Has Wearing the Wrong Garment Done Damage?

I am almost 2weeks postop for lipo on my lovehandles. When I went to my 1 week check up, I was told I had the wrong garment on, a male 1! That is the garment they provided me,so I was wearing it for just over a week before they sent me a new, correct garment. the wrong garment whilst wearing it, used to dig in and bunch up + now I have indentations in my sides in my lipo areas. I am very worried these indents are permanent. Has wearing the wrong garment for a week done me permanent damage?

Doctor Answers 8

Garment for liposuction

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This early in the healing process there is no problem.  You should wear the garment for comfort and it should be evan in the pressure.  Often at the end of the day particularly after sitting there will be an indentation where the waist folds.  This is due to the fold in the garment and more pressure in this area.  Padding this with something like Reston foam may help.  Massage will also help but this may be too tender.  If in the morning it looks even then changes over the day is only swelling which will go away although it will take some months.

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Wrong Garment After Liposuction

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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.

Wearing the Wrong Garment for a Week

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     This is so hard to say for sure, but, if your contours look reasonable at the present time, then no long term damage was probably done.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

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Importance of Garment Post Liposuction

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Thank you for your question. I would continue wearing the right garment as long as you can to give you the best result. The purpose of the garment is to reduce the swelling, which sometimes can last longer for other people, but it should not cause permanent disfigurement. Be certain to be under the supervision of a board certified plastic surgeon for the best results.  I hope this helps.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Liposuction garment fit

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Correctly fitting garments are always an issue.  You were correct to remove the garment that was cutting into you, and odds are no permanent damage was caused.  At my Austin, Texas area plastic surgery practice I usually use compression garments after liposuction for 4-6 weeks, this helps to see results sooner but even without compression most patients will look the same at 4-6 months once swelling has resolved.

Compression garment after liposuction

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Although most of plastic surgeons seem to have their patients wear compression garments for varying amounts of time after liposuction, there are some that do not have their patients wear any compression garment after liposuction.  If the garment is too tight or cutting into/causing an indentation, it is reasonable to change the garment.  Chances are that you have not damaged your results at this stage by wear the compression garment that you have been wearing.

Todd C. Case, MD
Tucson Plastic Surgeon

Lipo garments

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Of course without seeing you I can not make an assessment, but if a garment is too tight and it makes indentations, then you were right to change it.

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

Pressure Garments after Liposuction: The Importance of a Good Fit

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Liposuction is a great way to improve body shape.  The fatty tissue beneath the skin is reduced and the body is contoured.   After surgery, the skin is supported with a pressure garment which is a type of girdle.  The garment helps minimize swelling, bruising, and supports the skin during the early contraction phase.

It is important that the garment fits.  Although most irregularities of the skin improve if an ill-fitting garment is removed, it is posssible to impair the result if the garment bunches up the skin and creates contour irregularities.   An ill fitting garment should be removed and replaced with a garment which holds the skin evenly and smoothly.  The garment should be snug but not tight.   Tighter is not better!     Best wishes!

Stephen Bresnick, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 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.