A tummy tuck can be a great way to get rid of an unsightly belly and tighten your skin. The best garment for this procedure depends on several factors, including the type of tummy tuck you have and what your goals are. If you have undergone a mini-abdominoplasty, a compression garment will help keep the incision line from stretching out as it heals. This type of garment should fit snugly but comfortably around your waist and hips, with no gaps or wrinkles.
For a full abdominoplasty, you will likely need to wear a support garment for at least six weeks after surgery to help minimize swelling and protect your incision line. This type of garment may be similar to one used after surgery for breast cancer treatment (a binder) or may be more like a pair of Spanx that covers your waist and hips entirely.
You may also choose not to use any kind of support garment after having a tummy tuck if you don’t want any extra bulk under your clothing or if you plan on wearing form-fitting clothing soon after surgery anyway (such as bathing suits). However, if you do plan on wearing baggy clothes for several months following surgery, then wearing some sort of compression
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Best garment for tummy tuck
A compression garment is a special clothing item designed for a range of physiological issues and is a standard part of post-operative care for those who have undergonetummy tucks. After undergoing a tummy tuck, it is normal to experience a range of symptoms associated with the surgery, such as swelling, bruising and fluid retention. A compression garment (sometimes referred to as a surgical binder or girdle) can help in reducing these symptoms and finding the right one for you can make all the difference in your tummy tuck recovery.
What type of compression garment should I use?
Although the types of compression garments can vary depending on what they are being used for and how they are manufactured, there are design elements common to the majority of compression garments for tummy tuck patients.
These include the use of an elasticised (or stretchy) material, seams that are incorporated into the garment to avoid any areas directly affected by surgery, and other features that promote recovery. The types and sizing of compression garments used for post-tummy tuck procedures also vary, depending on how far you are along with your tummy tuck recovery.
Your surgeon will discuss different options with you and help you select the best compression garment for your post-operative care.
Why is a compression garment needed for Body surgery and tummy tuck patient recovery?
There are a number of reasons why compression garments are worn after tummy tuck surgery to assist with your recovery period. These include, but are not limited to:
- Minimalising your discomfort by helping to control swelling. Swelling is a normal phase of post-operative recovery, but it can cause some discomfort. A compression garment helps to alleviate some of this discomfort by assisting in controlling the amount of swelling a person experiences after their tummy tuck.
- Minimalising your discomfort by helping to prevent bruising and haematoma. Some bleeding is expected after tummy tuck surgery but a compression garment can help reduce this by helping with circulation and pressing down on areas that are susceptible to developing haematomas or intensive bruising.
- Minimalising fluid retention. Compression against the skin helps the body to absorb the excess fluid that normally develops after a tummy tuck procedure.
- To help prevent hypertrophic or keloid scarring. A compression garment helps to keep the surgical scar flat and smooth.
- Promotion of healing to get you back to your daily activities a little bit faster!
How you wear your compression garment will depend on the individual manufacturing of the garment itself. Because compression garments designed for tummy tucks will avoid the area directly affected by surgery, the opening for these garments is usually found at the side.
Why are Post-operative garments important for body surgery patients?
Most body sculpting surgery requires the post-operative support provided by a specifically designed compression garment.
Garments provide support in these seven different ways.
1. Reduction in post-operative swelling.
Swelling is very normal following body contouring surgery and generally affects the area close to the incision site, although initially patients can experience swelling of the hands, feet, and face within the first few days of surgery, this quickly settles but the skin closer to the incision sites often increases in swelling and/or bruising during the first few weeks after surgery. This is expected and a natural process of healing following body contouring.
Persistent swelling is often more pronounced to abdominal or limb suture areas. Due to the effects of gravity and your body’s ability to absorb and remove internal fluids. This swelling can take weeks or months to fully resolve.
The cause is as a result of the actual operation, where skin is moved or removed altogether and liposuction or liposculpture is used to contour body tissue to create the desired effect. It is a normal response as the body struggles to understand the cause of this sudden trauma and retains fluid in an effort to facilitate healing. Swelling is uncomfortable causing bloating, pressure or even burning pain.
