Compression garments for Liposuction and Tummy tuck

For the best results following any plastic surgery procedure it’s important to choose your board certified surgeon carefully, discuss your goals and options very specifically, and follow your surgeons post-op instructions completely. These post-op instructions often include wearing a compression garment like the zippered body girdle shown above, which is available from Design Veronique.

Not wearing your compression garment after surgery might not seem like a big deal, but in fact, it is very important to your surgical result! I ask all of my patients to wear a compression garment after their Liposuction and/or Tummy tuck surgery.

a compression garment is very important to your final surgical result

-Dr. Rodriguez

A compression garment is similar to a girdle or Spanx. I require all of my Tummy tuck and Liposuction patients to wear this garment around the clock for the first two weeks post op. This garment is essential to getting the best possible surgical result.

What does a compression garment do?

In a nutshell, the compression garment will allow your new body shape to heal evenly and smoothly. It will prevent lumps and bumps forming in the recovery period.

After the trauma of surgery, fluid from blood vessels and capillaries leak into the tissues. This can interfere with proper healing, or even cause fluid accumulations which  can lead to inflammation, infection, and wound separation. A compression garment will prevent this leakage, and help prevent complications like fluid accumulations or seromas.

To get the most out of the compression garment, I also insert Topifoam pads.The use of topifoam pads inserted between your skin and the compression garment with help you achieve the smoothest possible surgical result. In the photo below, the topifoam is the white pad under the black garment. This combination will keep the tissues in place and help the skin to mold to the tissue below in an even distribution.

What is the best type of compression garment for a Tummy tuck?

A patient wearing a compression Garment after a Tummy tuck procedure.

Compression garments come in a wide range of styles and sizes. My staff will order your custom size depending on your measurement. However, in addition to getting the ‘right size,’ quality post-operative medical garments should be adjustable. This allows me, or my patient, to further customize the garment to the new shape of the body.

Adjustable garments have a closure system using a combination of hook and eyelets overlaid by zippers. This combination allows you to release some of the compression by undoing the zipper but leaving the hooks attached if you want less pressure over a broad area. If you want a more limited area of pressure relief, you can undo a couple of adjacent hooks and zipper over.

How should a compression garment fit?

A compression garment should stay in place and not fold or form rolls. A garment that folds or rolls can cut off circulation or exert too much pressure underneath the fold or roll.

Garments with shoulder straps prevent the garment from folding when the patient sits. It will stay in place. The garment should also have a panty extension to keep the garment from rolling up. This also provides compression in the groin area and below the Tummy tuck incision which can also get very swollen.

Why is it important to have a good fit?

An improperly fitted compression garment can do more harm than good! If the garment has no shoulder straps and is more in the shape of an ‘abdominal band or binder,’ it runs the risk of not staying in place and creating rolls. A garment that folds or rolls can create indentations or depressions in your final surgical result! Likewise, an improperly fitted garment following a Tummy tuck can even cut off circulation to the skin flap and result in healing problems.

Proper garment and fit for the best surgical result

In summary, make sure you get the right kind of compression garment and make sure it fits properly! By wearing the compression garment following a Liposuction or a Tummy tuck, you will get the smoothest result possible.

Wondering if a Tummy tuck or Liposuction is right for you?

Contact Us to schedule a complimentary in-office consultation or consider a virtual consultation for just $75 (which gets applied to your surgery when you book). Or just give us a call at 410-494-8100!

Note: Virtual consults can also be used to get second opinions.

By Dr. Ricardo L. Rodriguez MD
Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
Cosmeticsurg Baltimore, Maryland
Ricardo L Rodriguez on American Society of Plastic Surgeons

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16 thoughts on “Compression garments for Liposuction and Tummy tuck”

  • Jasmine Banks says:

    I am 3 weeks post tummy tuck and liposuction. My drains have been removed but I am still filling up with fluid like a water balloon which my doctor has drained me using a syringe previously. I've notice recently that my upper abdominal area sticks out more than my stomach. could this be from the built up fluid or am I eating food that makes me gain fat in that area?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Jasmine: An ultrasound of the areas concerned will show very easily what the problem is. Ask your surgeon to do an ultrasound or refer you to get an ultrasound.
  • Danyelle says:

