If you’re considering plastic surgery of any kind, naturally, you research everything about it. Well, when it comes to recovery, wearing a compression garment is one of the best things you can do. Often, your plastic surgeon will advise you to wear a compression garment. But why? Keep reading to find out why you need to wear a compression garment after plastic surgery.
What is a Compression Garment?
You might think of stockings when you hear compression garments. But, your post-surgery compression garment is a high-tech piece of clothing specifically made to enhance your recovery and results.
The garments come in all shapes and sizes and are usually made from fabrics like nylon or lycra. They are available for almost every part of the body. You can get all different types of compression garments for men and women.
This includes ultra-supportive bras, girdles, bodysuits and more. From breast augmentation and liposuction to tummy tucks and Brazilian butt lifts, you can find a compression garment to suit a ton of different procedures.
At the Harley Clinic, we advise our patients to wear compression garments after surgery to enhance the healing process.
Who Needs Compression Garments After Surgery?
Post-surgery compression garments are for patients who’ve had body contouring procedures. These include abdominoplasty, liposuction, and a Brazilian butt lift. Why? After a major procedure, the body begins the healing process by sending fluid and white blood cells to the surgical site. This results in the swelling common with invasive cosmetic procedures.
A compression garment helps reduce the amount of swelling you may experience. It can also help minimise scarring and bruising because the garment holds the skin together allowing for optimal healing.
The type of compression garment you wear will depend on the type of procedure you had. For instance, compression garments after tummy tuck and liposuction procedures focus on the abdomen.
If you’ve had a Brazilian butt lift, the compression garment should be long enough to support your buttocks without compressing the area too much. When it comes to breast augmentation, a supportive, wireless surgical bra is more ideal than a compression garment. Your plastic surgeon will give you instructions on what kind of garment suits your specific procedure. Most of the time, you will likely leave the hospital with a compression garment on already.
Plastic Surgery Recovery: Why Do You Need to Wear a Compression Garment?
So, why are compression garments part of the post-surgery recovery process? Here are a few reasons why your plastic surgeon may ask you to wear a post-surgery compression garment.
Minimises Swelling and Bruising
Compression garments direct subcutaneous fluid so it gets reabsorbed by the body. Having constant pressure on the operated tissue helps to reduce fluid build-up. This minimises post-operation swelling and bruising.
Speeds Up Recovery
In addition to this, the garment helps to speed up recovery and improve your overall results. The less swelling you experience, the quicker you will start to see the results of your procedure. Without the compression, your body will take longer to reabsorb excess fluid, and post-surgery swelling may linger for longer than needed.
Protects the Incisions
Compression garments for recovery add an extra layer that protects your incisions. The compression garment also keeps bacteria at bay to facilitate healing. At the same time, compression garments protect the incision site in case of an unexpected bump on the surgical site.
One of the risks of any invasive cosmetic procedure is the development of blood clots. Blood clots can be life-threatening if left untreated. They can develop anywhere, especially where there is poor circulation. Compression garments help improve circulation after a major procedure.
Helps Maintain the New Contour
Wearing a compression garment after a body contouring procedure helps apply pressure on the surgical area. This ensures that the body contour heals without distorting the desired shape.
Helps Reduce Pain
After a major procedure like a tummy tuck, you will experience discomfort at the surgical site for a few weeks. Wearing a compression garment doesn’t take the pain away, rather it makes it a little more bearable when you laugh, sneeze or cough. In some way, it can also help to reduce pain because no clothes are rubbing against the surgical area.
Compression is a big part of plastic surgery recovery. It can make a surprisingly big difference in your surgery outcome. The importance of your compression garment cannot be emphasised enough. While the main focus is on your surgery and your results, your compression garment will be your post-surgery best friend.
It’s no secret that compression garments aren’t the most attractive piece of clothing you will ever wear. However, the benefits of comfort and results far exceed any downsides.
How Should a Compression Garment Feel?
Your compression garment should feel snug but not too tight. Although it can take a little while to adjust to the sensation, the garment isn’t meant to put excessive pressure on the surgical site. An ill-fitting garment may contribute to surface contour irregularities. That’s why it’s so crucial that your garment is snug but not excessively tight.
