While what happens in the operating room is the most important part of liposuction, your recovery period has a significant impact on your results as well. For this reason, it’s important to follow your doctor's post-op advice to the letter, especially when it comes to the use of compression garments.
You can return to work and other light activity as soon as a week after lipo, but you’ll have to wear your compression garment a bit longer. You may need to wear it nearly full time for the first few weeks, after which your surgeon will evaluate your progress and let you know when and if you can reduce down to a half-day or shorter schedule. There are two main reasons why this is such an important part of your liposuction recovery.
1. Reduced Swelling
Compression garments help reduce swelling (edema), which is a natural and temporary result of lipo. When fat is removed during liposuction, there are empty spaces left behind that can fill with fluid. There’s also often residual tumescent solution left behind after surgery that needs to be expelled. The restriction created by these garments helps your body eliminate these fluids faster. The pressure should be strong enough to combat edema while not so tight as to cause additional discomfort.
2. Helping Skin Conform to New Contours
Following your lipo procedure, the same amount of skin now covers a reduced amount of tissue. For this reason, it’s important to encourage adherence of the skin to your newly created contours, and compression can help in this process. Essentially, good compression garments encourage skin retraction in addition to reducing post-operative swelling, both of which help you get the most beautiful results after liposuction.