Don’t Be Stressin’ in Your Compression

OP. DR. YUNUS DOĞAN



It’s like a prescription for a hug…

…for a very long time. But hugs generally make you feel good, right? They can make you smile when you’re sad. Hugs show you someone loves you. A hug can comfort you, make you feel protected and safe and can calm you down if you’re stressed. While it might not be feasible to have a loved one wrap themselves around you 24/7, you CAN use the next best thing: a compression garment!

Compression garments are made for specific parts of the body and are recommended based on the surgery or surgeries you’ve had. The strength of the garment can also vary depending on how far along you are in the recovery process. Read on to learn what compression garments do for your healing body. You can also learn what style of hug you might wear and why.

Why do I need compression?

Compression garments play an important role in a healthy surgical recovery. They reduce swelling, inflammation and their related discomforts. In reducing swelling, compression garments also prevent excessive build-up of fluids and promote reabsorption of subcutaneous fluid. They keep your fluids moving. By keeping fluids moving, compression garments reduce the risk of infection. Compression garments reduce bruising. Compression garments apply pressure to incision sites and that can reduce scarring.

What’s my type?

If you’ve had a Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) you will follow your surgeon’s advice and wear what he or she recommends. You might model a faja with the butt cheek areas removed, as seen at retailer Cheeky’s website. Since you’ve just maximized your gluteus ummm, maximus, you will avoid putting pressure on the cheeks for three weeks. This includes compressing the area. (Coincidentally, if you’re also wondering how to have derriere for days, read our definitive post about what to eat.)

For a breast lift or reduction, you will most likely need a surgical bra that closes in the front with adjustable straps. Specialized bras will be easier to manage with front closures. They will adjust to provide the support you need throughout your recovery.

For breast implants, you may slip your nips into a surgical bra but also add a compression band that rests on your breasts, above your nipples. The band helps keep new implants stable and heading in the correct direction.

If you’ve had liposuction you will compress whatever part of the body consistently for six weeks: arm lipo requires sleeves, 360 degree liposuction will land you in a faja that wraps snugly around your abdomen and thigh lipo means you’ll wear a faja with longer pant legs.

Speaking of longer pant legs, did you know that winter is the best time to get an aesthetic procedure? We wrote about it here!

Compression at your core

Aesthetic abdominal procedures - tummy tucks, liposuction, Fleur De Lis (FDL,) back lift - can require you to wear a faja consistently for six weeks, nearly around the clock. You could also be adding an elastic binder around your waist for any time you’re upright. (Aka not laying in that “V” position.)

After six weeks, you can decrease your faja time to eight hours a day if you wish. Some patients choose to sleep in their fajas because they like the support at night. Others like the compression under their regular clothing when they return to work and other daily activities. As always, consult your surgeon and his team for their advice. Adhere to their aftercare plan regardless of how sexy this information is.

Compression for the dangly bits

Liposuction and/or tucks and lifts to the arms, legs and face will best heal in their own compression garments. Your surgeon and his team will give you specific instructions as to what you should wear and for how long, but typically arm compression can come off after three weeks. Healing from thigh lipo takes a little longer, so your long-legged faja will stay on for six weeks. Different surgeons have their own methodology regarding chin compression.

Compression forever?

Patient opinion on compression tends to change over time. In the beginning, fresh out of surgery, the faja is a painful, evil garment. It hurts, it’s dirty and they can’t wait to take it off. As healing bodies get accustomed to the benefits of compression, patients sometimes appreciate the comforting squeezes.

Even months post-op, some former patients decide to wear a weaker compression garment called shapewear. It provides the support of compression but to a lesser degree. It’s a friendlier hug that takes everybody else’s breath away, not the wearer’s.

The last stitch

If you get something nipped, tucked or liposuctioned, chances are you will be wearing compression during your recovery period. You will literally come out of the recovery room in your faja. And while you might not wake up loving what you’re wearing, you will love what the garment does for you. Trust the garment and trust the process. Above all else, trust yourself and know that you can endure this!

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