Wearing a very small compression garment can impact blood flow which increases your risk of complications. Some signs of impacted blood flow include tingling, numbness and paleness. Wearing a garment that is too big won’t do anything for your recovery. It can even negatively affect the results of your surgery.
The best thing to do is to measure yourself and compare it to the manufacturer’s guide before buying a compression garment. Your plastic surgeon may suggest that you buy two garments; one that you will wear for the first weeks after the procedure and a smaller one that you will wear once the swelling goes down.
How Long Should You Wear a Compression Garment?
In general, you should expect to wear your compression garment for several weeks. But, this depends on the type of surgery you had. Some procedures have much longer recovery timelines. Your surgeon will advise you on your recovery process, so you know how long to wear your garment. The bottom line is the more you wear it, the more effective it will be.
Most plastic surgeons recommend wearing a compression garment every day and night for the first two weeks after your surgery. The only time you need to remove it is when you are bathing. This period, however, can vary from one person to another depending on the extent of the surgery and the specific procedure.
After 3 to 6 weeks, you can wear it for half a day although some surgeons recommend wearing it full time. It all comes down to how well you are recovering.
The most important thing when it comes to compression garments for recovery is ensuring that the garment remains dry and clean. This helps prevent irritation, chaffing and bacterial infections that can complicate recovery. After taking a shower, make sure the area dries completely before you wear the compression garment again.
Compression garments are very vital when you are recovering from body contouring procedures. These garments help facilitate healing, maintain the results and minimise post-surgical complications.
Compression Garments After Plastic Surgery Q & A
What happens if you don’t wear a compression garment after surgery?
Wearing a compression garment after surgery is an important step toward full recovery. If you do not wear it, you may develop noticeable scarring, and the bruising may increase. A compression garment after surgery helps ease the pain and discomfort. Not wearing one may impact the body’s ability to adjust to the new contours, affecting your results.
A compression garment is one of the must-have items for recovery after surgery. Therefore, if you do not wear it, it may increase the risk of the following:
- Increased inflammation, swelling, and bruising
- Increased discomfort
- Slowed healing
- Noticeable scarring
- Contour irregularities
What do compression garments do after surgery?
The primary role that compression garments play after surgery is to support the surgical sites. In doing so, they help reduce pain and swelling. This is because they hold tissues in place, preventing the accumulation of blood that may surface on the top layer of the skin. In some cases, high-quality compression garments also absorb sweat from the skin, helping to prevent the risk of infections in surgical sites.
How long should I wear a compression garment after lipo?
When it comes to liposuction, one of the many cosmetic surgeries that require wearing compression garments, you should wear a compression garment full-time for the first six weeks. The only exception to wearing a compression garment is when taking a shower. However, your surgeon may advise you to wear the garments only at night after the first few weeks. It is also important to note that the type of compression garments and how to use them are often unique to each individual.
What surgeries require a compression garment?
Different surgeries require wearing a compression garment to ensure that the recovery process is smooth and the involved swelling and bruising are minimised. These include:
- Breast augmentation surgery
- Tummy tuck surgery
- All liposuction surgeries
- Breast lift surgery
- Brazilian butt lifts
Do compression garments change your shape?
Yes, compression garments can impact your shape when used after plastic surgery as they are designed to hold your new contours in place. There are two different types of compression clothing. These include medical-grade compression clothing used after surgery and compression garments by sports manufacturers, which allow for movement and circulation during a workout. Medical-grade compression garments do more to change your shape.
What is a compression garment made of?
Compression garments are often made of strong synthetic fabrics such as nylon and lycra, which are often elastic. In addition, they are also made of elastomeric fibres and yarns, which allows them to apply the right amount of mechanical pressure on the specific area they are won in the body. Consequently, they support underlying tissues by compressing and stabilising them. Commonly used in the recovery from different plastic surgeries, compression garments are specifically made not to exert harmful pressure on the body, but support healing.
In case of any further questions on compression garments after surgery, contact The Harley Clinic team. Book a consultation today.