Wearing post-liposuction garments can enhance your results

Choosing the right cosmetic practitioner for your body contouring procedure is extremely important in order to achieve your desired results. Another crucial factor in your liposuction recovery is to follow proper aftercare instructions following your cosmetic surgery.

What you do post-liposuction makes a big difference in your recovery process. Wearing compression garments is an important step in reducing your recovery time and ensuring optimum liposuction results. It may not sound very appealing; however, it’s not just your ordinary shapewear or bodysuit, but rather a vitally important post-surgery garment.

Here’s why:

Preventing fluid build-up

During Vaser Liposuction after the fat is removed, space is created in the layers between the skin and muscles. Oedema (or swelling) occurs after almost every liposuction body contouring treatment, which is characterised by excess fluid build-up in these cavities. This is a normal reaction by the body post surgery to the trauma and removal of natural adipose tissue.

The swelling is usually apparent within the first 24–48 hours after the procedure and continues to increase slightly for 10–14 days. The treated area may feel soft and tender during this time. After about two weeks, any remaining fluid, serum and 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 four, patients should see the area soften up, and return to normal around the 6–8 week mark.

A build-up of fluids can also occur as a result of lymphatic vessel damage. These vessels are responsible for draining fluids that leak out of capillary blood vessels. This yellowish liquid (known as seroma) is not serious and will usually resolve slowly on its own. Depending on the severity, however, the cosmetic practitioner may wish to remove it by draining the seroma out of the area via a syringe.

One way to control and minimise fluid build-up is by wearing special surgical garments called compression garments for at least the first few weeks following treatment. This is especially true if your liposuction was accompanied by other plastic surgery such as abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). This will help promote blood circulation and accelerate the removal of excess fluid from the body.

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 to 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. In fact, it’s so important that a poorly functioning 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 illness, fatigue or a blockage in the lymph nodes, the amount of fluid transported out of the area will be less than the amount remaining. This means the swelling will persist longer and can be quite painful. That’s why wearing post-liposuction compression garments can assist dramatically speed up the recovery time by providing pressure to the area and pushing the fluid into the lymphatic system for removal.

Enhance skin retraction

As mentioned previously, during the 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 tissues in the area will begin to retain fluid.

Correctly fitted compression garments can provide uniform pressure over the treated area, allowing the skin to adhere back to the deeper tissue. This will also help with general body contouring and reduce post-operative swelling. This will enhance overall results and create a smoother appearance post surgery.

Prevent the formation of scars

While the incisions made during a Vaser Liposuction procedure are relatively small, it is important they are sealed correctly to ensure a speedy recovery process and prevent the formation of scarring. 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 damaged cells at the incision site. As inflammation is reduced, the body will start to rebuild new tissue. As this occurs, cells called fibroblasts begin to flood to the area, pulling 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 lock in this vital moisture as well as protect against infection.

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 steady pressure, breaking down the collagen and forcing it to be re-absorbed back into the body.  Over time, this will make the scars smoother and less visible.

Make you look slimmer!

The pressure applied by wearing a compression garment will ultimately reveal your new body shape. It will also help you to heal smoothly and prevent any lumps or bumps from 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 performed.  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, blood circulation may be cut off due to excessive compression. Therefore, if you are having trouble breathing or your extremities start tingling, your post-liposuction compression garment is too tight.
  • Shape
    The garment selected should be structured to promote the desired body lift and shape, such as an hourglass or V-shaped figure.
  • Comfort
    You might just be surprised that a high quality, well-fitting compression garment can actually be extremely comfortable. When selecting a garment, ask your plastic surgeon to recommend one that is comfortable whille providing adequate pressure.
  • Straps, waist and closures
    If you have had abdominal or upper body liposuction, adjustable shoulder straps are preferred. These 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 parts 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, velcro 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.