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Wearing Compression Garments after Body Surgery

Once you have made the decision to undergo either Body Surgery or Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty) surgery you want to do everything possible to ensure you get suitable results. Whilst rest, hydration and nutrition are vital to maximising your body’s healing ability one of if not the most important thing you can do is wear compression garments. Compression garments can aid your recovery in many ways, but there is also a lot of confusion around them. In order to remove this confusion, the team at Coco Ruby Plastic surgery have not only collected and answered some of the most Frequently asked questions about compression garments but we have also looked into the brands and suppliers of Compression Garments in Australia.

At Coco Ruby the brand of compression garments, we use does change based on patient feedback. However, we currently use Marena, Design Veronique and Isovela.

Wearing Compression Garments after Body Surgery - 1

Why should you wear a compression Garment After Surgery?

Any surgery puts your body under strain. During both body surgery and Tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) procedures, the skin is lifted off the muscle, this creates space between the skin and the underlying tissue. Even Liposuction creates space between the skin and tissue. Wearing a compression garment after your procedure can not only speed up your recovery and your healing process but can also impact your surgical results. When your body heals you want it to heal in the correct position. This is something that compression garments help with. The constant light pressure helps hold the skin in the correct position, this encourages the skin to re-adhere to the tissue.

Furthermore, it’s proven that patients who wear compression garments suffer less pain than those that don’t.

Reasons for Wearing a Compression Garment after Plastic or Cosmetic Surgery.

Helps prevent infection

  • Although you will also have bandages over your incisions a compression garment is an extra line of defence against germs and bacteria.

Reduces swelling

  • Edema, which is the medical term for swelling, occurs after injury or inflammation. The response your body has after undergoing a serious procedure, especially one in which you are having skin cut away, is like having an injury.
  • This edema/swelling occurs when small blood vessels in your body leak fluid into your near by tissue.
  • Compression garments and the pressure they provide help prevent this from occurring.

Helps reduce and prevent bruising and bleeding

  • A Hematoma (really bad bruise) occurs as a result of either traumatic injury to your skin or the tissues beneath your skin.
  • When damage happens to the blood vessels under your skin the blood collects and results in bruising.
  • A Hematoma is the collection of blood clotting under your skin, which results in swelling and pain.
  • Wearing a compression garment decreases the risk and severity of this happening after surgery.

Helps shape

  • The pressure these garments provide helps skin retract to its new position. It is especially for patients that have poor skin elasticity.

Reduces pain and discomfort

  • Sometimes applying light pressure to an injury can help alleviate the pain, this is one of the functions of a compression garment.
  • As previously stated above, compression garments also help reduce swelling and bruising which in turn reduce the level of pain and discomfort a patient feels after surgery.
  • Furthermore, they promote blood circulation. Good blood circulation helps reduce swelling and inflammation, which in turn helps reduce patients’ pain.

It may also help prevent Keloid scarring

  • Keloid scarring can happen weeks or even months after an incision or injury.
  • If there is an excess amount of collagen in the skin as a wound heals it can form keloid scars.
  • Compression therapy can help prevent keloid scars from forming.
  • Keeping the wound clean and covered as it heals is also vital.
  • Unfortunately, this may not be enough for some patients/ people that are prone to developing keloid scarring.

All the added above not only speed up the healing process but also make recovery more comfortable.

Timeline For Wearing Compression Garments After Surgery

When it comes to how long you wear your compression garment after surgery there are two main stages;

Stage One

Stage one starts immediately after your procedure. During this stage, the aim is to remove excess swelling that is a result of fluid accumulation that is caused by the patient’s increased circulation at the site of surgery.

Stage one compression garments generally have zippers, hooks and eyes. This helps reduce friction whilst the garment is being worn as well as easy removal. It is also common for stage one garments to have an open crotch as this eliminates the need to remove the garment while going to the bathroom.

Patients often wear stage one garments for between 1 and 3 weeks, however, this timeline depends on the extensiveness of the surgery. During stage one the garment should be worn 24/7 except whilst showering.

Stage Two

Patients will move on to stage two garments after the surgeon is happy with their wound healing post-surgery. In other words, once a patient’s fluid retention starts to reduce. This usually occurs around week two or three post-surgery. Stage 2 garments are often worn until six to eight weeks after surgery.

Stage two garments differ from stage one garments because they do not have zippers, eyes or crotch openings.

The level of compression is similar to that if stage one garments but are more ideal for day to day use. Stage two garments also don’t HAVE to be worn 24/7, just during the day, however, you can continue to wear them at night if you want to.

