Benefits Of Wearing a Compression Garment


Benefits of Wearing a Compression Garment after plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery

Compression garments are post-op clothing predominantly made from elastin and nylon. They play a crucial role in enhancing your recovery following surgical procedures. Compression garments form the basis of good post-operative care following various plastic surgical procedures such as; liposuction, mammoplasty, augmentative or reconstructive breast surgery, abdominoplasty, face lifting, neck lifting and more.

Comfort during recovery has been at the forefront during the design of these garments. In other words not only are these garments essential to help promote faster healing and minimize swelling but they are also comfortable to wear. Even though the use of compression garments is quite common following surgical procedures, many patients still have questions about them. Below you will find out how compression garments work and why they’re so useful.

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Why should I wear a compression garment?

The use of compression garments postoperatively is a vital part of postoperative care because they not only accelerate the healing process and improve your postoperative prognosis but they also help stabilize postoperative changes, reduce pain and swelling and make the recovery process much smoother.

Furthermore, they play a crucial role in determining the results of your surgery and can also help prevent complications related to blood clots and incompetent circulation by promoting effective circulation.


When is a Compression Garment useful?

Coco Ruby Plastic Surgeons commonly use compression garments after;

What are the Benefits of using a Compression Garment?

Reduce bruising

Compression garments help reduce the chances of bruising following any plastic surgery. During surgical procedures, disruption to your blood vessels occurs, this causes bruising around surgical site. The use of post-operative garments decreases bruising considerably by preventing your blood cells from migrating towards the skin.

Reduce swelling

Post-operative swelling occurs when too much fluid builds up in the cavities or tissue of the affected region which can result in weight gain. Using a compression garment aggressively controls swelling by pressing upon the affected part.

Reduce skin sagging

Compression garments by holding skin tightly to underlying tissues help in accelerating your healing process. Following liposuction, excess skin may be left behind; compression garments provide support and hold your skin in place reducing lumping and sagging of your skin.

Helps promote blood circulation

Limited mobility following surgery may lead to a lack of proper circulation which results in blood clots developing. These blood clots can be very dangerous and lead to devastating consequences down the line. The use of compression garments promotes effective circulation and reduces the risk associated with blood clot formation. Proper circulation also helps in rapid wound healing and decreases the chances of infection.

It can help reduce postoperative pains

Compression garments promote circulation and decrease swelling thus accelerating the recovery procedure. As the recovery process is faster, the inflammatory process in your body is reduced which results in less pain. In addition, by applying pressure to the affected site it can help reduce pain.

It can help maintain your new contours and get a better result

Your plastic surgical procedure helps you get the contour to your body that you desire. But compression garments play an important role in maintaining those changes. Therefore, the use of compression garments is vital for aesthetic results following your surgery.

What is the Timeline for wearing your garment?

The First Stage

First stage compression garments are worn for approximately four weeks post-surgery. And, should be worn at all times. Garments should only be taken off when bathing and should be put back on immediately after. These garments feature hooks and eyes which help reduce friction and provide comfort. First stage garments help reduce post-operative swelling and bruising.

The Second Stage

Second stage garments are worn when your body does not create as much fluid at the surgery site. This stage starts about four weeks after the surgery and these garments should be worn for about 2 to 8 weeks. These garments do not have zippers or eyes and are more comfortable for day to day use under your clothes. You will not require wearing these garments throughout the day.

The Third Stage

Your newly acquired contours will have been noticeable by this stage. The postoperative swelling will have subsided by three months in most individuals. You may require wearing compression garments if your swelling hasn’t subsided till this period.


What do compression garments do?

  • Compression garments help in reducing any pain and swelling that you may have after the surgery.
  • They prevent skin bruising and makes the recovery process faster and smoother.
  • High-quality garments absorb sweat preventing chances of infection and give you a fresher feel.
  • They help maintain the contour obtained after your plastic surgery.
  • They also improve the results of your surgery
  • And patients are able to appreciate the final result much earlier.
  • They can also help reduce excess skin left behind without having to undergo surgery.

Can I sleep without my compression garment?

  • During stage one of your recovery, you will need to wear compression garments throughout the day and also while sleeping.
  • Patients should only remove the compression garment when showering.
  • This phase of recovery typically lasts 4 weeks, After four completed weeks you can remove the garments when going to sleep.
  • However, there is no harm in wearing these garments longer than the time suggested, provided they are comfortable.

What are Stage I and Stage II Garments?

Stage one garments;

  • Are the compressive garments you wear immediately following your surgical procedure.
  • They help remove excess swelling caused by fluid accumulation, they also help reduce post-operative bruising.
  • These garments make it possible for excess fluids to drain away easily.
  • They are zippered with hooks and eyes. This helps reduce friction and make the recovery process comfortable.
  • Depending on the nature of your surgery they are worn anywhere from 1 – 2 weeks or more.

Stage two garments;

  • On the other hand, stage two garments are those that are worn during the second stage of wound healing following surgery.
  • They are worn from the second postoperative week onwards and may be worn up to 8 weeks.
  • They provide support to the newly contoured body and do not have zippers or eyes allowing them to be easily worn under your clothes.

What happens if you don’t wear compression garments after liposuction?

  • Liposuction is a surgical procedure that uses a suction technique to remove fat from specific areas of the body, such as the abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks, arms, or neck.
  • Excess skin may be left behind in these areas which were previously supported by the removed fat cells.
  • Compression garments help reduce this sagging by holding your skin tightly to the underlying tissues.
  • Not using these garments can result in excess sagging skin being left behind. This can in turn lead to less aesthetic looking results.

