I am one day post op for lipo of the abdomen and flanks. The compression garment I was sent home in had clasps up the front (with pads under to absorb drainage), shoulder straps and a hole in the crotch. It wasn't extremely tight and felt like my lower abdomen/groin weren't being compressed much, and were swelling up as well as jiggling when I moved. I put spanx over the garment which helps the support and doesn't feel uncomfortable, but is there such thing as too much compression?
How Tight Should a Compression Garment Be?
Doctor Answers 11
Trust your doc to put you in the right compression garment after liposuction.
Liposuction garments should give moderate compression for the 1st month after liposuction. We compress alittle less today than we did many yrs ago since we want both drainage of fluid and compression. If too much compression, then patients get nauseated and vomit and there is less fluid able to escape by leaking out as we would like. If no compression, then there is also less drainage since the fluid just sits in the abdominal fat layer cavity creating a seroma or hematoma which will need draining manually. You do swell for the 1st 3-4 days so do expect the compression garment to get tighter for a few days before the swelling starts to go down. You won't be any bigger than you were prior to the lipo surgery though. That is why you only see a little improvement at the 1 week time. After 1 week you start to massage and exercise which help stimulate the lymphatics to help drain away the fluid faster and you see a big difference at 1 month. Sincerely,
Snug but Not Painful
Tightness of Lipo Garment
Most important advise is to listen to your surgeon's advice as he best knows how much fat was removed, the elasticity that remains in your skin and amount of skin redundancy.
I recommend my patients wear their garments for a minimum of 3 weeks full time then for 12 hrs (day or night). if not a lot of redundant skin following liposuction to a maximum of 6 weeks. To be effective the garment needs to fit snug but not too tight as to cause pressure problems (inspect your skin if discomfort and when skin is exposed), or prevent you from sleeping. As the edema resolves it is common for patients to switch to a smaller garment that fits - A Spanx type garment would work rather than ordering one or paying more at your doctor;'s office.
Liposuction requires compression garments for three main reasons:
it restricts the amount of edema that forms and hastens its resolution by mechanical pressure
It decreases the amount of bruising
It assists the loose skin in retracting or shrinking
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Should be snug, but not too tight!
It’s important that these devices fit snugly, but not too tightly following liposuction procedures.In this situation the goal is to remodel tissue, decrease pain and minimize swelling.Severe compression goes beyond this point and can be associated with postoperative pain and discomfort.
Post-surgical compression garments facilitate recovery following liposuction and minimize postoperative discomfort.If you have questions regarding their use, it’s important to contact your plastic surgeon.Your surgeon should be able to thoroughly discuss this issue with you and alleviate any concerns that you might have about the use of compression garments.
Compression garments are supposed to be snug but not too tight. Some surgeons don't even use them.
Compression Garments After Liposuction
A garment with gentle compression helps to keep down bruising and swelling in the early post operative phase. It helps skin positioning as well. There is no need for the garment to be excessively tight. Too much of a good thing is still too much. Excess tension can cut off circulation and damage the skin.
Liposuction and Compression
Too much compression can impair breathing, damage the skin, and predispose to clots forming in the leg veins (deep vein thrombosis), both of which can have dire consequences. Creases in a garment can create permanent dents if they cause sustained pressure on a treated area.
If you had pads put under the garment your surgeon may have intentionally left the wounds open to drain, and some surgeons believe that with this 'open-drainage' technique the garment is less important, especially after the first few days.
If you feel comfortable, you are unlikely doing any harm, but you should confirm with your surgeon.
Compression garments should not be tight
Your surgeon is the best person to ask. I can tell you that I have my patients fitted prior to surgery to make sure that the garment isn't too tight. It should feel snug, but not so tight that it's uncomfortable--that would be counterproductive. Compression garments are used to decreased post-operative swelling as well as help hold the appropriate shape following surgery.
Compression garments should feel snug but comfortable. Occaisionally, you may have periodic swelling in the area you had surgery and the garment needs to be adjusted. If it is too tight, the garment can irritate the skin and create irregularities (creases) in the skin. Ask you surgeon to show you how snug he wants it.
Dr. Brian Joseph