Cosmetic Surgery Tips

How Long Do I Wear Foam Boards After Tummy Tuck

When you’re recovering from a tummy tuck, it’s important to protect your abdominal muscles and skin as much as possible. You can do this by wearing a foam board after your procedure.

A foam board is a soft, thick piece of foam that you wear around your waist to help keep the area around your incision protected while it heals. This will help prevent scaring and irritation that can occur when your skin rubs against clothing or other hard objects. You will want to wear the foam board for about three weeks after surgery, and then you can switch over to normal underwear or pants.

Read on to learn more about How Long Do I Wear Foam Boards After Tummy Tuck

How Long Do I Wear Foam Boards After Tummy Tuck

If you plan to have a Brazilian butt lift (BBL) or liposuction done, you have likely heard the term “faja” floating around throughout your plastic surgery research. A faja is a garment used for postoperative wear by recovering BBL and liposuction patients to keep swelling to a minimum and ensure that the skin tightens properly.

During your recovery period, your fajas (Stage 1 and Stage 2) will become your best friends, and an essential part to you healing properly and getting to enjoy your long-awaited results. Below we go over answers to all your faja questions – how you are sized, when to wear and wash it, and more:

Stage 1 Faja

  • What is a Stage 1 Faja?
    The Stage 1 faja is the faja you will be wearing immediately when you wake up from your procedure, and it is part of the BBL package you can purchase before or during your pre-op appointment. It is low compression, meaning it will fit loosely on your body, not tight. It is NOT meant to fit like shapewear or a waist trainer. In addition to your Stage 1 faja, the BBL package comes with lipo foams and an abdominal board. Lipo foams are rectangular pieces of foam inserted between your garment and the areas where fat was suctioned. The lipo foams give a uniform smooth compression over the suctioned area. An abdominal board is a board that helps smooth out and flatten the tummy area after surgery and goes between your garment and your abdominal area.
  • When Will I be Sized for my Stage 1 Faja?
    Before you have your new faja in your hands, you must be sized to determine the right fit for your unique body type. This will happen during your pre-op appointment, which usually falls on the day before your surgery except on Mondays. A trained pre-op specialist will measure your body, keeping in mind how it will transform after your procedure is done. Fajas come in size “small” (S) to “4 extra-large” (4 XL). Keep in mind that you will likely not be fit to the size you expect. Fajas tend to run very small, and we rarely have a patient that leaves in a size “small.”
  • Wait – the Faja I Woke up in After Surgery is a Different Size than my Pre-Op Faja!
    Sometimes, the faja you wake up in will be a size larger or a size smaller than the size you were fitted for – and this is perfectly OK! We cannot predict exactly how your body will change during your procedure. The pre-op fitting is done to give us a rough estimate of what size you will receive after surgery. After your procedure has been performed, the surgeon will assess your body to determine what the best size for your new proportions is. Perhaps you had a BBL and your new booty is too large to fit the size you were originally fitted for. The surgeon will use his best judgement to determine what will work best for you.
  • Why Does my Stage 1 Faja Feel Loose?
    The Stage 1 faja has LOW compression and is meant to be loose – not tight. It is not meant to fit like shapewear or a waist trainer. The purpose of the Stage 1 faja is to allow your body to have adequate circulation for proper healing and draining. Remember, during liposuction, fluid is inserted into the body to allow for fat removal. There needs to be adequate space between your body and the faja to allow this fluid to drain and for your delicate skin to heal. You may even notice that your stage 1 faja feels snug at first but begins to feel looser throughout the first few weeks of healing. This is a good sign! It means your body is draining fluids and doing the work it needs to.
  • Some patients also notice their fajas fit well in one area, say, their waist, but are larger around their arms or legs. This is because the fajas are not designed to each person’s unique height and body proportions. The faja’s purpose is to work on the areas of your body affected by surgery. A Stage 1 faja that fits slightly loose will not affect the success of your surgery results at all.
  • Can I Wear Undergarments Underneath my Stage 1 Faja?
    You must refrain from wearing any undergarments beneath your Stage 1 faja. After liposuction, your skin is very sensitive and thin. Any added fabric could create ripples are marks in your skin as it is healing.
  • How Often Should I Wash my Stage 1 Faja, Lipo Foams and Abdominal Board?
    It is VERY important to keep your Stage 1 faja clean to prevent any infections. After your first pre-op appointment, when you are given the OK from your surgeon to shower, you should wash your faja. Going forward, you should try to wash your faja every other day to keep them clean and free of any body fluids. PLEASE NOTE: when removing the garment for the first time, please be careful to proceed slowly as the skin is loose and you may feel dizzy as the compression is released.
  • Like your Stage 1 faja, lipo foams should be washed regularly – every day or every other day – to prevent infection. Some patients choose to buy multiple sets of lipo foams so that they have a spare while other sets are washing. They are economical, so buying a few sets shouldn’t hurt your budget!
  • Your abdominal board cannot be thrown in the wash, but if it gets dirty, you can spot clean it with a product like peroxide.
  • How Long Should I Wear my Stage 1 Faja?
    Your Stage 1 fajas should be worn for three weeks after your procedure. It is important that you try and wear your Stage 1 faja all the time. You may remove it to shower and to wash it but should put it on right after. Some patients choose to purchase two Stage 1 fajas so that they can wear their spare when the other one is washing and drying.
  • Sleeping in your Stage 1 faja is also important. If you can tolerate it, you should sleep in your lipo foams as well. However, you must remove your abdominal board at night.

