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Wearing compression garments is a crucial step in your post-surgical recovery journey. Invasive surgeries—liposuction, gynecomastia, tummy tuck, and others—always involve the slight risks of complications. Working with reputable and board-certified surgeons minimizes the risk of complications, but you must follow the surgeon’s post-treatment recovery guidelines to ensure a smooth recovery. And compression garments are your most important bulwarks against complications.


This article describes what compression garments are, how they help you after a surgery, and how long you’ll need to wear them after your procedure.

What are compression garments?

Compression garments are skin-tight elastic outfits that provide a tight fit over parts of your body. They apply constant and steady pressure on the treatment areas to ensure smooth healing, minimize scarring, reduce the risk of infections, and provide other benefits. The compression garment must be designed according to your specific body measurements because their fitting must be exactly right — not too tight or loose.

Why do you need compression garments after surgery?

Compression garments are an important part of the recovery process from many surgical procedures. They serve the following purposes:


  1. Minimize Postoperative Swelling

After surgeries, edema fluids often collect in the tissues of the treated regions, leading to tissue edema or swelling. Compression garments apply consistent pressure on the treatment areas to push the fluids back into the lymphatic vessels and veins, preventing fluid accumulation in your tissues, which, in turn, minimizes postoperative swelling.


  1. Prevent Seromas

Seromas are clear fluids that accumulate in the empty spaces in your body after the surgery, leading to pockets of fluids that must be drained with needles. However, compression garments prevent these pockets of fluids from building up, so there’s no need for drainage. It saves you from considerable discomfort.


  1. Heal Scars Faster

The constant application of pressure on scars helps with the healing process and their eventual appearance. As scars form around incision areas, compression garments organize collagen fibers to soften the scars, making them less prominent. As such, compression garments improve your final outlook.


  1. Prevent Bruising

Surgeries often lead to post-treatment bruising due to the disruption of blood cells that eventually collect around the epidermis, i.e., the uppermost layer of the skin. Compression garments prevent the blood cells from accumulating around your skin tissues, improving your overall cosmetic appearance.


  1. Reduce Infections

You must be wary of infections after the surgery. The surgeon will provide antibiotics to prevent infections, but you can never be too careful. Infections usually occur due to open wounds that may get contaminated. However, compression garments keep the wounds away from environmental contaminants, reducing the risk of infections.

How long do you need to wear compression garments after surgery?

You have to wear compression garments through three distinct stages of your post-surgical recovery journey. You have to wear compression garments for different durations per day at each recovery stage.


  • Stage 1

Wear the compression garments constantly, only taking them off to bathe. This stage lasts for up to 4 months after the surgery.


  • Stage 2

Based on the surgeon’s recommendations, you can reduce the amount of time you wear the compression stockings per day. This stage lasts for up to 4 months after the first stage.


  • Stage 3

Once your body has healed almost completely, you can start wearing the compression stockings for a few hours per day. The compression garments will reduce the swelling, but you don’t have to worry about infections or fluid buildup anymore. The duration of this stage depends on your body’s healing rate.


For more information on when and how long you may have to wear compression garments, please contact our office.

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