When you get a tummy tuck, it’s important to understand that the skin is going to be pulled and tightened in many ways. For this reason, it’s important to keep your skin as tight and flat as possible for as long as possible after surgery so that you achieve the best results.
When you are trying to keep your skin tight, compression garments are what you need. Compression garments help to prevent fluid retention, which can lead to swelling and discomfort. They also help to promote healing by reducing the amount of pressure on your incisions, which means less chance of infection or other complications.
What is Tummy Tuck?
Tummy tuck surgery being in popularity still many people lack the knowledge of it. It’s a common plastic surgery procedure and it is also known as “Abdominoplasty,” which is used to remove the excess fats and skin and restore the weakened muscles to flattens the abdomen to create a smoother firmer abdominal profile.
Tummy tuck is the best procedure for people with obesity who are working hard at the gym to reduce fats and get in shape. If gym, healthy diet, the workout did not work for you, then tummy tuck surgery is the best option that you can look for. Surgeons state that it is the top performed plastic surgery procedure that men and women look after for.
Types Of Tummy Tuck Surgeries
There are different types of tummy tuck surgical procedures performed on different conditions that doctors will suggest to you according to the type of surgery you will prefer. Every single procedure begins with anesthesia so that the patient is unconscious about the pain. The types of tummy tuck surgery are-
- Full Tummy Tuck – It is a “Standard tummy tuck” ideal for individuals who seek to flatten the abdomen. It uses two major incisions, one around the belly buttock and one below the navel so that it can be repositioned after removing the excess skin in the upper abdomen. After the surgery, the most patient requires 2 weeks or less of recovery time before resuming normal activities.
- Mini Tummy Tuck – Mini tummy tucks are suitable for a small number of patients because of their minimal improvements. The procedure is done for fat removing using liposuction. The surgeon removes the supra-pubic skin redundancy, aspirates the abdominal fat and the medial part of the abdomen is removed. Finally, the end result is the skin is saturated with the umbilicus preserved.
- Extended Tummy Tuck – The extended tummy tuck requires a round incision to free the naval and reposition tummy tuck to higher once the excess skin has been removed. This process improves the entire abdomen but also addresses the waist.
Reasons to Use Compression Garments After Tummy Tuck Surgery
Helps reduce swelling.
Postoperative swelling occurs when excess fluid builds up in the cavities of your abdomen following a Tummy tuck or any site where liposuction is done. This results in you gaining weight. Compression garments can help alleviate swelling by applying appropriate pressure to the affected area by redistributing fluids. The pressure exerted by these garments helps compress lumps and bumps that appear following Tummy Tucks.
Reduces postoperative bruising.
The cannula used in liposuction disrupts blood vessels during the fat extraction process during its to and from motion. Compressive garments compress the blood vessels and prevent RBC breakdown and percolation. Thereby reducing bruising associated with the procedure. The chance of postoperative bruising is considerably higher in patients that do not use compressive garments.
Can help reduce postoperative pain.
- Pressure applied by the compression garment helps keep your tissues in place following the surgery. This helps protect the incision site and inner structures from injury and also reduces the chance of pain and inflammation in the body.
Helps reduce postoperative skin sagging.
A side effect of fat removal through liposuction is the creation of loose skin at the sight of fat removal. By using compression garments you enhance your body’s healing. This is due to the fact that compression garments hold the skin to underlying tissues snugly following your surgery.
Helps reduce infection.
Compression garments act as physical barriers preventing direct contact of infectious agents with the incision site. Thus reducing the chances of infection.
Maintains postoperative changes in the correct shape.
The new contour to your abdomen following Tummy Tuck or liposuction results are kept in the correct shape after the surgery by the postoperative use of these garments. Compression garments maintain postoperative changes in contour.
Every surgery has a certain risk of clot formation and migration, including liposuction and tummy tucks. Migrated clots can obstruct pulmonary vessels and cause pulmonary embolism, which is a life-threatening complication. Compression garments promote proper circulation and reduce the formation of clots, thereby preventing clot-related complications.
Allows easy mobility
Garments help keep the tissues in place while you move around during your recovery. Thus, allowing you easy mobility and comfort by reducing the chance of straining at the incision site.
Helps in the breakdown of keloids
Following liposuction and tummy tuck, excess scar tissues may be formed around your healed wound resulting in keloid formation. Compression garments help break down this scar tissue.
How long do I need to wear compression garments after Tummy Tuck?
