Learn what compression garments are and why they are recommended for post-op recovery.Many patients wear special compression garments following liposuction treatments. Get answers to common questions about buying and using compression garments here.
What Are the Benefits of Compression Garments After Liposuction?
When a liposuction is performed, there is always some amount of fluid left behind in the areas from which fat has been removed. If this fluid is left to its own devices, it can cause bruising and swelling, but wearing a compression garment helps to reduce this bruising and swelling. The pressure from the garment can also help reduce the risk of a hematoma or seroma while also promoting better adherence of the skin following the procedure. In the case of a liposuction over a large area of the body, wearing a compression garment can also help prevent fluid shifts and imbalance. Plus, most patients simply feel more comfortable with a supportive compression garment following their surgery.
How Do Compression Garments Work?
The simple pressure of the garment is very beneficial for the body following liposuction. The exact way in which the garment helps reduce swelling and bruising depends on whether an open or closed drainage method was used in the liposuction surgery. In the open drainage method, tiny incisions are created to facilitate drainage, and the compression garment helps squeeze fluid out through these incisions. In the closed drainage method, the pressure from the garment helps force the absorption of the fluid into the body.
How Long Will I Have to Wear a Compression Garment?
The amount of time you should wear a compression garment also depends on the surgical method used. For the open drainage method, patients typically have to wear the garment for 3 to 6 days, or until all drainage stops. For the closed drainage method, the garment may need to be worn for 2 to 6 weeks. Many patients continue to wear their compression garments longer because they make them feel more comfortable.
Are Spanx Suitable Compression Garments?
No, shapewear such as Spanx are not suitable for use as compression garments. You need to purchase a garment that is specifically designed to support post-liposuction recovery in order to get the right amount of pressure and let your skin breathe. Beware of garments that have large, thick seams on the inside as this can create creases on the skin that may affect skin adherence or cause discomfort.
Where Can I Buy Compression Garments?
Your doctor should be able to recommend an appropriate brand and model of compression garment for liposuction on the face, thighs, abdomen, or buttocks.