Is Mark Left by Compression Garment After Lipo Permanent?

The seam of my compression garment left a horizontal dent in my stomach 1 month post lipo. The compression garment ordered by my doctor had a seam that ran about an inch below my belly button. It was very tight after surgery and I noticed a small line left in my skin. I expected it to go away, flatten out esp. since I started wearing a new seamless garment 1 wk after surgery. A month has passed and the line has become even more obvious. The area right below the seam is also very puffy and protruding. My doctor thinks we should monitor it for another month. Worried its permanent.

Doctor Answers 5

Compression garment seams

creases can occur temporarily from seams or the way the garment folds in on itself when sitting. These lines are often temporary but can take months to resolve. External massage, can possibly help hasten its resolution, but you would have to ask your surgeon about the safety of this.

Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Compression Garment Marks

If caught early and treated, probably not. Compression garments type and when applied 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 above or below, creases or bands are present then you probably need to change garments - see your plastic surgeon.
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. For Small or moderate amounts of liposuction it probably doesn't make a difference if a garment is used or not.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Not permanent

No, it shouldn't be permanent and will go away with time. You can ask your surgeon about massaging the area to even out contour irregularities. 

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Compression garments after liposuction are usually harmless.


We currently don't use compression garments on most liposuction patients. They don't improve the final result.  But we haven't seen garments cause a permanent indentation.  Surface irregularities can be a complication of the procedure itself.  I am afraid that after a month this might well not go away.  But for now, I would be optimistic and wait.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Irregularities from compression garment wear tend to be temporary

These tend to not be permanent but it may take 2-3 months to see it resolve, It is not uncommon for compression garments to cause temporary irregularities.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 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.