Compression Garments ... why they are used.....

(deactivated member)
on 12/10/09 1:31 am - West Central FL☼RIDA , FL
I've seen so many post questions about compression garments......why do we have to wear them, how long should we wear them.... etc etc.

I personally am a BIG believer in the benefits (even more so now than ever before).  I say this because I've experienced first hand how wearing the right garment can make a difference in healing.  I've worn compression garments after all of my procedures.  After my Tummy Tuck I got swollen in my legs and butt (oddly not much in the tummy).  I was sent home in a binder which I guess was helping with the tummy.  I put on a knee length compression garment I happened to have at home and could almost immediately see and feel the swelling in my legs going down.  I was feeling so much better within just a few days.  I noticed over time that if I did not wear the garment under my clothing I would get puffy by the end of the day.  I didn't like the puffy feeling or look so for the most part I wore the compression garment every day during the past 3 months of my tummy tuck recovery.  I'd even put the binder on top if I felt I needed extra compression around my tummy.  Throughout my entire tummy tuck recovery I've posted that I had little to no swelling and just felt great.

I just had the LBL....I was sent home in a compression garment.  I suspected it was not small enough and over the past 4 or 5 days have been getting more and more swollen.  I got to a point last night that I was SO uncomfortable I just cried!   I've had a number of procedures now and am fairly experience with this recovery stuff......I have never had swelling like this.  The only thing I can think of is that I'm not getting the amount of pressure I need to move the fluids out of my body and so I'm swelling.  PLUS it is my understanding that having the right amount of compression helps the tissue and skin to re-attach better/smoother so I want the pressure!  I don't want my new smooth thighs to heal bumpy I want them to stick together nice an smoothly so wearing a garment is easy for me.  Last night I decided to put a smaller garment ontop of the large one AND I wrapped the binder around my lower stomach/hip area.  At first I could hardly close the binder.....this morning I can pull it a little tighter so I do believe it is already starting to make a little bit of a difference.  I hope I did not wait too long to try this....I wish I had expressed this concern to my surgeon sooner...maybe...just maybe....I would not be so swollen right now.

I'm blabbing on about this because when you ask yourself why do I have to wear this stupid garment I say why not.  Why not wear something that is under your clothing, not in the way of your performance, not visible to others, if it will help with your final results and your recovery use it.

At least the garments have come a long way.....we don't have to wear one of these!!!

Thank for letting me blab on....I'll get off my soap box now.....(and now I don't work for any garment company).

Hope you are having a great, issue free recovery!

If you want to read some of the research I did a few months ago here are some of the medical reasons for wearing a compression garment you might find interesting....(all found on different websites)

From one website...

Suction drains are used in combination with external pressure from an elastic abdominal binder or girdle, in order to evacuate the fluid (serum and blood) that commonly accumulates between the tissue and the underside skin and fat after the procedure. By eliminating the fluid build-up helps the skin to re-attach to the abdominal wall.

Control of swelling starts with surgical planning.  The type of compression is important. Too much compression at a given point can stop blood flow and cause tissue death. Too little, and fluid accumulates. 

To control swelling, I only use medical grade compression garments that go from the rib cage to just above the knees, with shoulder straps to prevent creases. The compression is uniform so there is not too much pressure in any one site. The compression in the thighs prevents any fluid buildup in the upper thighs and legs. In addition, in areas where I have separated a lot of tissue I put some foam pads to apply gentle extra pressure and prevent seromas. The compression garments are left continuously  a month of wearing garments. It is important to wear the garment for this entire period so that you are compressed during both periods of fluid accumulation, the acute (immediately following surgery) and prolonged healing phases.

From another website...

A very important aspect of recovering from a tummy tuck that is often forgotten until the last minute is the compression garment. Even though it is usually considered last, this garment is instrumental in aiding in your recovery. Therefore, we are going to elaborate on what the compression garment is used for and why you should use a medical grade garment.

First, let discuss what the compression garment does. The garment provides a specific amount of pressure on your midsection, which supports the portion of your midsection that was operated on by limiting your movement.

Besides limiting movement, these garments also aid blood circulation. This improved circulation is very beneficial in aiding and speeding up the patients recovery.

The compression garments also apply pressure, which allows the body to rid itself of toxic fluid (i.e. anesthesia, etc.). Furthermore, the garments help the body to get used to its new contours.

Now that we have gone over the benefits of using a compression garment, we need to point out that it is very crucial that you only use medical grade quality compression garments. Believe it or not, people will try to get non medical grade garments just to save a few dollars.

From another website...

