Post Liposuction: Why Do You Need to Keep Your Head Elevated and Wear a Compression Garment?

Hi I just had liposuction on my cheeks yesterday (previously had fat transferred there). The doctor had told me to keep my head elevated when sleeping with two pillows and wear a compression garment. I forgot about doing both when I went to bed for the first night - why should you do it? Does it affect the final result? I am following those instructions now. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 7

Post-Liposuction Guidelines

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The reason for elevation and compression garments following liposuction is to reduce post-operative swelling. The fact that you forgot should have little if any impact on your long-term result. Most post-operative swelling occurs within the first 72 hours and will resolve over the next several days or weeks depending on the area treated.  For facial surgery elevation is easy because your head is above you heart most of the day, and even at night with one pillow. With other body areas it is more difficult to keep the surgery site elevated above your heart, such as is the case with the legs.  Though there is very little evidence that compression garments make a difference long term, I generally recommend them because I feel they help limit swelling and patients achieve their end result more quickly.  In addition, for some areas of the body it can be more comfortable for the patient following surgery.

Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Liposuction - Compression Post-Op

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The goals of both are to diminsh swelling during the post-op period.  There is very little evidence concerning the use of compression (and elevation) affecting the final result so I don't think you need to worry about that.  You should, of course, touch base with your PS about this just to be sure, but I would advise you simply to reapply the dressings, resume all post-op instructions, and try not to worry about it - I suspect everything will be fine!

I hope that this helps, and good luck,
Dr. E

Liposuction Recovery?

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Thank you for the question.

The idea behind the head elevation and use of compression garment is to reduce swelling after surgery.

It is unlikely that there has been any harm done but it is always best to check with your plastic surgeon.

Best wishes.

Why Use a Compression Garment?

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Head elevation and a compression garment will minimize swelling and bruising and was great advice by your plastic surgeon. It will just take longer to recover but probably not affect your final result. See the link below for more information why this was recommended..

Post Liposuction: Why Do You Need to Keep Your Head Elevated and Wear a Compression Garment?

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The reason for those suggestions is to assist the swelling in going down sooner. Nothing bad will happen from what happened, but the swelling will just take a little time to get better.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Cheek liposuction and post op compression garment and elevation

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It is important to wear a compression garment following any liposuction, including the cheeks.  The compression garment will help minimize swelling and bruising and speed the recovey following the liposuctionElevation of the head will help decrease blood pressure to the face and will also help in decreasing the risk of bleeding and bruising.  If you are doing OK now, I don't think you compromised your results.  However, I would follow your surgeon's advice. 

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Liposuction of cheeks

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Surgery on the face like any other body part results in swelling. Head elevation may help to limit the swelling.  A garment may help as well. 

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