    Dr. Rodriguez, I recently had a DIEP Flap. I am 1 1/2 week post op. I know you deal with tummy tucks so this is close to your expertise. I am very swollen after surgery. No binder was used and I fear keloids will have a field day on me. The doc drew fluid out that he believes is water. It is quite painful from the pressure it put on my belly. We tried diuretics and it drew water from everywhere but my belly. I'm nervous. Is it too late for compression? I would like to go that route. My legs were swollen but have been normal for a week. I am on the very tiny side of the patients that normally get this procedure. I would appreciate any assistance you can give. 37 rear/ swollen 37 waist - normally 28in, right below breast 34 1/2 in. - Respectfully...
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Danyelle: Sorry about the late response. I do not check out this blog frequently as it is not a treatment side, rather it is used to give out information. By now you probably should have had an answer from your surgeon. It sounds like what you have is called a seroma. It would not be surprising if it requires several needle aspirations. And yes, pressure does help.
  • annete herman says:

    I'm 3 1/2 weeks post op from a mommy makeover. I had a tummy tuck with lipo on my flanks and a breast reduction and lift. I have been wearing my post op garment religiously 24/7. When I went to see the surgeon he told me my garment was too tight and he recommended a bigger garment which I have, foam for the front over the incision site and two pads on the side. My body looks smooth with no lumps or bumps. The side pads make it very hard to work and are uncomfortable, the nurse tells me I should wear them during the day but not at night to sleep. I want the best results possible, but I still don't understand why I am using the pads underneath the compression garment, can you explain? Thank you.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Annette: I use pads a lot after surgery, but only for the first five days after surgery. They do help a lot to reduce swelling in targeted areas.
  • Lisa campos says:

    Hello I've recently had tummy tuck/breast augmentation. 'm two week post-op I'm experiencing a significant amount of swelling. I've read what you've posted regarding compression and swelling. My garment is different and would like the one you use for your patience. How or where can I purchase this type of garment
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Lisa: Sorry about the delay in responding. I hope you have resolved your issue. If not, here's a vendor with good prices https://www.shapewearftc.us
  • Maria Lopez says:

    I just bought a very good compression garment in this store, a friend of mine told me that she used after her surgery in Colombia. www.shapewearftc.us It is helping me a lot! Thanks for your great article Dr Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Thanks, I'm letting my patients know. Please send a sample so we can show patients and check out materials, feel, etc.
  • Amanda says:

    I have a question I am 5 weeks already from having a tummy tuck I wear a good spandex that buttons from the bottom but at night I take it off and wear my binder the one I got father surgery should I not wear that?? It forms rolls the binder
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Amanda: I don't use binders for the same reason you cite. They roll. We use spandex zippered garments with suspenders to keep the spandex smooth and without creases.
  • Rob says:

    Thanks so much for all this knowledge we use it everyday with all our Post Op clients. We agree 100% the perfect fit is critical for proper recovery. You can see our collection of Colombian Stage-2 Garments at www.allaboutshapewear.com Feel free to reach out with any questions Thanks for the content.
  • Terri says:

    Am 4 weeks past my fat transfe in I have lumps on my stomach don't wear my garment 24/7 but I wear a waist shaper for 8 hours a day did I do something wrong began that I have lumps in hard stomach in it's still big
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Terri: Lumps in the liposuctioned areas generally occur when large cannulas were used. There is a pocket of space where blood or fluids can accumulate then you can get a lot of scarring. Ask your surgeon to refer you to a physical therapist that can do ultrasound massage to break up the scar. But talk to your doctor and find out what the lumps are using ultrasound or other imaging modalities.
  • Swan Center for Plastic Surgery - Dr Dean Fardo says:

    After surgery it is important to follow your post operative instructions from the physician, with cosmetic surgery this is equally as important. Often times after cosmetic surgery the patient may feel better very quickly and decide they are ready to get back to their normal routine before instructed by their doctor. This can affect the results and outcome of surgery. With Liposuction surgery is to extremely important to wear the compression garments as instructed to help ensure the ideal results and reduce risk of complication and/or need for revision surgery.