Post Operative Compression Garments are a vital part of the recovery process. A high quality, properly fitted post operative compression garment can aid in body contouring and skin retraction while helping to reduce swelling and flushing your body of potentially harmful fluids. Compression garments also are very important for your comfort. In addition to reducing swelling immediately after the procedure, the compression provided by the garment makes you more comfortable during the recovery process.

From another website...

Question: What is the purpose of the compression garment after a tummy tuck and lipo, and how long do I need to wear it?

"Compression garments serve several medical purposes including reducing swelling, reducing the risk of blood clots (hematomas) and reducing the risk that the treated area will not 'mold' into its proper position. Compression garments serve an aesthetic purpose, too, because swelling is visibly reduced when a compression garment is in place. Another added benefit—clothes will fit better, look better, and feel better."

Jody ***
on 12/10/09 2:17 am - Brighton, MI
RNY on 10/21/08 with

Thank you very much for sharing this!

Now - for some advice.  I will be getting JUST a TT in January.  You said your legs swelled - what kind of compression garment should I be looking for - for my legs?  Can I get something from the store (more of a full body slimmer type thing) or do I need a professional one? 

Is there a picture of the compression garments you can direct us to?  I reallly have no idea what they look like. I'm sure they're different for a TT than they are for a LBL, etc. 

Again - thanks - very insightful and helpful

HW-218/SW-208/CW-126/ Lowest Weight-121/Goal-125 - hit 8/23/09/Height-5'3"

Regain 30 lbs from 2012 to 2016 - got back on track and lost it.  Took 8 months. 
90+/- pounds lost      
BMI - 24 or so
Starting BMI between 35 and 40ish? 
Join us on the Lightweights Board!

(deactivated member)
on 12/10/09 2:37 am - West Central FL☼RIDA , FL
Here are some websites with garments.
You want one that goes at least to just above your knees.
I've used this one...  and I loved it!  I'm going to get a new one now in a smaller size because I found it very effective and comfortable as they can be.  (FYI - I'm doing research on another brand today....I may change to a different manufacturer but it will be the same style.  If you remind me tomorrow I can update this if I find a better deal.) .aspx

Hope that helps!
Ask questions if you have them...
Barbara S.
on 12/10/09 7:43 am - Freeman, MO
This may be a dumb question, but how would I know what size I will need? I thought even though I will have one on when I come home, what if it isn't enough and why not have a clean one to change into?

Thanks for all the help
in Missouri
Hugs; Barbara
Lap RNY ~ 4/22/2003
5'0" ~253 starting wt. 130 lb loss!
Extended Tummy Tuck with KU Residency Program
01/08/2010 ....Lost another 7 lbs with TT.

(deactivated member)
on 12/10/09 8:06 am - West Central FL☼RIDA , FL
You need to check the size chart on the manufacturer's website.  I find it best to call them too just to be sure...if you give them your measurement they can advise you.

Also, most surgeon's provide at least one garment with surgery so double check with your surgeon before you buy any.   If you know your surgeon is going to give you one you can ask them what size they will giving you.  AND....most surgeons will let you buy a second one from them.  Some surgeons don't mark up the profit on it too much so just ask them and then compare the prices online.

I now have 2 on hand so I have one to change into without having to rush the other into the laundry.

on 12/10/09 2:58 am - Hartford, AR
VSG on 03/23/09 with
This is GREAT information!

Thanks so much for posting!


                                                   10 lb lost pre-op       5'10
Plastic Surgery completed 12/17/09 with Dr. Sauceda (Anchor Cut Tummy Tuck, Medial Thigh Lift & Eyelid Surgery)

on 12/10/09 4:03 am - Detroit, MI
Wonderful post. Thanks for the info.
Melissa M.
on 12/10/09 6:43 am - Seabrook, TX
I am 6 months out and have worn one every single day almost 24/7 since surgery.   And to think there are surgeons that don't even use them!  It surprises me too how so many people aren't even told by their surgeons the importance of them.  Sure there are those that don't swell much and don't need to use them very long, but that isn't the case for everyone.
on 12/11/09 2:29 am - Tucson, AZ
Thanks for this post.  I now have 2 compression garments, the stage 1 I wore home from surgery and a stage 2 garment which is hella more tight than the other one.  I wear the stage 2 all day and the stage 1 at night to sleep in.  I just feel way more "secure" with one on than without. 


on 12/11/09 3:00 am
Great post!

I will be having a TT, brachioplasty & BA - should get the full body suit?

What about the legs - should I get support hose as well?
How long do you wear the # 1 - then switch to the # 2?