The garments must be sized according to the contours of your body to ensure a proper fit—poorly fitting compression garments might be useless or even cause discomfort. Research supporting the efficiency of post-surgical compression garments after breast or abdominal surgery is limited. However, some studies have shown that patients wearing compression garments like bras, girdles, and binders, after breast and abdominal surgeries demonstrate less scarring, swelling, and pain than patients who avoid them. Some studies have shown that compression garments have positive psychological benefits, reducing the patient’s anxiety and increasing mobility. Below, we highlight the benefits of compression garments, potential risks, and tips on wearing compression stockings.

How do Compression Garments Work?

When someone cuts themselves, a piece of cloth or bandage is wrapped tightly around the damaged skin. This is done to reduce the pain and swelling through compression.

Compression garments work on a similar principle after surgeries. They apply pressure to the treatment areas to reduce the pain and swelling, reducing post-operative discomfort and facilitating optimal recovery.

Compression garments come in various shapes and sizes depending on the treatment areas and your body type. Furthermore, they must be custom-designed to ensure optimal compression — not too loose or tight. When worn correctly, they prevent fluid accumulation around the wounds and minimize swelling. High-quality compression garments are also anti-microbial, breathable, and they minimize the risk of infections.

Doctors generally recommend post-surgical compression garments with light to medium pressure, ranging from 17-20mmHG. If the compression level is too high, they restrict blood flow and cause potential complications. If the compression is too low, they’re essentially ineffective and don’t provide any benefits. You should rely on your surgeon to provide the ideal compression garments for your body type and surgery.

Benefits of Compression Garments

  • Reduced Swelling: Swelling or tissue edema often occurs due to the accumulation of edema fluids in the tissues around the treatment areas. Compression garments push the fluid into the lymphatic vessels to prevent fluid accumulation and swelling.
  • Scar Improvement: Compression garments collect collagen fibers around the scars to soften their texture, improving their overall appearance. As such, compression garments improve the appearance of your surgical procedure.
  • Decreased Bruising: The disruption of blood cells on the upper layers of the skin leads to post-operative bruising. Compression garments prevent blood cell accumulation in the epidermis, reducing the bruises.
  • Increased Mobility: Compression garments have also been shown to improve the patient’s overall mobility, aiding the recovery process.
  • Reduced Infections: Infections occur when open wounds get contaminated. Compression garments are made of antimicrobial materials that keep the wounds closed, significantly reducing the risk of infections.
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Risks of Compression Garments

Compression garments might cause some itching, irritation, and discomfort, but they don’t cause any major complications. In rare cases, compression garments might cause blood clots, but that negligible risk shouldn’t deter you from wearing compression garments. Furthermore, the complications usually occur if you wear poorly-fitting compression garments that aren’t suitable for your body type.

Dr. Tanna provides tailored compression garments based on your individual results, body type, measurements, and surgery details.

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