Ankles and feet very swollen from Lipo Garment, when switching to shorter length spandex garment swelling goes down.

I have religiously been wearing my compression garment since I had surgery on 17/12. My post op bruising is nearly gone (Ive had 1 session of ultrasound and laser treatment) I have been active, but being kind to my body. My ankles and feet are extremely swollen when wearing my garment (it fits from below my breasts down to below my calves) When I periodically switch to wearing a spandex garment that only goes to above my knees the swelling goes down. Is my garment too tight? Am I doing damage?

Doctor Answers 2

Leg elevations and consider changing the garment

I don't think you're causing any damage, though it's not uncommon for the area below the garment or where the pressure points are to have swelling. This can happen in the hands after patients have arm liposuction and wear arm compression garments.

I typically don't have my patients wear pressure garments after two weeks and don't believe that they have any significant benefit after that amount of time, though patients sometimes enjoy wearing them.

One tried-and-true way of dealing with foot and ankle swelling is leg elevations. You can try this wearing or not wearing your garments. To do proper leg elevations, your feet have to be just above your heart. That means lying flat on your back with your feet up on two to three pillows. Try this for a half an hour every couple of hours and see if it helps.

More than anything, please follow up with your surgeon and ask him or her the same question or concerns.

Best of luck,

Mats Hagstrom, M.D.

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Ankle/foot swelling after liposuction

With tighter garments you can definitely have some leg/ankle swelling. This is concerning if you have any sort of asymmetric swelling (one leg larger than the other), so you should definitely be seen if this is the case. If this is not the case you can help decrease the swelling by elevating your legs whenever possible or wearing compression stockings as well as your garment. You should bring this up with your surgeon as well as it's difficult to tell without examining you directly if your one garment is too tight. 

Tracy Kayan, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

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