Bethesda Tummy Tuck Compression Garments
Tummy tuck surgery, formally known as abdominoplasty, is a popular way to redefine the stomach’s contours. From a mini tummy tuck to a full or extended procedure, many of our Bethesda patients have benefited from a flatter, smoother abdomen. As with any body contouring procedure, though, a tummy tuck requires recovery time. During recovery, your doctor will likely recommend the use of an elastic compression garment to aid in the speed, comfort, and outcome of your recovery. To help our patients achieve the best possible results throughout treatment, we urge them follow their doctor’s post-operative instructions, while understanding the advantages of wearing a compression garment.
What Is a Compression Garment?
A compression garment is any elastic post-surgical wrap that is meant to be worn through the critical stages of recovery. Unlike regular bandages, which are simply meant to keep incisions closed and clean, a compression garment promotes healing, reduces the risk of certain complications, and can even improve the final results of treatment.
For a tummy tuck, compression garments are made to bind the abdomen, also sometimes extending down over the thighs or up the chest. Depending on the nature of your specific surgery, your doctor will have a better idea of what areas your garment should cover.
How Does a Compression Garment Help?
Doctors and patients will share varying opinions and experiences of what a compression garment can accomplish. Nevertheless, it is commonly believed that compression during recovery can positively impact any or all of the following factors:
- Increased comfort: Early on in recovery, your incisions and damaged tissues will be particularly sore. Light to moderate compression of the area can improve one’s comfort, especially when combined with an open-drainage technique right after surgery.
- Improved contours: Compression garments help hold tissues firmly in place as they heal, helping patients achieve long lasting, satisfying results.
- Improved circulation: Proper circulation is important in the prevention of complications such as blood clots, seromas, and hematomas, and helps to reduce swelling.
- Improved fluid passage: Early in recovery, compression garments help flush harmful fluids from the body. The continued compression throughout recovery promotes the even passage of fluids beneath the skin, which lowers the risk of a lymphedema (fluid build-up) developing.
- Decreased swelling and bruising: After surgery, patients will experience some level of swelling and bruising. Due to increased blood flow from a compression garment, these side effects can be minimized.
- Decreased skin irregularities: By keeping skin tightly adhered to subcutaneous tissues, compression garments result in a smoother appearance.
- Lower risk of infection: Compression garments keep incisions sterile and help other bandages remain firmly in place. As a result, the risk of infection is kept as low as possible.
How Long Should a Compression Garment Be Worn?
Your timeline for recovery is dependent upon the nature of your plastic surgery and your overall health. As such, the duration of use for your elastic compression garment is at the discretion of your doctor, coupled with his personal assessment regarding its benefits. After a tummy tuck, patients are typically instructed to wear the garment for at least a few weeks. In any circumstance, the best decision a patient can make is to follow his or her doctor’s instructions. For a better understanding of our post-operative care procedures, schedule a consultation with Dr. Oldham.
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The best way to ensure a successful surgery and recovery is to choose a doctor with a wealth of experience. As a consistently top-rated cosmetic surgeon for the Washington, D.C. area, Dr. Oldham is committed to providing the highest quality of care for patients. To learn how tummy tuck surgery or our other body contouring procedures can help you, give us a call today.