What Happens if You Don’t Wear a Compression Garment After a Tummy Tuck?

A female with a tummy tuck compression garment

Anyone thinking of getting a tummy tuck has questions. There are a number of things to understand and consider before making a decision. One of the things you may be wondering about is wearing a compression garment after a tummy tuck. You’ve probably heard that you’ll need to wear one after your surgery, but you may not know why. You may even be wondering what will happen if you don’t wear one.

Wearing a compression garment after a tummy tuck is an important part of your recovery. Tummy tuck surgeons in Atlanta will recommend that you wear one during the recovery process. Here’s what you need to know about wearing a compression garment after a tummy tuck:

What is a Compression Garment?

A compression garment is a specific type of garment that is worn after most types of plastic surgery, including tummy tucks, breast surgeries, weight-loss surgeries, and liposuction. They are used in postoperative care and recovery after a tummy tuck, helping to accelerate healing and create a nicer contour for the abdomen. Compression garments are also used as pain relief after the operation, as well as for minimizing swelling and bruising from the procedure.

Why is it Important to Wear a Compression Garment after a Tummy Tuck?

There’s a reason tummy tuck surgeons in Atlanta include compression garments in their patients’ recoveries. Not only do they play a role in the results of the tummy tuck, they also ensure an effective and efficient recovery. By stabilizing and shaping the new contours of the body, compression garments work to speed up recovery and bring about the intended results.

During the surgery, a space is created within the abdomen by elevating a flap of skin off the abdominal wall. Compression garments work by closing that space and helping the skin and muscles heal in the right position. They also provide gentle encouragement for the adherence of tissue to the abdominal wall. This occurs through the soft, consistent pressure placed on the tissue by the compression garment. Keeping everything where it should be, compression garments are key for proper results.

What are the Benefits of Wearing a Compression Garment?

Wearing compression garments is an essential part of healing after a tummy tuck. There are multiple benefits that contribute to the prevalence of compression garments in recovering from a tummy tuck. These benefits include:

Faster Healing

One of the main benefits of wearing a compression garment after a tummy tuck is the increased speed of healing. Compression garments aid in so many ways that wearers find themselves fully shaped and healed quickly. With a much more speedy recovery, patients are able to get back on their feet and return to their daily lives and activities.

Reduction in Swelling

Most plastic surgeries cause swelling. This is especially true in a contouring procedure where edema can easily occur as excess fluids build up in the abdominal cavity. With a compression garment, pressure is applied to the area of the surgery, which restricts the edema, therefore reducing swelling.

Pain Relief

It’s well known that surgeries of all kinds cause pain which is especially prevalent as patients begin healing directly after the procedure. With a tummy tuck, pain typically occurs at the incision site, as well as in inner areas and wherever there may be inflammation. A compression garment holds the tissues in place, which protects the various areas affected by the surgery and minimizes pain.

Minimal Risk of Bruising and Bleeding

Bruising and bleeding can occur after a tummy tuck. However, with a compression garment, those areas are held firmly and the likelihood of postoperative bruising and bleeding is reduced.

Shapes Contours

During a tummy tuck, the surgeon shapes new contours in the abdomen, which must be set during the postoperative recovery process. With the use of a compression garment, the new contours are supported and reinforced. The garments help to keep the new shape as the body heals.

Minimizes Risk of Infection

While the body is healing after a major plastic surgery procedure, it is at risk of infection. Compression garments are legitimate boundaries covering the incision site, thereby reducing the risk of germs reaching the incision and causing an infection.

Reduces Risk of Clotting

Clots can be very dangerous and sometimes even life-threatening. Unfortunately, every surgery runs the risk of clotting, including tummy tuck surgeries. With a compression garment, proper circulation is supported, which reduces the risk of clots and complications.

Helps You Get Back to Normal

The recovery process can be long and uncomfortable after any surgery. Fortunately, a compression garment can encourage you to get back to normal sooner than later. While the various components of the surgery are held tightly together, you will most likely feel ready to get back on your feet sooner than you expected.

How Long Should a Compression Garment Be Worn After Tummy Tuck Surgery?

While your surgeon should prescribe the wearing of compression garments for a certain length of time after surgery, most people will be told to wear their garments for at least six to eight weeks post-operation. The garment will need to be worn constantly, except for while showering, until the recovery process has ended. This ensures maximum impact from the garment and a speedy recovery.

PPS - Blog - Wearing compression garments after a tummy tuck

What if You Don’t Wear a Compression Garment?

If you have a tummy tuck in Atlanta, you will want to wear a compression garment for at least six to eight weeks for rapid, effective healing and results. During a tummy tuck, space is created within the abdomen that allows for the shaping of new contours. By wearing a compression garment, you are aiding in the shaping and molding process, encouraging the body to settle into its new shape.

The compression garment firmly but gently closes the space created during the surgery and holds the skin and muscles together as they heal. This enables the body to mold together as intended without excess skin or space. Without a compression garment, the open space is kept open, with nothing supporting it. This prevents the space from shaping into new contours as intended, resulting in less than optimal results.

Not only will a lack of compression garments reduce the quality of your results, but it can also cause unnecessary pain, swelling, and bruising as your body heals. While holding the incision and other areas of the surgery tightly, compression garments serve as pain relief and side-effect reduction. By not wearing these garments, your body will experience the full range of negative effects from the surgery, extending the length and pain of recovery.

While you do need to wear a compression garment for the duration of your recovery, it is okay to remove it for short periods of time. You will want to remove your garment when you shower as well as to wash it. It’s also okay to take it off for a few minutes every once in a while for a bit of relief.  

If you do remove the garment for laundry or relief, make sure and wear loose clothing that won’t bother your incision. You will also want to refrain from lifting anything over two and a half pounds while your compression garment is removed.

If your garment is removed for an hour or two, you may experience an increase in swelling at the site of your surgery. When you replace your compression garment, you can expect a reduction of those effects.

Dr. Deutsch will encourage the use of compression garments during your recovery. He understands that the majority of tummy tuck patients experience great benefits from the use of compression garments, including ideal results, reduced pain, swelling, and bruising, as well as faster recovery time.

As you begin your recovery, expect to spend the majority of time at home relaxing while you wear your compression garment. However, as time progresses, you will be ready to go out a bit. Make sure to continue wearing your compression garment during this time. Wear loose, comfortable clothing as a way to hide your garments. You can also layer clothes and accessories in order to prevent your compression garment from standing out.

The Final Word

As you heal from your tummy tuck, make sure to follow the advice of your team at Perimeter Plastic Surgery. Wear a compression garment for at least six to eight weeks in order to speed up your recovery and provide you with optimal results. While continuously wearing a compression garment may be a bit uncomfortable, when all is said and done, it will be completely worth it.

Contact Atlanta plastic surgery today to schedule your tummy tuck.