably need to change garments - if in a few weeks this will almost always resolve.
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.

Ill-fitting Garment

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The best suggestion is to revisit with your plastic surgeon to see if the garment is actually being correctly applied or to see if you can get a different garment. 

Good Luck

Dr. ES

Risks of ill-fitting surgical compression garments

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Most Plastic surgeons use compression garments after Liposuction to compress the skin against the new framework and reduce inflammatory swelling. Folds or creases mean that pressure is preferentially applied to some areas more than others and this may result in permanent indentations. I ask my patients to use soft hand towels under the snaps to prevent it and if the garment is too tight use a larger one for the time being until the swelling subsides.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Post lipo garments

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Although this has not been studied, it makes sense that the garment should compress the sucutaneous tissues evenly. There are many types and brands of gsrments and it's worth a try to change to a new one.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 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.