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Do I need to wear a compression garment after plastic surgery?

Home » Articles » Do I need to wear a compression garment after plastic surgery?

While compression clothing may not be part of your current wardrobe, this is something you’ll want to add to your shopping list before surgery. Compression clothing is often advised following:

Even some breast augmentation patients find compression garments helpful during the recovery period. After scheduling your plastic surgery in Orange County, make sure to treat yourself to some new compression clothes.

What are compression garments?

We often think of Spanx when we think about compression clothes. You might even conjure images of your grandma’s thick, tan stockings. While these aren’t too far off, the compression garments suggested after a body contouring procedure are specifically made to facilitate healing. In some cases, they are pretty high tech.

The compression garments you’ll use after surgery are made from synthetic fabrics like nylon. They allow for stretching in all three dimensions to provide comfortable support while being breathable. You can find compression garments for nearly any body part. These clothes come in a variety of styles.

How do compression garments help after plastic surgery?

While compression garments won’t be the most attractive articles of clothing in your closet, they offer several benefits that should make them a welcome part of your healing process.

1. Help reduce swelling

After plastic surgery or any other body sculpting procedure, your body will naturally produce fluids. These fluids often accumulate, which may lead to uncomfortable swelling. Swelling can lengthen the amount of time your body needs to heal.

Compression garments apply pressure across the treatment area. This even pressure prevents excess fluid from building up in a single space. Your body can easily absorb this fluid and dispose of it naturally. Reduced swelling means faster recovery time.

2. Decrease bruising

Medical procedures often cause trauma to blood vessels. When blood vessels are injured, blood enters the surrounding tissue. All of this blood discolors the skin around the injury site.

Some bruising is to be expected after plastic surgery. The amount of bruising and how long it lasts will vary from patient to patient. Compression clothing can not only help minimize the amount of bruising, but it can aid in healing damaged blood vessels faster.

Compression clothing applies constant pressure to the treated area. This pressure helps stop additional bleeding and prevents blood from moving towards the skin’s surface. If blood isn’t reaching the surface, the amount of bruising will be significantly diminished.

3. Improve scarring

While most plastic surgery procedures only require small incisions, scarring is still possible. Even the most strategically placed cut by the most experienced board-certified plastic surgeon has the potential to leave a scar. The exact level of scarring varies from person to person.

Compression garments use pressure to soften and flatten the skin to reduce the appearance of scars. Experienced surgeons do everything they can to limit or hide scarring; compression clothing will help further reduce scarring.

4. Better results

Plastic surgery can produce some significant, life-changing results. Compression garments can take these results to the next level. The support and pressure from the clothing can assist your body to adapt to its new shape while reducing the risk of a wrinkled appearance. A bonus is that compression garments can help improve your posture.

Related: Liposuction: Let’s talk about Compression Garments

Wearing instructions for compression clothing

Compression garments should fit snugly, but they should not restrict movement or feel overly bulky. You doctor will likely advise that the clothing fits over the entire treatment area. Treatment areas that are not covered may result in a visible difference between uncovered spaces and the covered area.

There is a large variety of sizes and styles for each part of the body. You will most likely wear a compression garment immediately after the procedure is complete. Your surgeon may reduce the amount of compression over a series of weeks. They may also reduce the amount of time compression clothing is worn. The extent of your procedure and your surgeon’s technique will play significant roles in the length of time compression clothing should be worn.

Compression clothes aren’t meant to be worn all of the time. Patients should remove the clothing for bathing. The benefits are better received when these clothes are worn more often. Compression garments can even be worn while you sleep. Make sure to keep the clothing clean, though. Instructions for washing will vary depending on the type of garment you select.

Are there risks?

Compression garments are designed to create pressure. This means they are going to fit a little tighter than your regular clothes. You should expect varying amounts of discomfort while getting used to the sensation.

It is crucial to make sure the compression clothing fits correctly. Poorly fitting compression wear can result in irregularities in your body’s contour and can negate the positive effects of the clothing. Also, while your compression garments should be snug, they should never prevent you from breathing correctly. If you have any concerns about your compression garments, it is important to talk to your surgeon.

An essential part of the healing process

While compression garments may not be your first choice to show off your new body, they are essential to the healing process. With the variety of sizes and styles available, you can enjoy recovery without losing your style. 

What tips do you have regarding compression garments after a procedure? Leave your comments below.

Want to learn more?

If you’re considering plastic surgery in the near future, CosmetiCare is here to ensure you feel secure and ready with our board certified plastic surgeons and knowledgeable staff. To learn more about which plastic surgery procedure is right for you, contact us to schedule a free consultation today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Brian Reagan

Renowned, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Brian Reagan underwent his surgical training at Cornell Medical College/The New York Hospital. He conducted the award-winning NIH-funded research in the science of wound healing and trained with experts in facial rejuvenation, rhinoplasty, and body contouring. 

Committed to giving back to the community, he is a Board Member and surgeon for a nonprofit that provides free surgery for children and young adults with congenital and acquired deformities. He has donated over 200 procedures and was awarded the “Health Hero Award” by the Combined Health Agencies of San Diego for his work. 

Dr. Reagan recently joined the board of The Burn Institute, a nonprofit committed to supporting the UCSD Burn Center, burn survivors and their families and works with Scripps, a private, nonprofit integrated health system in San Diego.

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