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Managing your garments Said Plastic Surgery

Artistic Wood Grain

Typically after surgery, your body will benefit from compression. In addition to reducing bruising and discomfort after surgery, a garment can help you hold your body in a desired shape while the tissues slowly knit back together. Fluid and swelling are effects of surgery, and compression can help to reduce both, but especially help prevent fluid from collecting into pockets called seromas. When seromas occur, they usually take longer to go away on their own, or you may require additional procedures to get rid of that unwanted fluid. Either way, seromas delay your body from healing together again. So compression garments may be inconvenient, but they are helpful to

  • reduce bruising
  • reduce discomfort
  • hold graceful shape
  • reduce swelling
  • reduce seromas

Compression helps tremendously for the first 2 weeks, and then becomes less and less necessary as swelling goes down and your body heals. I generally recommend wearing garments for 99% of the time during that first 2 weeks, and remove only to shower (if absolutely necessary) every 48 hours or so. After 2 weeks, I recommend wearing during daytime activities, when fluid would build up. After 4 weeks, I recommend wearing during strenuous activity or exercise which could disrupt the healing connections your body is forming. Patients usually can tell when they still need compression, because when they remove the garment for a day, they feel swollen or sore the next day. That is a hint that your body would still benefit from compression. It might take somewhere from 6 to 12 weeks before that benefit goes away, and you don't feel like it is helping anymore. Healing varies from person to person. As a basic plan to start however, I recommend:

  • Compression 99% of the time for 2 weeks — (all the time, except washing)
  • Compression 50% of the time from 2-4 weeks — (during the day)
  • Compression 25% of the time for 4-6 weeks — (during exertion or exercise)

Surgical compression garments are specially designed to allow them to be put on while you are asleep at the end of your surgery, and to allow you to use the bathroom without removal. This means specialized hooks, loops, zippers, and vents in many cases. Otherwise, you would have to remove the compression multiple times a day, disrupting and interrupting the healing process each time. We usually recommend getting your garments in black, which keeps them looking cleaner and makes them more re-usable over time. Our Seattle plastic surgery team will recommend a garment that is tailored to your surgical site, like the following, most commonly from Design Veronique:

Abdominal garment arrow right Body garment arrow right Breast fold support arrow right Chest garment for men arrow right

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