Stage 2 Faja

  • What is a Stage 2 Faja?
    After you wear your Stage 1 faja for three weeks, you will switch over to a Stage 2 faja, which you can purchase at one of your post-op appointments. The Stage 2 faja will be high compression and should feel much tighter than your Stage 1 faja. It will typically be the same numerical size (S – 4X L) as your Stage 1 faja. The stage 2 faja is worn alone, meaning you can toss your lipo foams and abdominal board.
  • How Long Should I Wear my Stage 2 Faja?
    After you switch over to your Stage 2 faja, you should wear it for six months. You should plan to sleep in your Stage 2 faja as well. Throughout the entire day, your goal should be to have your Stage 2 faja at all hours except for when you are showering or washing your garment. You can discontinue all garments after six months, and cannot start waist training until you are done with your Stage 2 faja.
  • Can I Wear Undergarments Underneath my Stage 2 Faja?
    By the time you begin wearing your stage 2 faja, it should be OK to wear underwear beneath your garment. Take note of how your skin is healing to make sure there are no visible marks forming from the underwear.
  • How Often Should I Wash my Stage 2 Faja?
    Just like your Stage 1 faja, it is VERY important to keep your Stage 2 faja clean to prevent any infections. You should try to wash your stage 2 faja every other day to keep them clean and free of any body fluids.

What About After A Tummy Tuck Or BLody liposuction?

After a tummy tuck or abdominoplasty, most surgeons will require you to wear an abdominal binder immediately after surgery. These self-adjusting shapers provide firm support to the abdomen and allow healthcare professionals to easily access your wound. As your stomach muscles will not be working at their best after a tummy tuck procedure, an abdominal binder provides the support to allow you to stand up straighter in the early days following surgery.

The binder should continue to be worn 24/7 for at least the first two weeks after surgery. Then, when you are looking for a more comfortable option to wear, a bodysuit or girdle will provide sufficient compression and support. We do suggest wearing your binder over the top of your shapewear whenever you do anything physical – like going for a walk or doing some light housework.

Following your liposuction procedure, we strongly recommended wearing a body shaper rather than an abdominal binder or waist trainer. It is important to create a smooth-as-possible environment under your compression garments to ensure even skin retraction in the weeks following your lipo. Depending on your particular instance, a Stage 2 body shaper may be sufficient.

