Wearing post-liposuction garments can enhance your results

Choosing the right cosmetic practitioner and procedure for you is extremely important in order to achieve your desired results.  But what good is a cosmetic treatment if you don’t do everything you can during your recovery to maintain and enhance your results?

Wearing post-liposuction garments may not sound that appealing, but it is vitally important post-surgery.  We also know you are likely to be itching to show off your new and improved shape.  Suiting up in a compression garment however, is incredibly important for your surgical results, and it can help you reveal your new look to the world much sooner. Here’s why:

Preventing fluid build-up

During a Vaser Liposuction procedure, fat is removed – creating potential space in the layers between the skin and muscles. Oedema (or swelling) occurs after almost every liposuction treatment and it is characterised by excess fluid build-up in these cavities.  This is a normal reaction by the body’s tissue to the actual trauma of the surgery.

The swelling is usually apparent within 24 – 48 hours after the procedure and continues to increase slightly for 10 – 14 days.  The treated area may feel soft and mildly tender during this time.  After about two weeks, the remnants of the fluid, serum and any broken down fat are absorbed by the body.  The swollen areas may be a little firmer, but there should be minimal discomfort after about 2 – 3 weeks.  At the end of week 4, patients should see the area soften, and return to normal around the 6 – 8 week mark.

It is essential to control this fluid build-up by wearing post-liposuction garments for at least the first few weeks following the procedure.  It will also help accelerate the clearance of fluid retention (called oedema).  A build-up of fluid can form due to the cavities created within targeted fatty tissue cells and the removal of lymphatic vessels.  These vessels are responsible for draining fluids that leak out of capillary blood vessels. This yellowish liquid (known as seroma) is not a serious complication and will usually resolve slowly on its own. However, depending on the severity, the cosmetic practitioner may wish to remove it by draining the seroma out of the site via a syringe.

Assist the body’s natural lymphatic system

The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in the functioning of the body’s immune system and its ability to ward off diseases and heal from injury.  It helps remove bacteria and waste from the tissue through a network of vessels carrying a fluid known as lymph.  Essentially, it is a self-sustaining drainage system. It is so important, that a poor lymphatic system has been linked to a host of health conditions from cellulite to cancer.

While the technology of Vaser Liposuction has made the process of removing fat very gentle and non-invasive, inflammatory fluids can still occur from the tiny incision sites.

In the event the lymphatic system is sluggish due to being unwell, fatigued or a blockage in the lymph nodes, the amount of fluid transported out of the area will be less than the load of the swelling.  This means the swelling will persist longer and can be painful.  Post-liposuction compression garments can assist by providing pressure to the area and pushing the fluid into the lymphatic system for removal.

Enhance skin retraction

As mentioned, during a liposuction procedure, a cavity is usually created between the skin and muscles where the fat has been removed.  Inflammation naturally sets in and the tender tissue of the area will begin to retain fluid.

Correctly fitted post-liposuction garments can provide uniform pressure over the treated area allowing the skin to compress and in the process encourage the skin to adhere back to the deeper layers of tissue. This will also help with general body contouring and reduce post-operative swelling – which will enhance the overall result and create a smoother appearance.

Improve the appearance of scars

While the incisions made in a Vaser Liposuction procedure are relatively small, it is important they are sealed correctly to improve healing and the appearance of the scars.  Compression garments have been found to reduce scarring in almost all patients (both in the early and later stages of the healing process).

After the liposuction treatment, the body will begin the process of removing any debris of damaged cells at the site of the incisions.  Inflammation will reduce and the body will start to rebuild new tissue.  As this occurs, cells called fibroblasts fill the site and begin to pull the wound shut.  In order for the fibroblasts to stay active and continue the healing of the incision site, a steady supply of moisture is required.  The post-liposuction compression garments can help protect this moisture as well as protect against infections occurring.

The wound will eventually stitch together naturally by strings of collagen leaving a smooth, shiny scar.  In the event that collagen is over-produced, a raised very visible scar known as a hypertrophic scar can occur.  To avoid this, the compression garment applies a steady force, breaking down the collagen to be re-absorbed back into the body.  Over time, this will make the scars smoother and less visible.

Make you look slimmer!

The even pressure applied by wearing a compression garment will ultimately allow your new body shape to heal smoothly and prevent any lumps or bumps forming during the recovery period. By contouring to your shape it will make you actually appear slimmer! Who doesn’t love that?

Which compression garment is the best for me?

A good quality post-lipo garment should provide consistent and constant pressure from all angles without compromising patient comfort.  It will also provide appropriate support to the entire treatment area.  We recommend two main types of post-liposuction garments be used in the recovery phase depending on the form of liposuction undertaken.  These include:

  • Compression garments to maintain pressure on the treated areas; and
  • Corsets which maintain body shape and contour following the procedure

The quality of fabric is equally as important as the type of garment.  The material should be breathable, durable and anti-microbial as well as be able to provide pressure and maintain its shape.  We suggest a combination of Lycra and elastic materials.  Natural fibres such as cotton and fabric that often cause allergic reactions like latex, should be avoided.

When selecting a compression garment, these are the things you should keep in mind:

  • Fit
    The fit of the garment is incredibly important to facilitate proper healing and reduce the possibility of fluid retention. Immediately after the liposuction procedure, the garment will be tighter out of necessity but should provide constant compression to the surgical area. If the garment is too tight, circulation may be cut off due to excessive compression.  So, if you are having trouble breathing or your extremities start tingling, your post-liposuction garment is too tight.
  • Shape
    The garment selected should be structured to promote the desired shape such as an hourglass or V-shaped figure.
  • Comfort
    You might just be surprised that a well-fitting compression garment of good quality can actually be relatively comfortable.  When selecting a garment you should ensure it is comfortable whilst still providing adequate pressure.
  • Straps, waist and closures
    If you have had abdominal or upper body liposuction, adjustable shoulder straps are beneficial to allow you to alter the fit as the treated area fluctuates in size due to the fluids being dispersed.  Garments worn after liposuction on the lower portion of the body (such as the thighs and hips) should ideally have a good waist band that won’t roll or slide up or down.  Finally, make sure any zippers or closures are within reach and easy to manoeuvre.  It is important that you are physically able to put on the compression garment to reap the benefits!

For optimal results, we recommend recipients of Vaser Liposuction wear their garment full-time. By that, we mean 24 hours a day for 3 weeks (we give you permission to remove the garment to shower of course!).  This should be followed by a period of wearing it part-time for 24 hours a day for 3 additional weeks.

The decision to undergo liposuction isn’t to be taken lightly and we want to ensure we can provide you with the best results as possible.  Wearing a high-quality compression garment for the recommend time frame will help you get the best out of your cosmetic procedure.