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Compression Garment Uses after Body Contouring Surgery

By Dr. Suzanne Yee on July 15, 2014


A woman with a tonied figure wrapped in measuring tapeLike any surgery, body contouring involves a recovery period. However, in addition to healing, your body also needs to adapt to the new curves created by liposuction or another body contouring treatment.

Compression garments can facilitate all aspects of your surgery and recovery, which is why they are often recommended after body contouring surgery. These specially designed garments encourage your body to mold to your new silhouette, enhancing results and supporting the healing process.  

As part of the preparation for body contouring, Dr. Suzanne Yee at the Cosmetic and Laser Surgery Center in Little Rock reviews your procedure and recovery, including the compression garments. The length of time a compression garment is worn will depend on the amount of fat removed, the elasticity of your skin, how much loose skin remains, and other factors. Dr. Yee will also verify your compression garment is the right fit to ensure your comfort and a sleek outcome.

Why Wear a Compression Garment?

Compression garments improve your comfort and outcomes after body contouring surgery. Compression garments are regularly used with body contouring procedures such as liposuction, tummy tuck, or body lift.

When fat is removed during body contouring, it is important to keep the area compressed after surgery so that the skin adheres to the new contours. Compression garments also promote a speedy recovery as well. Specifically, a compression garment:

  • Encourages your skin to adapt to your new contours.
  • Reduces the amount of fluid that collects under the skin after surgery.
  • Reduces bruising and swelling.
  • Increases blood circulation to hasten healing.
  • Holds surgical dressing in place to reduce the chance of infection.

Wearing the garment improves comfort after surgery by ensuring the site is protected and secure. Compression garments also help control sudden movements, such as a cough or sneeze, which can be uncomfortable after surgery. 

To get the most benefit out of compression garments, they should be a good fit to encourage both healing and comfort, which is why Dr. Yee carefully sizes garments for her patients.

Medical compression garments are specifically designed for the needs of post-surgery patients. They provide gentle, comfortable pressure while avoiding seam locations that irritate surgical sites. Unlike over-the-counter compression garments that are pulled on or off, medical compression garments have closures, such as zippers, that make dressing easy. They also have crotch openings so you can use the bathroom without removing your garment.

How Long?

How long you need to wear a compression garment will vary based on your needs and your surgery. Everyone heals at his or her own pace. In addition, the amount of work done and your own skin elasticity will also affect the timeline. However, some typical timelines for various contouring procedures are:

  • Liposuction. Two to six weeks, depending on the area treated and the technique used.
  • Tummy tuck. Four to six weeks.
  • Breast surgery. Generally about one week.
  • Thigh or buttock lift. Three to four weeks.
  • Upper arm lift. Two weeks.
  • Facelift. A few days.

Questions?

People and procedures vary. If you would like answers for your particular needs, a personal consultation will allow Dr. Yee to answer your questions and explain procedures that target your body contour problems.

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