What Is the Best Compression Shapewear to Wear Everyday after Gaving a Tummy Tuck?

As you will be required to wear compression shapewear for 6 to 8 weeks after your surgery, a medical grade bodysuit or girdle will be the most comfortable option. As these shapers have an open or opening crotch and zip or hook and eye closure, they are specifically designed for post-op wear.

If your tummy tuck was not combined with a procedure on any other part of your body, a compression garment with no legs can be worn. These panty style shapers have a hook and eye opening crotch. If however, you would prefer a totally open crotch (which many patients find easier to wear), choose a bodysuit or girdle that has short legs.

As you will be wearing your garments 24/7 for several weeks, we always recommend buying two – wear one, wash one.

Should I Wear an Abdominal Binder or Shapewear Body Shaper?

Simple answer to this question is to buy both. As explained earlier, abdominal binders or waist pinchers have an important part to play in your recovery journey. However, they are not the most comfortable option for long-term wear. When sitting, the binder (which needs to sit low on your abdomen to compress your incision) can flip up at the top of the legs. Likewise, the binder can sometimes ride up under your chest during the day.

A body shaper or medical-grade shapewear is a more comfortable option, and can be worn under clothing easily.

What Is the Difference Between Generic Spanx Shapewear and Medical Shapewear?

Off-the-shelf K-mart shapewear comes in all shapes and styles as well as differing levels of compression. These products are not usually covered by health insurance. More often than not, the less expensive K-Mart shapewear, Target shapewear, or even Big-W shapewear is made with cheaper-quality fabric and will not last more than one or two wears and hold its original medical-grade compression level.

We work with the world-leading manufacturers that design and manufacture custom fabric textiles with superior-quality comfort and medical-grade compression levels.

Consider carefully when deciding which body shaper to buy – especially after a surgical procedure when targeted shapewear compression is required.

Can I Wear Shapewear and a Body Shaper Overnight?

Medical grade shapewear and body shapers are designed to be worn 24/7 as that is what is generally required after surgery. Most surgeons will require their patients to wear their compression garments during the day as well as when sleeping, for at least the first few weeks after the procedure.

Always check with your health professional as their requirements and your personal condition may vary.

Stage 2 shapewear garments are generally worn only during the day.

How Long Should I Wear Shapewear after a Tummy Tuck?

After your tummy tuck, it will take some weeks before your swelling subsides and your new, slimmer tummy is revealed. In our more than 20 years of experience, we have found that everyone’s recovery journey is different.

We always recommend wearing your body shapers 24/7 for at least 8 weeks post surgery. Some surgeons require much less. But wearing compression for longer and reducing the size if necessary along the way will certainly do no harm, and we have seen many of our clients continue reducing in size for 12 months

Should I Wear Stage 1 or Stage 2 Shapewear?

The answer to this question depends on:

  • what your health professional prescribes
  • what procedure you are having

Generally, we would always wear Stage 1 postoperative medical grade compression after any invasive procedure for at least the first four weeks following surgery. This is because pulling up and down garments to put them on can be painful if there are no zip or hook and eye closures. Also, an open or opening crotch is a blessing in the weeks following surgery.
After about the fourth week, it is perfectly fine to move onto Stage 2 body shapers as your body will have healed substantially and your pain will have subsided.

What Happens if I Don’t Wear Compression Shapewear after a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck or abdominoplasty surgery will almost always involve internal and external stitches. As we use our abdomen in almost every movement of our body, it is necessary to protect these stitches and not put undue pressure on them. Wearing a binder or body shaper also reminds you that you need to be careful and not overuse the affected muscles during recovery.

Surgical compression garments also put pressure on the wound, helping to keep it protected from the environment and keep the scars flat as they heal.

Medical-grade garments reduce swelling as they help drain excess fluid through the lymphatic system.

Lastly, but certainly not least, a properly fitted garment will keep you feeling secure and less vulnerable after surgery.

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