When I stop wearing compression vest, it looks a bit more swollen. Is this normal?

So I wore my compression vest for 3 weeks before being allowed to take it off. During the time I had to wear it, I took it off briefly to shower and it was flat. When I stopped wearing my compression vest it was still flat but a bit more swollen looking. Is this normal?

Doctor Answers 8

Use of a Compression Garment After a Gynecomastia Procedure

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Our patients are required to wear a compression garment for the a few weeks following their #Gynecomastia surgery. The #compression garment helps to reduce the swelling, and the longer it is worn, the more quickly you will heal.We recommend it not be removed, at all, until the second or third day after the surgery. After that, we suggest they feel free to temporarily remove the #garment for showering or laundering only. We encourage our patients to maintain circumferential pressure for 4-6 weeks, but they may switch to an exercise compression garment when advised.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Compression garment

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I recommend my patients wear their garments for a minimum of 3 weeks if not a lot of redundant skin following liposuction male breast reduction 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.
Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia Reduction) by liposuction requires compression garments for three main reasons:
  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

Swelling after gynecomastia surgery

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Dear willdtax,

Liposuction garments are designed to provide soft tissue compression and to allow the soft tissue to conform to the underlying muscle after removing breast adipose and glandular tissue. They’re designed to minimize swelling as well as adherence and when you stop wearing the garment it is anticipated there will be noticeable increase in swelling. Most patients wear their garment 22 hours a day with or without underlying foam for 3 weeks and perhaps and most often 12 hours a day for subsequent 3 weeks. Many patients feel more comfortable and supported with a garment on and wear it longer than the prescribed 6 weeks and even more than 12 hours a day.

The modest amount of swelling that you experience when the garment is off is normal, however, you should see your operative surgeon to ensure there is no underlying fluid, a condition called a seroma that can compromise the aesthetic result and would require intervention. I’m sure you’ll get an excellent result.

I hope this information has been of some assistance and best of luck.

For more information, please review the link below.

R. Stephen Mulholland, M.D.
Certified Plastic Surgeon
Yorkville, Toronto

R. Stephen Mulholland, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

When I stop wearing compression vest, it looks a bit more swollen. Is this normal?

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The compression garment is designed to support your surgical area and to keep swelling to a minimum in the weeks after surgery. It is normal that when the garment is not being worn to experience some swelling especially in the first few weeks after surgery. Swelling can take weeks to completely resolve after surgery so if you were advised that you no longer need to wear your compression garment by your plastic surgeon a mild amount of swelling initially when it has been removed can be expected. Continue to be patient with your healing process, however if you are concerned that you are not healing properly be sure to contact the plastic surgeon who completed the surgery. Best of luck.

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 519 reviews

Swelling After Gynecomastia Surgery

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Hi willdtax,

Thanks for the post. It is normal to have swelling for weeks after gynecomastia surgery. The compression vest does help minimize the initial swelling that occurs after surgery. It does not however eliminate it. The swelling will eventually subside even without the vest, but it can take several months. Be patient, and if you are having persistent swelling, contact your plastic surgeon.


Dr. Dadvand

Babak Dadvand, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Swelling of chest

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Yes, when the garment isn't on, there is  swelling, and it can persist for several months. Be patient. Good luck.

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


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Thank you for your question. At 3 weeks after surgery. it is normal to have increased swelling when you take off your compression vest. I have people wear theirs for 4 to 6 weeks depending on the amount of swelling. I recommend talking to your Plastic Surgeon and asking how long he/she recommends you wear the garment. Don't worry, swelling is temporary. Best wishes

Steven L. Robinson, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon

Swelling and Compression Garments

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Each practice has their own recommendations on how long a patient should wear their compression garments. I recommend at least 6 to 8 weeks as it can take up to 6 months for all swelling to subside. I recommend following up with your plastic surgeon to make sure you don't have any fluid collections. 

Leo Lapuerta, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 48 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.