How long should I wear a compression garment after a tummy tuck?

  • Tummy tuck surgery is one of the more aggressive body contouring procedures performed by plastic and cosmetic surgeons around the world. To get the best possible results from your procedure, you will need to wear compression garments after tummy tuck surgery for at least six to eight weeks during the post-op phase

Do compression garments help tighten skin?

  • Compression garments by holding the excess skin left behind to the underlying tissues after certain procedures like liposuction can help tighten the skin and reduce sagging.

How tight should your compression garment be after liposuction?

  • The compression garment that you wear should be tight enough to provide support to the affected part, but it should not be too tight to cause discomfort. Best compression garments fit snugly and exert adequate pressure on the body part. Wearing compression garments that are too tight can cause more harm than good.

Can compression garments cause swelling?

  • The intention of Compression garments is to reduce swelling. However, using tight garments that cause excess pressure can lead to fluid build-up and swelling.
  • Compression garments should snugly fit your body.
  • Wearing a compression bandage too tight causes more harm than good.
  • Poor-fitting garments increase your risk of lymphedema.

Does compression help with belly fat?

  • There is no evidence to suggest that wearing compression garments can result in weight loss from your belly in any way. These garments by exerting pressure on your tissues compress them giving an illusion of weight loss but do not cause actual weight loss. On the contrary, studies have shown it to slow down the process of weight loss by causing the support muscles to atrophy under its pressure.


What is the best tummy tuck compression garment after surgery?

  • It is important to choose a high-quality garment to make the recovery following surgery easier, minimize your post-operative discomfort, and prevent complications.
  • Patients need to use compression garments for six weeks following larger surgeries, like tummy tucks.
  • Whilst, smaller procedures require only four weeks of wearing these garments.
  • Either way the more comfortable and useable the better.
  • The quality of a compression garment is very important as you will be wearing it for a considerable period. The quality can vary depending on the manufacturer. Your surgeon will help you in choosing the best material. Some features to consider before buying compression garments include:
  • Materials should have good Antibacterial properties. This helps prevent bacterial growth on the skin thus accelerating the recovery process.
  • Offensive odours that are a result of bacterial growth are also less, giving you a better smell.
  • Compression garments should have breathable materials. These high-quality materials reduce sweating and keep you dry making the recovery process more comfortable and more rapid. It also helps reduce bad odour by preventing sweat from accumulating.
  • It should have a durable fabric: Good quality fabrics with plenty of stretches that snugly and comfortably fit your body
  • Compression garments should have moisture-wicking properties: This helps keep your skin dry reducing the bacterial spread and providing you comfort. The moisture-wicking property also helps reduce odours because of its evaporating properties.
  • It should have a seamless design to avoid unnecessary irritation to your skin
  • Compression garments should have zippers or hook-and-eye closures: These help reduce friction and are easy to wear and remove; you need not strain for it. Also, it makes going to the washroom easier as these garments are provided with convenient openings.

Tips to Reduce Swelling 

Swelling is a normal reaction of your body to any surgical procedure but excess swelling can result in complications or could well be an indicator of complications. You should alert your Surgeon about any swelling which you find abnormal.

Few things you can do to minimize swelling and fluid collection after the surgery in addition to using compression garments include:

  • Avoid salty foods: Salty foods potentiate swelling by holding water and preventing its removal from the body.
  • Applying cold compresses using ice packs at the site of surgery post-operatively can help reduce swelling.
  • Avoiding the use of diuretics as diuretics do not help in removing localized swelling
  • Elevating the swollen part above the heart level helps in draining excess fluids and reducing swelling.

Further Reading and Medical References 

Last updated: 13/05/2022
Author profile image
Dr Craig Rubinstein - MBBS, FRACS (Plast)
Dr Craig Rubinstein MBBS, FRACS (Plast), a Specialist Plastic Surgeon, is one of Australia's most respected Melbourne Surgeons for Breast Augmentation, Breast Lift (Mastopexy), Breast Reduction surgery and Abdominoplasty procedures. Using advanced surgical techniques to gain better body contouring and natural-looking surgical results, Dr Rubinstein is highly regarded by peers and patients for best-practice Clinic Patient-care and patient education strategies. He published a chapter on corrective surgery for Breast Asymmetry. Qualifications/Training Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) The Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) The Australian Medical Association (AMA) American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ISAPS) Founder: Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery previously Cosmetic Surgery for Women and Men Bio Page:

Coco Ruby’s Specialist Plastic and ENT Surgeons

With a wealth of experience and training, our Specialist Plastic Surgeons are dedicated to best practice patient care and education, customising Breast Enlargement Surgery for each and every patient to best meet their needs and desired surgical outcomes.

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What to do next?

Our Patient Liaison Team can assist with any questions you may have when considering a procedure. You can send in an enquiry form below or call our Melbourne Clinic between 9 am – 5 pm Monday to Friday.

Phone 1300 264 811, Email us: or Book a FREE 15-minute Phone Chat with our Patient Liaison Manager or a Virtual Consultation with a Surgeon.

Disclaimer: Results depend on individual patient circumstances and can vary significantly. Results may also be impacted by a variety of factors including your lifestyle, weight, nutritional intake and overall health. Consult your Specialist Plastic Surgeon for details. This information is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your Surgeon.