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Liposuction is the popular plastic surgery procedure that ideally is employed to remove localized fat deposits in order to provide a person with a more sculpted, desirable appearance in the affected area. Well performed liposuction in patients who are good candidates for this procedure can yield quite attractive and rewarding results. But that is not the end of the story!

The postoperative care is also an important component in the overall outcome. Expertly performed surgery can be sabotaged by indiscretions and an inadequate postoperative regimen. One area that many patients ask about relates to the wearing of compression garments.

Paraphrasing one of Shakespeare’s unforgettable questions: To wear or not to wear a garment – that is the question? (And for how long?)

Wearing a well designed and fitting garment following liposuction has been shown to reduce swelling and bruising in those areas. In fact, at times, the bruising in the non-covered areas stand out in all their multi-colored glory and in stark contrast to the often minimal bruising present in the compressed areas, making evident the advantage of the latter. In addition, bruising can sometimes lead to permanent discoloration of tissues – not a desirable outcome.

How long is long enough to wear a garment like a girdle or binder?

There is no one definitive answer. Some plastic surgeons will have their patients wear a garment for a few days to a week or more. Others require several weeks. Then, there are others who have their patients use a garment for 3 months or even longer. This, to me, is quite excessive, unnecessary and a major inconvenience and annoyance to patients.

The recommendations that I give to my patients are individualized, being influenced by multiple factors including the area(s) suctioned and the volume of fat removed. For areas such as the stomach, flanks, thighs, knees and back, I generally recommend 1 – 2 weeks. With liposuction of the breasts for men in the treatment of gynecomastia, I usually recommend around 2 weeks. During your consultation as well as in the postoperative period, this issue is discussed and modified as needed.

If you have any questions regarding liposuction or on any other plastic surgery procedure that I perform or if you would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with me, please call my office at 480-451-3000.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona

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