2. Reduction in nerve pain,
Reduction in pain related to bloating or general bruising, haematoma, or underlying skin swelling. Some bleeding within the skin tissues is expected following cosmetic surgery (you feel this – tender areas or firm rounded swelling and see it – in bruised, discoloured skin). (burning or shooting occasional unpredictable pains). Swelling can cause pressure on the narrow channels that nerve fibres travel through such as the elbow or groin, reduction in swelling helps to reduce this occurrence or severity.
A firm compression garment can reduce risk and control this by providing firm pressure at the wound site by compressing the skin firmly and therefore improving circulation within the body.
3. Reduction in fluid retention
Compression encourages the body to reabsorb additional fluid from the dermal layers whilst compressing the skin firmly to discourage additional fluid build-up.
4. Warms the scar lines which encourages blood supply for healing
The thick and elasticised structure of the garments provides an optimum healing temperature to the skin
5. Reducing scarring and scar stretching
wearing garments to support scar lines enhances timely healing which in turn reduces the risk of scarring due to keloid scars or suture line breakdown, by keeping the scar line flat and smooth.
6. Provides support for your incision
in the same way your seatbelt gives support and driving without it makes you feel unsafe and unsupported, your garment provides support to your body, reducing the movement of skin that needs additional support.
7. Promotes skin retraction and contour
Body contouring surgery is a highly skilled procedure, shaping the internal contours whilst also ensuring enough skin remains to provide a pleasing result, this often relies on the body’s ability to facilitate skin retraction in relation to the gentle but firm pressure of a fitted garment.
What is the best compression garment for me?
There are many different compression garments available for people who have undergone a tummy tuck procedure. Your surgeon will have their own recommendations on the best garment for your tummy tuck recovery and discuss these with you to help you make an informed choice on the best-suited one for you.
Like other garments, compression garments come in a variety of different brands, shapes, sizes and designs. The most important thing your surgeon will consider when recommending a compression garment for your tummy tuck recovery is the fit of it on you. It should cover the areas it needs to cover adequately, feel snug but not too tight, and be easy for you to put on and take off once you’re able.
Which compression garment brands do surgeons prefer?
The brand of compression garments that comes highly recommended by plastic surgeons is Marena.
Marena compression garments stand out as they are made using fabrics that contain anti-bacterial properties, which can assist in preventing infections occurring and are designed in a way that minimises irritation to the skin during the recovery period. They are surgical-grade compression garments that come in several different binder options covering the different stages of recovery and levels.
A stage 1 surgical grade compression garment will offer pressure across your entire abdominal area, along with your sides and lower back. They’re simple to put on, have a fully adjustable side closure to avoid your tummy tuck incision, and often they are treated with an anti-microbial treatment.
These garments will also help stabilise your shape and new contours and can be great for assisting with skin retraction after your tummy tuck surgery.
If you have never worn a compression garment before, the sensation can take a little while to get used to. They are designed to put pressure against the skin and can sometimes feel a little tight and uncomfortable during the initial recovery phase when swelling is still present.
Although the thought of this may seem a little unpleasant, a compression garment is made to help you heal the best you can, and give you the best possible results after your tummy tuck surgery.
How long do I wear the compression garment?
Your surgeon will discuss with you how long you will need to wear a compression garment after your tummy tuck. The length of time can vary from person to person but typically you will need to wear your compression garment for a minimum of 6 to 8 weeks following surgery. Although this may seem like a long period of time, it is to promote healing and to ensure you gain the best possible results from your tummy tuck. In some instances, you’ll only be required to wear a compression garment for a much shorter period of time.
From a surgical post op perspective, the most beneficial effect will be achieved from wearing your garments day and night for the full 6 – 8 weeks post-surgery. The longer the better.
It may feel very unnatural or constricted at first if you are not used to wearing compression garments. You may be swollen and very likely sore from your recent surgery.
