After liposuction, part of the recovery process is wearing a compression garment for several weeks. This special garment reduces swelling of the affected areas, increases circulation to the surgery areas, and prevents the buildup of fluid. This is an essential step to ensure proper healing.
Compression garments are made of a stretchable, breathable fabric that hugs the body and compresses the surgery sites. Depending on whether or not the liposuction incisions were closed, the garment serves a different purpose. Incisions may be left open to encourage draining of the fluids used during tumescent liposuction. In this case, the elastic garment may be worn for a few days. If the liposuction incisions are closed, the fluid is trapped under the skin and the garment is necessary to reduce swelling. It may be worn for several weeks.
After liposuction, a seroma may form. A seroma is a collection of lymph fluid inside a body cavity. Since liposuction removes fat and leaves temporary cavities, seromas can form. They are not dangerous but they do need to be drained. Wearing the stretchy garment helps prevent seromas by compressing the subcutaneous cavities left by the extraction of the fat. As the body heals, these cavities disappear and the body takes on its new shape.
There are many compression garments available to cover the specific areas of the body where surgery was performed. Garments are designed to compress specific areas without constricting other areas. Girdles are available for patients that have had liposuction on their hips, thighs, and buttocks. Binders for the midsection hold in the abdomen. Full body garments are made for patients who have undergone extensive liposuction on multiple areas of the body. It is recommended that patients have several garments on hand.
A liposuction surgeon will determine what type of compression garment you need and how long you will need to wear it.