The Ultimate Guide to Compression Garments After Plastic Surgery

Compression garments after plastic surgery accelerate your healing and help you look your best.

Yes, compression garments are expensive, and yes, they are a pain to get on and off, but they are so important to your recovery!  Compression garments after plastic surgery provide pressure on the outside to the accumulating pressure from swelling within, helping reduce your body’s overactive healing response to surgery. Reducing this excess swelling will allow better blood flow, decreased pain, decreased risk of blood clots and infection, increased ease of movement, and faster recovery.  Compression can also reduce bruising by preventing blood cells from moving to the skin surface. And compression wear can soften your scars, gradually reducing their visibility. 

Typically, you will come to after surgery already wearing a compression garment recommended and/or provided by your surgeon. The most common cosmetic surgeries to require compression garments in recovery include liposuction, tummy tuck, and breast and buttock lifts and implants. Always consult with your surgeon prior to beginning garment wear.

Compression Garments After Plastic Surgery: They Matter

A garment that fits well and offers the right level of compression for the phase of recovery is very important.

  • Reduced Swelling: Well-fitted garments provide consistent compression, minimizing post-surgery swelling.
  • Enhanced Comfort: Properly sized garments offer comfort during the recovery period, aiding the healing process.
  • Prevention of Complications: Ill-fitting garments may lead to complications, underscoring the need for precision in sizing. Garment websites will typically recommend ordering your pre-op size for your first garment after liposuction as post-surgical swelling will typically compensate for loss of tissue in the first 2-4 weeks of wear.

Compression garments after plastic surgery provide essential support.

Navigating the Two Stages of Compression Garment Wear

Stage 1: Immediate Post-Op

Stage 1 compression garments are typically medical grade compression of 15-40mmHg and provide immediate support for improved drainage.

  • Garments worn right after surgery provide essential support and control swelling. Surgeons will often recommend 23/7 wear for the first 2-4 weeks after surgery. These garments typically have hooks and eyes and/or zippers to reduce friction getting them on and off.
  • Doctor’s Recommendations: It is critical to follow your surgeon’s recommendations regarding garment type and duration. Occasionally a surgeon will not make recommendations for compression garments after plastic surgery. In that case, make sure you show your surgeon your compression wear and get their approval prior to use.

There are 2 stages to compression garments after plastic surgery.

Stage 2: Long-Term Recovery

Shapewear is a common Stage 2 garment, but not all shapewear is created equal! Something without panels that covers and supports the necessary areas completely, is strong enough (15-35mmHg) and containing enough (not too stretchy) will provide optimal support.

  • At 2-8 weeks a Stage 1 garment can be replaced with Stage 2, which is usually sized down to accommodate the swelling reduction. This garment is often without zippers and/or hooks and eyes, and more comfortable under clothing.
  • Stage 2 garments can be worn for the next 6 months to a year, depending on the procedure and your unique healing and comfort level. 

Top Resources for Purchasing Quality Compression Garments

Here are some reliable resources for compression garments:

  • Consult your Surgeon: Definitely consult your surgeon for recommendations on reputable brands and suppliers. If they have a brand or style they want for you, benefit from their expertise.
  • Specialized Online Retailers:
  • Customer Reviews: Check customer reviews for insights into garment quality, sizing, effectiveness and return policies. 


Well-fitting compression garments are critical to your post-cosmetic surgery recovery journey. Reduce your risk of loose or sagging skin, blood clots, infection, and swelling that persists longer than it should. You are making an incredible investment in yourself with your decision to finally get this surgery. Now is not the time to offer yourself less than the best.

Your Recovery Begins the Moment Your Surgery is Over

Don’t forget to prioritize your comfort and healing by investing in high-quality, well-fitted compression garments appropriate to your recovery stage. And couple that investment with lymphatic drainage therapy to further reduce your swelling, improve circulation, promote maximal results, and feel your beautiful, vibrant self faster! You are worth it.

Disclaimer – This blog is for general information purposes only. Furthermore, the information contained in this blog is not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your licensed healthcare professional for advice on your specific condition.

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