Liposuction Recovery & Compression Garments
Why compression garments are so important following liposuction
Most Cosmetic surgeons around the world use compression garments following liposuction. Through years of liposuction experience I have found that the very best results are achieved with the addition of foam pads under the garments. All of our patients are provided with foam pads during liposuction recovery to achieve these same outstanding results.
When liposuction is performed, a “dead space” is created by the thorough removal of the fat layer. All that remains in the treated area are nerves, blood vessels and lymphatics. These structures are left relatively unharmed as the blunt tip of the liposuction cannula passes through the tissue removing fat. If a compression garment is not used, this “dead space” will fill with fluid. This benefit is most significant in the first 72 hours after surgery when the body produces the most fluid that is released into the treated area. Avoiding the fluid collection by using a garment during this phase of the healing process is critical.
The compression garment should be continued well past this first 72 hours. The purpose of the garment during the next phase of healing is to support the rebound and shrinkage of the skin. The more the skin is stretched by swelling, the more difficult it is for the skin to return to it’s preoperative state. Furthermore, we are hoping for skin shrinkage in many cases. In these patients, it becomes even more critical to avoid swelling. This is where I believe the foam pads are invaluable. It is another layer of smooth compression that supports the skin and promotes its rapid recovery.
The final aspect to post liposuction care and use of compression garments is to avoid any creasing of the garment over treated areas. In some areas like the neck, arms, chest, and legs, this is not so difficult. However for liposuction of the abdomen, hips and back, the garments want to bunch up or fold into your natural curves. You must be vigilant in pulling the garment up and smoothing it out every time you get into and out of bed and even while sitting. A crease in your garment can cause too much direct pressure at the crease and prevents the tissue above it from draining. This can lead to minor fluid collections and lessen an otherwise perfect result.
For the first two weeks following a liposuction procedure, we usually recommend you use the compression garments we provide. After that, store bought garments such as Spanks@ work very well. These are usually continued for a total of three to six weeks. They can be perfectly fitted for your new and changing shape and are easier to take on and off. They are also a little less bulky so you can show off your new body a bit sooner!
By David E. Marcus, M.D.
Dr. Marcus is a Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, specializing in Cosmetic Plastic Surgery at his Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Center located in Santa Rosa, CA. Dr. Marcus was born and raised in Michigan, where he received his highly-regarded surgery and plastic surgery training.