Following a Tummy tuck surgery for your abdomen, you will be advised to wear compression garments for 6-8 weeks after the surgery. It should be worn throughout the day and should be removed only while you bathe. The exact time on how long you should wear a compression garment is dependent on your surgeon’s protocol as well as your rate of recovery.
What are Stage I and Stage II Garments in Tummy Tuck?
Immediately following Tummy tuck surgery you will use stage one garments. They help remove excess swelling due to fluid accumulation caused by body processes increasing circulation at the site of surgery. These garments allow easy drainage of fluids postoperatively. Stage one garments have zippers, hooks and eyes, which help reduce friction while wearing and removing. These garments are worn for 1 – 2 weeks or more, depending upon the surgery. Stage one garments are provided with an open crotch; this eliminates the need to remove the garment when using the bathroom.
Stage two garments are worn during the second stage of wound healing following the surgery. It is worn from the second postoperative week onwards (Usually 2-8 weeks). They are worn once your body is not creating as much fluid. They provide support to the newly contoured body. However, they do not have zippers, eyes or crotch openings. These garments provide similar compression as stage one garments and are ideal for day-to-day use.
How to choose the best tummy tuck compression garment?
A tummy tuck, also known as Abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure wherein excess skin is removed from the stomach area. This leads to a smoother and tighter midsection.
It is a large body contouring plastic surgical procedure, and it requires the use of postoperative compression garments for up to 2 months following surgery. As this is a considerable amount of time, it is important to choose high-quality compression garments. The quality of the garment determines the extent of your comfort during the process of recovery.
Some features to consider before getting compression garments to include;
- Correct fit. It is essential to facilitate proper healing and proper fluid drainage.
- The material of the garment should have Antibacterial properties that prevent bacterial growth on your abdominal skin. By controlling bacterial growth, you also decrease offensive odours.
- Compression garments having breathable materials provide you comfort by reducing sweating and maintaining proper aeration. Furthermore, reduced moisture prevents bacterial growth.
- It’s important the garment material is durable.
- Compression garments having zippers or hook-and-eye closures reduce friction. These help in the easy removal of the garment when you require showering.
- Also, an opening in the crotch area eliminates the need to remove the garment while using the bathroom.
Are there any other ways to reduce swelling in addition to compression garments?
There are a few things you can do to reduce swelling and fluid collection that occurs after Tummy Tuck or Liposuction in addition to compression garments, which include:
- Applying cold compresses at the swelling site. However, a cold compress should not be applied directly to the skin. Patients should wrap any cold compress (ice or gel pack) in cloth before applying it to the site of the swelling.
- Elevating your incision site above the heart level helps in excess fluid drainage, thereby reducing swelling.
- Reducing the intake of salty foods: Na+ ions in salty foods have water-holding properties, resulting in excess fluid accumulating in the body and causing it to swell. So it would be best if you reduced the intake of high salt foods.
- Avoid the use of diuretics.
How tight should your compression garment be after surgery? And how do you know it’s the correct fit for you?
- Wearing compression garments that are too tight or too loose impairs healing and causes more harm than good.
- These garments should ideally provide adequate support to your abdomen’s healing areas following liposuction or Tummy Tuck without causing you discomfort.
- It should snugly fit the new contours of your body.
- A good way to determine if your garment is the correct size is to slide your hand inside the garment when you are wearing it. The garment is a good fit for you if you can do this without too much strain or ease.
- Wearing garments that are too tight risks damage to blood vessels and bleeding, so garments of adequate size need be chosen.
Timeline for wearing garments
The use of stage one garments begins immediately following Tummy tuck surgery. They help remove excess swelling due to fluid accumulation caused by body processes increasing circulation at the site of surgery. These garments allow easy drainage of fluids postoperatively. They have zippers, hooks and eyes, which help reduce friction while wearing and removed. Patients will need to wear stage one garments for 1 – 2 weeks or more, depending upon the surgery’s nature. Stage one garments also have an open crotch; this eliminates the need to remove the garment while using the bathroom. Patients that are in stage one garments should wear them 24/7. The only reasons to remove stage garments during this time are for bathing and garment cleaning.
The use of stage two garments occurs during the second stage of wound healing post-surgery. And are worn from the second postoperative week onwards (Usually 2-8 weeks). You will move on to stage two garments once your fluid retention starts to decrease. Unlike stage one garments, stage two garments do not have zippers, eyes or crotch openings. These garments provide similar compression as stage one garments and are ideal for day-to-day use. You can comfortably wear Stage two garments under clothing. However, they do not need to be worn 24/7.