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Why is the use of the post surgical compression garment necessary after plastic surgery?

Better Me

August 22, 2022

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Part of the success of an intervention lies not only in the professionalism of the plastic surgeon but also in the postoperative care of the patient. Eating a healthy diet, drinking water, avoiding demanding physical activities and the use of a post surgical compression garment are the most common recommendations. 

However, we have seen the need to explain in depth the importance of post-surgical girdles and solve some of the most frequently asked questions regarding their use. These garments offer the additional support you need to achieve a quick recovery.

What happens if you don’t wear?

Although you may hear some debate about whether or not to wear a post surgical compression garment after plastic surgery, its use is still highly recommended by experts. Many of them have noticed that its disuse could affect the desired result after surgery.

Compression garments hold the skin and muscles together while they heal. When their use is discarded, a greater prolongation of this recovery time has been perceived [1], and sometimes, the appearance of sagging skin after abdominal surgeries. Its absence considerably increases the chances of feeling normal postoperative discomfort such as swelling and hematomas for a longer period of time [3]. Thus, it is still more convenient to continue with its use.

On the other hand, it should be noted that removing the girdle for short periods of time while showering or washing the garment will not adversely affect the outcome. 

post surgical compression garment

How tight should the post surgical compression garment be worn?

Sometimes, patients believe that wearing a post surgical girdle as tight as possible is the best they can do when the truth is that it is not right. The main purpose of this garment is to support the body without putting excessive pressure on the area that is healing.

Wearing a compression garment too tightly can cause more harm than good. For example, excessive pressure after liposuction can cause hyperpigmentation of the skin, rippling or surface irregularities.

Ideally, it should fit snugly and comfortably. To do this, a good way to determine if you have the right fit is to check if sliding your hand under the girdle is effortless [5]. If you are still not confident enough to know if the garment is too tight or loose, consult your plastic surgeon and ask for help.

How long should a post surgical compression garment be worn?

Depending on the type of procedure and the patient’s progress, the time of use of the girdle will vary. It is usual to recommend its use day and night for at least the first weeks, and after a while, it will be used only during the day. However, it is best that the plastic surgeon is the one who makes the follow-up and determines the times according to your case.

What do I do if the post surgical compression garment is uncomfortable?

A post surgical compression garment should not cause pain or discomfort, and if it does, you may be wearing one that does not fit or is poorly made. In this situation, make the comment to your plastic surgeon. Adjustments may need to be made to loosen it or change it depending on the case [2]. 

Also, invest more in quality than in economy. You will probably have to wear the garment for many weeks after surgery, so make your recovery as comfortable as possible. Once you get over the discomfort issue, buy two girdles so you have a spare while the other washes [4].

You might be interested in reading: Post surgical compression garments: what are they for? And, how to choose the right one?

In summary

Post surgical compression garments are important for postoperative care as they speed up recovery time, help contouring and improve the healing process. Their absence could prolong the healing period and leave some flaccidity in certain areas.

In addition, it must be ensured that the garment is not excessively loose or tight, it is made with excellent quality materials, you feel comfortable and it is designed for the required need. Depending on the type of surgery and evolution of the patient, the plastic surgeon will determine the time of use.

If you want to learn more about post surgical compression garments or postoperative care issues, do not miss our blog articles. You can also write to us for personalized assistance on plastic surgery plans in Colombia that include this item in the cost. We are the medical tourism agency that connects you with the best health professionals and arranges every detail of your procedure. 

Another article that might interest you: How to choose a compression bra after breast augmentation?



[1] Atlanta Plastic Surgery – Top Doctor by Atlanta Magazine. 2021. Reasons to Wear a Compression Garment After a Tummy Tuck. [online] Available at: <https://www.perimeterplasticsurgery.com/blog/what-happens-if-you-dont-wear-a-compression-garment-after-a-tummy-tuck/> [Accessed 20 August 2022].

[2] Beldholm, D., 2022. Complete guide to compression garments after surgery. [online] Body Contouring. Available at: <https://beldholm.com.au/body-contouring/complete-guide-to-wearing-compression-garments-after-surgery/> [Accessed 20 August 2022].

[3] Dixit, V. and Wagh, M., 2013. Unfavourable outcomes of liposuction and their management. [online] National library of Medicine. Available at: <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3901919/> [Accessed 20 August 2022].

[4] RealSelf. 2018. Will I Get Bad Results if I Don’t Wear my Compression Garment After Tummy Tuck and Lipo?. [online] Available at: <https://www.realself.com/question/bad-results-dont-wear-my-compression-garment-after-tummy-tuck-and-lipo> [Accessed 20 August 2022].

[5] Rubinstein, D., 2021. Wearing Compression Garments after your Body Surgery. [online] Dr Craig Rubinstein – plastic cosmetic surgeon. Available at: <https://drcraigrubinstein.com.au/blogs/wearing-compression-garments-after-your-tummy-tuck-or-body-surgery/> [Accessed 20 August 2022].



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