Plastic Surgery

Why are compression garments required after liposuction?

January 25, 2019

The phrase “compression garment” conjures up images of celebrities wearing Spanx, athletes in tight sleeves and leggings and jet-setters sporting special socks on long-haul flights. While they are all examples of compression clothing, the compression garments used in medicine are more advanced, high-tech designs specially constructed to facilitate healing and enhance results.

Compression is a key component of the liposuction recovery process for many of our patients at Advanced Aesthetics. Compression garments offer many benefits to men and women recovering from liposuction and other body contouring procedures and can make a dramatic difference in the surgical outcome. Proper use of a compression garment is one of the best things you can do to shape the sleeker physique you’re hoping to achieve. What are compression garments? Medical compression garments are made from strong, synthetic fabrics (such as nylon and lycra) that stretch and apply pressure to the body when they are worn after a surgical procedure. The garments are made in various styles and sizes so they can be worn by a wide range of patients on many different parts of the body. A girdle-like compression garment would be appropriate after liposuction of the abdomen, for instance, while compression stockings or sleeves would be recommended after liposuction of the legs or arms, respectively. All medical compression garments are designed to provide a level of pressure that encourages healing, not the kind of pressure created by “waist trainers” or other types of shape-wear used for fashion.

Why are compression garments worn after liposuction?

Surgeons recommend wearing a compression garment after liposuction for several reasons related to achieving a comfortable recovery and optimal results:

Compression Garments Help Reduce Swelling

Wearing a compression garment after liposuction helps the body recover and increases your comfort during the healing process. The body naturally produces fluids during recovery. These fluids can accumulate and become trapped, causing swelling and discomfort and prolonging the healing process. Many liposuction patients experience significant postoperative swelling that can last for weeks. A compression garment applies even pressure across the treatment area, preventing excessive fluid buildup and helping your body absorb any fluid that does accumulate.

Compression Garments Can Decrease Bruising

Bruising is to be expected after liposuction. Its severity and longevity will vary from patient to patient, but it can be minimized by wearing a compression garment. Bruises occur as a result of trauma to blood vessels. When blood vessels are injured, blood enters the surrounding tissue and discolors the visible skin above the injury site. The consistent pressure of a compression garment helps stop bleeding and prevents blood from moving toward the skin’s surface to reduce the appearance of bruises.

Compression Garments Can Improve Scarring

Scarring can occur after liposuction, but it is rarely significant. The incisions used in the procedure are small and strategically located to reduce their visibility as much as possible. The degree of scarring experienced depends on a mix of factors, including the technique used and the patient’s genetic tendency to develop scars. If you are concerned about scarring, wearing a compression garment can provide peace of mind. Pressure helps soften, flatten and further reduce the appearance of liposuction’s already discreet scars.

Compression Garments Can Shape Your Final Results

Wearing a compression garment can improve the contour of the treatment area, helping you achieve optimal liposuction results. The support of the garment helps your body adapt to its new streamlined shape and reduces the risk of your skin developing a lax or wrinkled appearance. This can mean smoother, tighter, more attractive liposuction results. Some patients also find that wearing a compression garment improves their posture and facilitates easy movement after a body contouring procedure.

Are there risks associated with wearing a compression garment?

A compression garment is tight by design. Patients sometimes experience discomfort as they get used to the sensation of wearing one, particularly in the early stages when postoperative swelling is at its height. A compression garment is not, however, intended to place excessive pressure on the treatment area. Too much compression can be painful and may increase the risk of developing pressure necrosis or deep vein thrombosis (DVT). An ill-fitting or improperly worn compression garment can contribute to seroma formation or surface contour irregularities. If you have any concerns about your compression garment being too tight or not fitting properly, do not hesitate to contact your surgeon.

How should a compression garment be worn?

Any time you undergo a medical procedure, it is important to follow your doctor’s aftercare instructions to ensure a smooth recovery and attractive results. Compression garments play an important role in proper healing after liposuction. They come in a variety of styles and sizes for nearly every part of the body. After the procedure, a compression garment will most likely need to be worn immediately and for several weeks after as the initial recovery process takes place. Your surgeon may reduce your compression in stages, starting with a high degree of compression then switching to a lower degree of compression and gradually decreasing the number of hours it must be worn each day. The length of time you will be asked to wear the garment before it can be discarded will depend on the extent of your procedure and your surgeon’s technique and preferences.

To be effective, your compression garment should fit snugly but not be overly restrictive or bulky. It should cover the full extent of the treatment area; if the treatment area is partially exposed, there may be a visible delineation between the area that was covered and the area that was not. Sizing a compression garment correctly can be challenging. Speak with your surgeon and consult the manufacturer’s sizing charts before making any purchases.

Learn More About Liposuction and Recovery

Despite a healthy diet and a regular exercise routine, some stubborn pockets of fat may refuse to budge from your body. Liposuction is a minimally invasive procedure that can reduce these unwanted fat deposits and reveal the slimmer or more toned physique you’ve been working hard to achieve. If you’re ready to love the way you look and want to learn more about how liposuction can help, contact Advanced Aesthetics today at 770-461-4000 to schedule a consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons.

Reviews & Testimonials

Daniel Callahan
5 stars

Could not say enough great things about Dr. Raniere and his staff at Advanced Aesthetics! They are wonderful in every way and provide exceptional care. I am very pleased with my results of my surgery, as is several of my family members that he has also treated. The whole process from the first consult to the last post-op visit was so painless. Highly recommend Dr. Raniere and his practice for all your plastic surgery needs!

Jul 12, 2022
Ashley Handy
5 stars

I had a great experience at Advanced Aesthetics. Dr. Ranieri is very professional and his work is outstanding. I’m glad chosen him out of all the surgeons to perform my surgery! I will choose him again if I had to do it over again!

Jul 12, 2022
Martha Traylor
5 stars

Dr.Gronka, as well as his staff are very professional and helpful.

Feb 25, 2022
Dixie Taylor
5 stars

When searching for a surgeon, I took YEARS to make up my mind. After meeting with several other doctors, I met with Dr. Raniere.... I knew right away, he was it! He’s a true artist who’s a total perfectionist! He listens very well and is very knowledgeable and most of all PASSIONATE about what he does. His staff is just out right phenomenal! You feel as if your going through the whole process with you best friends! Mrs. Cheryl is perfect is guiding you through everything before, during and after your procedure. I would highly recommend planning your surgery with this team of artist!

Feb 25, 2022
Reggie Donaldson
5 stars

Dr. Stewart did work to close the wound on my nose from Moh’s surgery. He did an excellent job - 2 weeks out and healing nicely. He and his staff were extremely friendly and there for questions and concerns I had. I strongly would recommend him to anyone who needs a plastic surgeon.

Oct 28, 2021
Hajji Johnson
5 stars

My experience so far has been great. The whole team was nice and refreshing. Great atmosphere and Dr. Gronka was very pleasant and understanding and I was able to ask questions concerning the surgery. Im looking forward to this journey.

Sep 18, 2021
Kelly Walker
5 stars

Dr. Edward Gronka and his staff are awesome! His bedside manner is amazing! He cares about his patients and gets to the heart of the matter. I truly enjoy talking to Dr. Gronka. He makes you feel welcomed and listens while you're talking. I recommend Advanced Aesthetics Plastic Surgery for your personal care.

Jul 09, 2022
Nelson Stephenson
5 stars

Dr. Stewart is very skilled and is compassionate about his care. I appreciated his kindness and have already referred him to a friend who has surgical needs.

Sep 02, 2021
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