Is the Binder Suppose to Be So Tight That I Struggle to Breath?

Is the binder suppose to be so tight that I struggle to breath? I had a TT, BA, lipo of flanks, and thighs. 3 days PO.

Doctor Answers 8

Tummy Tuck Binder After Mommy Makeover Should Not Be Too Tight

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Thank you for your question. The Tummy Tuck Binder after a Mommy Makeover should be supportive but not so tight that it makes breathing difficult. Another risk of a very tight Abdominal Binder is that it can compress the blood vessels that feed your skin and cause skin loss.

See your surgeon about this

Supportive Garment Usage after Abdominoplasty in Melbourne, Florida

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After abdominoplasty surgery, I typically have my Melbourne, FL, tummy tuck patients wear some type of supportive garment. At times, I have used an abdominal binder versus compression garment versus wide Ace wraps. They all accomplish the same goal, but they should not be so tight that you can’t breathe, and therefore, I always tell patients that if you can’t breathe, it is perfectly fine to loosen up the garment. You do not want the garment to be so tight that it is compressing your skin or cutting into your incisions and causing marks that can interfere with your healing and/or final result. Check with your board-certified plastic surgeon on this. Best wishes to you!

Amy Ortega, MD
Melbourne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

How snug to wear a support garment after an abdominoplasty

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I usually use the binder to make the patient feel more comfortable.  It should be snug but not overly tight.  Usually I want the patient to be able to slide  two fingers under the support wrap.  Do not place it so tight that you have difficulty breathing. 

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

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Difficulty breathing 3 days postop

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Your binder just needs to be snug and should not be causing difficulties with breathing.   If you are experiencing shortness of breath, please see your plastic surgeon or go to the ER.   Shortness of breath could be a sign of a blood clot and needs immediate medical attention.  

Struggling to breathe after tummy tuck

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It may not be your binder, and difficulty breathing after a tummy tuck might be the sign of a true emergency. Best to call your surgeon from the emergency room after you have been evaluated for blood clots and problems in your chest.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Bound Too Tightly?

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Thank you for the question. The simple answer is NO! You should loosen the garment. If this does not improve your symptoms, then contact your surgeon as you proceed to the nearest emergency room immediately! This may be a signal of a more serious underlying problem such as a Deep Venous Thrombosis (blood clot(s) in the legs), which can dislodge and travel to the lungs known as a Pulmonary Embolus. The other big worry would be a Pneumothorax or a collapsed lung.

There are other problems that can give you the same symptoms, such as a heart attack, but I am giving you the top worries under the assumption that you are otherwise healthy since there is no medical history to go on. 

In any case you should notify your plastic surgeon as they will probably want to see you immediately if you do not get better by loosening the binder and fairly soon if you do improve to make sure that your incisions are healing well and the skin of your abdomen looks ok.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

Is the Binder Suppose to Be So Tight That I Struggle to Breath?

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Please loosen the garment and call your physician immediately.  it would be very difficult to get a garment so tight that had such an impact on breathing.   My concern is that you may have a more serious issue, a blood clot which has traveled from your legs to your lungs.  I am sure your surgeon would want to know about this issue.

Is the Binder Suppose to Be So Tight That I Struggle to Breath?

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No. Loosen it. If you are still struggling for breath, call your surgeon or get to an emergency department to check for complications that can cause shortness of breath (such as blood clots in the lung, collapsed lung).

If that resolves the shortness of breath, you also should call your surgeon. If the binder is too tight it can compress the abdominal tissue enough to compromise its blood supply. Your surgeon will advise you as the whether to come in to get a larger binder, or perhaps some alternate means of compression.

Thank you for your question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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.