It does take a little while to get used to the firm feeling of compression. Please persevere as the more the garment is worn the faster you will heal, the lower the risk of skin healing complications such as scarring or suture line breakdown and of course the less swelling you will experience.
You have invested a lot of time, thought, and indeed money into your surgery, it just makes sense to use all the tools available to ensure the very best outcome is achieved.
‘Not all garments are created equal’ There is no doubt that garments are costly, but they are well designed, surgical grade compression, using shaping to graduate the fitting and are made with extended zips or closure devices and using the very best materials available.
Garments are carefully crafted to avoid the ridged effect of fluid collecting, instead extending the pressure to several centimetres away from suture lines. The garment needs to be snug but not too tight (not forcing surrounding skin to bulge or chafe). It also needs to be relatively easy to out on and take off once you have recovered from the initial days following surgery.
They have external seams and tags to ensure as little skin irritation as possible whilst also providing a smooth surface to the skin. The wider surface area of pressure achieved by a specifically tailored garment provides consistent and uniform pressure, helping to prevent pockets of swelling developing. When you also consider the function of such a garment in the overall control and management of swelling it is money well spent.
Here at Aesthetik Profile we highly recommend and measure for Lipoelastic, Marena and Design Veronique. It is important to have a range of different garments available as everyone is differently shaped and each surgical goal is individually tailored to your needs.
You will be measured for your surgical garments by a member of our highly skilled team, a few weeks prior to your surgical date. There is a lot of skill involved in measuring garments with regard to predicted surgical skin loss but likely fluid collection (swelling).
The garment not only needs to fit well but be fit for purpose – do you have a support person to help you at home or will you need to put the garment on by yourself? Do you have underlying health considerations such as joint stiffness which affects your flexibility? The good intentions and positive outcome of purchasing an amazing garment are useless if you do not wear it.
We commonly get asked “how long do I need to wear this garment”? Our response is always – as long as possible.
Many clients choose to wear their garments much longer than surgically necessary and often step down into supportive undergarments or firm leggings.
Dr Carmen and Aesthetik Profile focusses on the whole patient experience and the fitting and management of surgical garments is an important part of that process.
Best stomach compression garments
Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers
Shapewear admittedly has a reputation for being unforgiving, uncomfortable, and even torturous. (The term “sausage casing” came up a lot in interviews for this story.) But the controversial category has evolved over the years into somewhat pleasant garments that can be worn all day without you longing for the moment you can finally take them off. You’re more likely now to find shapewear in all different sizes, shades — for a wider range of skin tones — and, well, shapes, including ones meant for thigh-high slits (more on that below). This is not a necessary garment to own, by any means, but if it makes you feel good about yourself, especially for a special event, then go for it. To make it a little easier on you to decide what to get, I’ve highlighted the shapewear pieces recommended by stylists, plus-size bloggers, fashion experts, and more as well as the criteria I judged each recommended piece of shapewear against. You can use the quick links below to skip to the category you’ve been searching for or simply scroll down to learn about them all.
What we’re looking for
Type: Shapewear comes in many forms. One isn’t better than another; it just depends on what your desired results are. Because full bodysuits and dresses cover the most surface area, those will focus on smoothing your whole body, not just one specific part, and will most likely be the most constricting. Typically, these pieces are saved for more formal events because, as stylist Jessica Cadmus puts it, they’ll “feel constraining, and you’ll likely not want to endure this for more than an evening.” Individual pieces that target just one area — like your thighs, stomach, or butt — tend to be much more comfortable, and they come in a plethora of options, making it easy to choose what will work best for you. Below, you’ll find shapewear in the form of tanks, shorts, skirts, briefs, and thongs along with a few dress and bodysuit choices.
