Can I Remove Compression Garment For a Few Hours per Day?

It's uncomfortable to wear at work, so I took off my compression garmet this morning and plan on putting it back on. Will not wearing it for a few hours after 11 days affect my results? My swelling isn't too bad now and I can see results already. Thanks

Doctor Answers 10


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When Can I remove the compression garment for a few hours per day - for my patients the answer is after the first post operative day when ever you feel you have to. How long does a #CompressionGarment need to be worn to help after #Liposuction? For most, my patients wear garments for 3 wks day and night then 3 additional weeks for half a day.
If you have had suction of the knees, thigh, or abdomen, the doctor will have put on a compression garment at the end of the surgery. The extra pressure this garment provides helps reduce swelling and discomfort. You should not remove this garment at all until the second or third day after surgery. After that, feel free to remove the garment temporarily for laundering. We want you to have circumferential pressure for 4-6 weeks, but you may switch to an exercise garment (Lycra or Spandex) whenever it feels comfortable to slip it on or off, as you will have to do so in order to go to the bathroom. See the below link for a more fuller explanation and general advice.

Garment wear should vary by the amount of surgery done.

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Some people heal quickly and don't swell much, others take longer. There is no real standard. My own routine is as follows:

  • Starting at 10 days to two weeks, patients begin to go without the garment for an hour or two a day at first. If it is too early, then swelling occurs that can take up to the next day to appear, so move ahead slowly. 
  • If there is an increase in swelling, then you are not ready to start weaning from the garment. WAIT.
  • If no swelling is noted, continue with 1 to 2 hours out of the garment for 3 days. Then double the amount of time out of the garment. The same rules as above apply.
  • I suggest making a change no more often than every 3 days. That way your body becomes accustomed to the lack of compression. 

Douglas Hendricks, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Compression garments after liposuction

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The compression garments are important to control swelling and improve comfort after liposuction. Our patients will wear the garment 24/7 for the first two weeks except for showering. Your surgeon may permit you to be out of the garment, though we find patients have a more difficult time getting them back on until the first two weeks have passed. You are close and the garment will become by the end of the 14 days.

Best of luck,


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

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Compression Garments Help, But OK To Take A Break

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After liposuction, it is always a good idea to wear sometight compression for at least six weeks.  This helps decrease the swelling faster and help retrain to skin to tighten up over time.  However, it is almost impossible to wear tight compression 24h a day.  Taking a break for a few hours here and there is not going to alter your results in any way except maybe make it a little longer before you see the final results.  I generally ask my patients to wear it as much as they can the first 6 weeks and to be patient - it can take that long or longer to see the final results.  I hope this helps. 

Compression garment after liposuction

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Studies have not been peformed in such detail to determine the exact number of hours or days that compression garments are needed to provide a better result, if they in fact, provide a better result. They may quicken the time needed to see the eventual great result and they may minimize bruising, hematomas and seromas.  The protocol of wearing a compression garment differs depending on with which surgeon you speak. I like my patients to wear it for up to 2 to 4 weeks 24 hours per day except for showering, and then half day for the another two weeks.  Ask your surgeon, the one who examined you and performed your surgery, to guide you in your post operative period.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
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Compresson garment

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I like my patients to wear a compression garment after liposuction almost 23 hours a day except for showering for the first 3-6 weeks. If it is uncomfortable it is probably ok to remvoe for a few hours. You should ask your doctor.

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

Compression garment

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Some surgeons recommend wearing the garment day and night for a month, so to get a better answer to your question you should ask your surgeon. 11 days is a little early, in my opinion, and you may find that it significantly slows your recovery rate by increasing your swelling. 

A break is always good

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Using a compression garment in the first few weeks after a liposuction procedure is important. Taking a break for an hour here or there is also important just for comfort purposes and to allow the skin to naturally drape and not bunch in one place.  I allow my patients to take a break on occasion.  This should be done when the patient is lying down or sitting, not when up and moving about. Readjusting the garment several times throughout the day is important to prevent creases or dimples.

Edgar Franklin Fincher, MD, PhD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

Doctors disagree on the use of compression garments after liposuction surgery

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Doctors disagree on the use of compression garments after liposuction surgery. While most doctors recommend compression garments I learned not to use them from cosmetic surgeons in Latin America. Their results were excellent and I believe my patients have obtained excellent results with more comfort over the past 20 years.

Edward Lack, MD
Chicago Dermatologist

Compression garment following smart lipo

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I generally recommend that patients wear their compression garments for at elast 4 weeks following liposuction.  The more hours per day compression is applied, the better.  However, I am aware that this compression is often interrupted by showering, etc.  To take a break from the compression will not likely have any long term consequences.  But check with your doc.  Every doctor does things a little differently.  Good luck!

Jason Hess, MD
San Diego 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.