Should I Have Worn a Compression Garment After my Thigh Lift?

I had a TT and thigh lift 8 weeks ago. I went home from the hospital with a compression garment for my tummy but I was not told to wear one for my thighs. I was told to stay mobile to prevent blood clots. At one week I was driving and even grocery shopping. I am very worried that something has come undone with my left thigh. My PS says that it is too early to tell. Would I have a better result if I had worn a garment? I am also worried about my tummy bulge but my PS says it is not a seroma.

Doctor Answers 4

Compression Garments Following Thigh Lift Surgery

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It's important to realize that no two patients are ever exactly alike. They have unique anatomic starting points and undergo procedures that are modified to meet their specific needs. For this reason, it's not unusual for surgeons to tailor their post-operative care to optimize their result.

Patients who undergo thigh lift surgery can expect swelling and discomfort following this procedure. In an effort to decrease swelling, most surgeons utilize compression garments in the post-operative period. Although each patient should be considered individually, we generally recommend three to four weeks of compression following thigh lift surgery.

Compression minimizes swelling, minimizes bruising and decreases post-operative pain. Compression helps remodel tissue and contributes significantly to the contour improvement seen with this procedure.

It's important to realize that each patient's situation is unique. For this reason, it's important to discuss the use of compression garments with your surgeon. Your surgeon should be able to explain his approach regarding the use of compression devices.


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Every plastic surgeon does procedures somewhat differently and their postoperative care is also different.

For the thigh lifts I perform I always use compression.  Your compression garment will go from ankle or midcalf all the way up to the sternum.  Thus I use one garment that compresses the abdomen and calves. 

I place this garment on my patients at the end of their thigh lift and you wake up in the recovery room with the garment on.  Typically I have my patients wear their garment for approximately 3 to 4 months after an inner thigh lift. 

I believe garments are important for thigh lifts because they reduce the chances of edema, wound break down and significant swelling.  I also think they flatten the scar and lead to better scar cosmesis in the end.  At this point in time I would contact your surgeon to see if application of silicone cream or strips may improve the quality of your medial thigh scars.

Thank you,

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS

J. Timothy Katzen, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 254 reviews

Abdominal swelling 8 weeks following tummy tuck and question regarding wearing a garment following thigh lift

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There are pros and cons for wearing a garment following a thigh lift so there is not one definitive answer. Ideally, it can provide some compression to help manage swelling as well as provide support and comfort but it can also cause other significant problems that can lead to, for example, skin loss or swelling lower down.

As regards the swelling in your abdomen, even without a seroma, this can be present for several months following a tummy tuck and will fluctuate throughout the day. Most of the time it is fairly easy to detect a seroma of any significant size.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

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Early post op concerns

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Dear Kayrb,

Thank you for the photos.  I believe that it is too early to say allot about a final result in your tummy tuck.  I explain to my patients that swelling, especially in the lower abdomen, will be minimal in the AM but worse at the day's end for around 4 months post op.  Generally garment use often depends if concomitant liposuction is done.  Skin resection alone would not demand a garment and often garments can be implicated in wound friction and breakdown especially in your groin crease.  There is no right answer to your question but I am glad your plastic surgeon feels that there is no seroma.   I would encourage you to let your plastic surgeon examine you again soon and let he or she address your concerns.  Good luck.

Craig Harrison, MD, PA
Tyler Plastic Surgeon

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.