The Compression Garment They Placed on Me After Surgery Did Not Cover All Areas That Were Treated W/ Lipo. Should I Worry?

I am very black w/ red marks and swollen in those areas (lower hips) It is very painful in those areas. Should I be concerned? What can I do to help with the swelling since the garment isn't compressing it well enough in those areas? I had full abdominoplasty w/ muscle repair & lipsuction of the hips/flanks.

Doctor Answers 6

Compression garment after liposuction

Some physicians do not use garments after liposuction. Each doctor has their own protocol for wearing garments and for how long. You should rely on your surgeon for their preference since you trusted them with your procedure. Alternatively, you can get a girdle or comparable garment, spandex, Lycra, etc. that covers the area if you are really bothered by this. In either case, the swelling will gradually resolve over time.


Tucson Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Garments and swelling after lipo

Dear Scandia Blu,

just get Spanx or a similar brand at any Walmart ot Target store. buy at least 2, so you can rotate them.

shower every day, massage and hydrate the skin after with your favorite moisturizer.

you can also purchase at your local pharmacy a battery-operated massager and start massaging yourself several times a day. ( less than 10 $ )

or purchase a hand-held ultra sound device ( Amazon ) and massage yourself too.

For all my patients after lipo, I recommend they drink 2 liters of ( diluted ) Gatorade per day, and walk 2 miles a day for the next 2 weeks post -op. combined with a high protein diet.

in my experience: " 2 weeks bruising, 6 weeks swelling "

good luck

Florence Mussat

Florence Mussat, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Compression garment after liposuction

Although many surgeons use compression garments after liposuction to reduce swelling and aid in skin shrinking, there are many that do not. I think the swelling will go away in time and massage will help that. I do not think you will have anything bad happen without the compression garment, it is just maybe a little more time for the swelling to go down.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Garment Needs To Cover Liposuction areas

If your garment does not cover all the areas of Liposuctiion then it is most likely the wrong garment !
Compression garments type and when applied and for how long 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 ridges, creases or bands are present above, within or below your garment, then you probably need to change garments - if in a few weeks this will almost always resolve.
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.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Compression garment

It is difficult to say what is right for you without an exam. If you feel the compression garment is not fitting appropriately, then you should see your doctor and get evaluated.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Garment Suggestion after Lipo

The lipo garment provides support and many say they are more comfortable with those treated areas covered. Do you have any elastic girdles that would cover? If not, you can go to a department store and purchase Spanx or something like it. We normally recommend people switch to that after a day or so wearing the tighter and less comfortable garment that we supply.

T. Wayne Day, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.