Comfort: I’ll be straight with you: Not all shapewear will be enjoyable to wear, especially if it is a full bodysuit or dress that compresses your entire torso. So if comfort is your No. 1 priority, perhaps think twice before buying a piece of shapewear. However, as I already mentioned, shapewear has greatly improved over the years, and many of the pieces mentioned below are described by the experts consulted as comfortable. You’ll want your foundation to be fitted enough to provide some support, “but it should never be so tight that you feel uncomfortable or like you’re suffocating underneath your clothes,” explains Shammara Lawrence, a freelance fashion writer and founder of the Power of Plus. “The best shapewear is snug and formfitting yet soft and so comfortable you can wear it for hours on end without feeling constricted.” With this in mind, I rank the comfort levels on a scale of 1 to 3 — with 1 being very uncomfortable (but still worth it for the results), 2 being bearable, and 3 being as comfortable as shapewear can get — based on my own testing and what the experts say, so you know what you’re getting yourself into (literally).
Size range: Proper sizing can make all the difference for shapewear; however, lots of brands offer a very limited size range. I did my best to focus on brands with a wider range of sizing, including cup sizes for pieces that have a built-in bra, and noted the array of sizes the brand makes.
Best overall shapewear
Bodysuit with thong | Comfort level 3 | XS–3X, A–F cups
I had difficulty deciphering which piece of shapewear could be considered best overall. Lots of well-known and highly recommended brands like Spanx fit the bill in terms of comfort and style but lacked a wide size range. And it felt strange pinning a product like shorts as the best overall when it’s a garment used mostly for very specific wardrobe scenarios. I focused on finding a universally useful piece that had a significant variety of sizes, which led me to +Body by Julia Haart, an eponymous shapewear line created by the CEO of Elite World Group (and star of My Unorthodox Life). None of the experts interviewed mentioned this brand (perhaps because it is fairly new); however, after testing this myself alongside four expert-recommended pieces I thought might deserve the “best overall” title, I actually think this one is the most worthwhile to purchase.
All the pieces go up to a 3X, which very few mainstream brands do (though it seems like the top of the size range sells out fairly quickly). You can select your cup size from A to F instead of an unflattering top that compresses your breasts into one blob. It looks like lace, but it’s actually a very thin nylon that lightly compresses and smooths your torso. (The print also makes this bodysuit attractive enough to wear with, say, jeans as a going-out ’fit.) The laser-cut edges lie flat against your body and don’t show underneath your clothes. The bra features removable padding and straps in order to further customize your fit, and after testing it out myself, I can say it is actually comfortable thanks to the soft, stretchy material that doesn’t compress your body to the point of suffocation. Best of all, though, it actually made me feel good about myself. The majority of the other shapewear I tried felt and looked relatively unsexy — I would be embarrassed if anyone saw me in just the shapewear, which definitely impacts how you feel about yourself overall. I know this is not the most budget-friendly option out there, but you should feel good in the clothing you wear — physically and mentally — and many of the less expensive shapewear pieces seem to give you only one of the two, not both.$198 AT +BODY BY JULIA HAART
Best (less expensive) overall shapewear
Bodysuit with brief | Comfort level 3 | XXS–5X, no cup sizing
A good amount of stylists recommended Kim Kardashian West’s line Skims as a solid, budget-friendly option. It can’t be worn on its own, like +Body, and doesn’t offer specific cup sizes, but it has a very wide size range — from XXS to 5X — and nine different skin-tone shades. It looks as though you’re wearing a skin-colored leotard, not some torturous contraption, and I didn’t feel silly in it, which is why I decided it also deserves a “best overall” title. It contours and sculpts your shape yet remains comfortable; the brand recommends sizing up for maximum comfort if you’d like to wear it every day. One friend of mine, who prefers to remain anonymous, wears this bodysuit often and says it minimizes her breasts more than she would like because it offers all-around compression, but it makes her feel good when she wears tighter pieces of clothing. Because Kim would never intentionally minimize someone’s butt, the backside features a high-cut leg and sheer pockets to lift and enhance instead of flattening. And as an even cheaper option, celebrity stylist Ali Levine suggests this lace number from Bali, which she calls a “perfect blend between comfort, function, and fashion.”$62 AT NORDSTROM$62 AT SKIMS