Is a Compression Garment Needed for Arms and Thighs?

I am having a BBL & TT plus lipo to the whole body including arms and thighs... I was looking to see what do I need for lipo to the arms and thighs? Can I buy normal compression garments the kind that athletes wear for the arms and thighs? Are compression garments for thighs and arms just as important as compression garments for the abdomen and buttocks after surgery?

Doctor Answers 10

A garment for the arms after liposuction is not mandatory, but a tight-fitting athletic shirt is recommended.

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A combination of liposuction, abdominoplasty and buttock fat injection is very popular.  After surgery, my patients wear a "lower body garment" that goes from the margin of the rib cage to just below the knees (we supply it and patients wake up wearing it).  This garment helps limit swelling and may help the swelling resolve more quickly.  You could also buy a similar girdle to use later on as an alternative to this garment.

The arms are at a higher level relative to your heart, so that the venous pressure is lower.  Therefore compression is less important for your arms.  However, I think some snugly fitting athletic wear (like Under Armour) works well.  Buy the shirt that has long sleeves.  It is important to realize that the garment does not affect the end result and does not make your contours smoother (the fat cells do not move around).  But it is valuable for comfort and in helping the swelling to go away sooner.  I have attached a link for liposuction of the arms, and you can read more if you like.

Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Compression Garments Enhance Comfort, Reduce Swelling& Fluid Accumulation

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Compression garments are very commonly used after Plastic Surgery procedures.  Their main benefits are to reduce swelling after a procedure, to add support and comfort, and in some situations to reduce open spaces where flaps have been used to reduce the chance of fluid accumulation by enhancing tissue adherence.  There is scant evidence that they affect the aesthetic outcome, but probably play a larger role in minimizing problems.  While not absolutely mandatory in liposuction cases, they are helpful in managing swelling, bruising and discomfort.  Some surgeons package the garments with the procedure costs, others have you buy them online.  Medical grade compression garments are very well constructed and designed but costly.  In many situations, less well manufactured or compressive products such as those available at department stores, athletic supply outlets, and fashion houses would suffice.  It makes sense to discuss your specific procedure and compression garment with your surgeon.  You can purchase several types (leave tags in place) that you think would be comfortable and affordable and share them with your surgeon.  Once you get the OK, then return the others to your retailer.  This should help keep your recovery uneventful and save you a few dollars.  Best of luck!

George Bitar, MD
Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Compression Garments Needed for Arms and Thighs

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   I usually provide compression garments to my patients which cover all of the areas liposuctioned.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Compression garment for Liposuction

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Compression garment is very useful after most body contouring procedure such as liposuction and tummy tuck. It helps to minimize swelling and improve your results. We provide compression garments to our patients.

It helps to combine procedures to minimize your cost. However, doing too many procedures at one time to minimize cost may jeopardize your safety. I hope you surgeon is a board certified plastic surgeon. Do your homework well. Good luck.

Stanley Okoro, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 168 reviews

Compression after liposuction

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There are some good compression garments available for post liposuction. This helps reduce swelling and improve results.  

Sanjay Lalla, MD, FACS
West Orange Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Compression garments after liposuction

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Following surgery, it is normal to have bruising and swelling.  The compression garments tend to help make you more comfortable during this process after surgery.  The provide gentle support and help decrease swelling -- sometimes wearing something tight just feels good and holds everything in.  By the responses you have reviewed, you can see that each plastic surgeon has his or her own management style regarding these garments.  Typically, I will have my patients wear formal post-surgical compression garments immediately after surgery.  Many will switch to SPANX or the athletic compression garments (including arm sleeves) that you are referring too.  I would suggest that you discuss the use or not of compression garments with your plastic surgeon.  He or she may have preferences of what you should do after surgery to optimize your comfort and your results.  Good luck!

Anureet K. Bajaj, MD
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Lipo and garments

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Wearing a garment after liposuction is extremely important to reduce swelling and  improve the surgical result. When combined with TT and other procedures the type of garment may change. You should discuss this with your surgeon. Wearing a tight garment over a tummy tuck can cause severe problems including skin necrosis or fat necrosis.

Shahriar Mabourakh, MD, FACS
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 227 reviews

Is compression garment needed

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  • Your thighs should be more comfortable with the compression
  • I usually don't use arm compression because it can swelling in the hands
  • Not all surgeons use compression after liposuction
  • I believe it makes most patients more comfortable

I do not think it plays a significant role in the final result

James Shaw, MD
Wichita Plastic Surgeon

Compression garment helpful after all liposuction procedures

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Thank you for the question.  Compression garments are helpful after all liposuction cases.  The more liposuction that is done the more helpful and beneficial a compression garment will be.  Since arms are not often liposuctioned aggressively the garment use in this area can sometimes be less in duration.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Garments for arms and thighs.

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Thank you for the question.  It would be beneficial for you if you wore compression garments for the arms and thighs after liposuction. It is not necessary but helpful especially during the swelling phase. 

Best of luck ..

Dana Khuthaila, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 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.