Most Common Post-op Compression Garment Brands and Suppliers In Australia

Compression Garment Brands

The most common brands in Australia include;

  • Marena
    • Marena has been around for 25 years.
    • They use their patented TriFlex fabric.
    • Medical Grade Compression Garments.
    • They have a large range of compression garments available for both men and women post-surgery.
    • Their products can be bought either directly off their website (USA), or from local suppliers. Simply google Marena and the type of compression you are wanting to buy and you should be able to find an Australian Supplier.
  • Lipoelastic
    • Lipoelastic has been a leading Brand since 2002.
    • Available in over 70 countries around the world.
    • One of the largest producers in the world.
  • Leonisa
    • Promote ethical and sustainable production.
    • Vertical integration. In other words, they create the garments from the threads up. They prepare, weave, finish, bond, cut, manufacture and distribute the product.
    • They have won awards and been in publications around the world.
    • You can buy direct from their USA website, you can find an Australian supplier (For example from u-buy)
  • Isavela (Surgiplas)
    • Started in 2008
    • Places top priority on; Integrity, Accountability, Quality, Flexibility and Ingenuity.
    • Compression Garments are made with Naturexx fabric. Which is an anti-microbial and latex-free material.
    • Made in Texas USA. Can be brought directly from their Website, or from their Australian supplier Exquisite Bodies
  • Caromed
    • One of the first post-surgery garment manufacturers.
    • They have defined industry standards.
    • Market leader
    • Extensive Range
    • They are also made in the USA and products can be brought directly from their Website or from an Australian Supplier

Australian Suppliers

FAQs about Compression Garments after Body Surgery

What do compression garments do?

Compression Garments are specifically designed to facilitate the healing process post-surgery. They reduce swelling and bruising whilst also reducing pain and discomfort among other things.

They are often made of anti-microbial, breathable fabric that has three-dimensional stretch.

How long do you wear compression garments after surgery?

During the first stage of your recovery (weeks 1 to 3) your surgeon will most likely tell you to wear your garment 24/7. The only time you should be without your compression garment during this time is when you are showering. During phase two (weeks 3-6) your surgeon will most likely be okay with you wearing your compression garment during the day, but sleeping without it. However, they may prefer you wear it 24/7 for the entire 6 weeks. This often depends on the surgeon as well as your body’s healing ability.

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

Not wearing a compression garment after Liposuction greatly increases the risk of bruising and more noticeable scarring. You may also find yourself to be in more pain. Furthermore, wearing a compression garment after liposuction holds the skin in its new position as it heals, not wearing one may result in less than optimal results.

Can I sleep without my compression garment?

It is not recommended that you sleep without your compression garment during your initial recovery. Sleeping without it can compromise your results. If you find the garment to be too tight or uncomfortable you may need to change sizes.

Do compression garments help tighten skin?

There is no proof that suggests that compression garments help tighten skin. Your skin’s ability to tighten depends on your skin tone and laxity. If you have loose, lax, stretched out skin compression garments will not help tighten it. Although they do smooth everything whilst you wear it they do not offer a permanent solution.

How tight should your compression garment be after liposuction?

Tighter isn’t better. You don’t want it to be so tight that it’s uncomfortable. If a garment is too tight it can bunch and indent the skin. The pressure should be gentle yet snug and still comfortable. In fact, you should be able to slide your hand inside the garment without meeting much resistance.

What is the best tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) compression garment?

Immediately after surgery, you will need to wear a Stage 1 compression Garment. At Coco Ruby, we provide patients with a compression garment after surgery. However, you may want to purchase your own separately. Below we have a list of some popular brands of post-surgery compression garments and links to where you can buy them.

Can compression garments cause swelling?

A well-fitted compression garment does not cause swell, the intention of a compression garment is the opposite, to reduce swelling. However, if a compression garment is too tight it can cause fluid build-up which can lead to swelling. This is why having a well-fitted compression garment is vital.

Medical References and other Articles about Compression Garments

  1. Medical Study – Does the use of compression garments increase venous stasis in the common femoral vein?
  2. Support Compression Garments after Tummy Tuck
  3. Full List of Compression Garment Suppliers in Australia

Specialist Plastic Surgeons and ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeon

With a wealth of experience and training, our Specialist Plastic and ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeons are dedicated to best-practice patient care and education, customising Surgery for each and every patient to best meet their needs and desired surgical outcomes.

Dr Craig Rubinstein
Dr Broughton Snell
Dr Stephen Kleid
Dr Gary Kode

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001124843

Dr Craig Rubinstein

Dr Craig Rubinstein is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon based in Hawthorn East, Melbourne. With over 20 years of surgical experience especially in all areas of Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery, but particularly in breast surgery. These include Breast Augmentation and Breast Reduction as well as Breast Surgery Revision.

Furthermore, he believes that surgical customisation, precision planning and technical expertise help him to provide optimal surgical outcomes for his patients.

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001190266

Dr Broughton Snell

Dr Broughton Snell is a Specialist Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. His training in Plastic Surgery took place in Australia and the United States of America (USA).

Dr Snell is a fully qualified specialist plastic surgeon having completed his Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in plastic and reconstructive surgery.

ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeon MED0001052799

Dr Stephen Kleid

Dr Stephen Kleid is an experienced Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon (Otolaryngologist) based in Melbourne with a passion for Septo-rhinoplasty, Septoplasty, as well as, a strong interest in Rhinoplasty Revision.

Dr Kleid trained at Melbourne University, then completed surgical training at various hospitals including Royal Melbourne, Royal Children’s, The Eye and Ear and St Vincents. He worked as a surgeon at the University of Florida Medical school for further experience.

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001405964

Dr Gary Kode

Dr Gary Kode is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon, with experience in Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, as well as non-surgical treatments.

Dr Kode is a member of several organisations, including the Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), The International Confederation for Plastic and Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, and he holds a Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

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 - Friday.

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.

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