The Complete Guide to Wearing Compression Garments After Surgery
After breast reconstruction surgery, there are several steps to take through your recovery process to ensure you get your desired results. Wearing compression garments is a crucial step in your recovery. During your consultation, your healthcare team will go over everything you need to know, however, below is a quick guide to everything you need to know about wearing compression garments:
Purpose of Compression Garments
Wearing compression garments after breast reconstruction surgery will speed up the recovery process and improve the look of your contour. These work to stabilize your body’s new shape and improve healing.
Some benefits of wearing surgical garments include:
- Reduces bruising and swelling: Compression garments help apply even pressure across the treatment area which prevents the excess buildup of fluids. This helps your body absorb any fluid and without this swelling can linger longer than necessary. A compression garment will also lessen bruising by stopping blood from traveling to the skin’s surface. This lessens the visibility of bruises.
- Helps prevent the formation of blood clots: Blood clotting is a significant risk with any breast reconstruction procedure. Fortunately, surgical garments can help with circulation, reducing your risk of complications.
- Reduces recovery time and accelerates the healing process: Patients who wear compression garments can anticipate a comfortable and quick recovery. The recovery period can be shortened, and patients can resume normal activities sooner by controlling post-operative swelling and discomfort.
- Enhances results: To achieve the best aesthetic results after breast reconstruction surgery, these garments ensure that surgical incisions heal properly and that your skin more effectively conforms to its new contours.
How Long Will I Wear Compression Garments After Surgery?
Typically, your healthcare team will instruct you to wear your compression garments for about 4-6 weeks following your breast reconstruction procedures. If you experience any discomfort after your surgery, you should bring this up during your post-operative appointment so that your doctor or nurse can make any adjustments necessary.
Surgical Bra – Immediately after breast reconstruction surgery, you will be placed in a surgical bra. The surgical bra clasps in the front, so it can be easily taken on and off as needed to shower or strip your drains. You will need to wear this bra for approximately two to three weeks, or as recommended by your surgeon.
In Between Bras – When breast drains are removed you can switch into “support bra.” At PRMA we recommend a wide panel bra that fully supports the breast(s).
Abdominal Binder – Will be placed on you immediately following surgery. The garment can look very overwhelming at first glance, but rest assured you can manage it! You can watch an instructional video on how to properly wear the abdominal binder HERE.
Panty Girdles – When abdominal drains are removed you can switch to high-waisted panty girdle/spanx. The girdle should fit comfortably but needs to provide firm support in the abdominal region.
Final Bra – Following your recovery after the second stage of reconstruction, it will be time to get fitted for your new “final” bra. You can say goodbye to the surgical and in-between bras!
Abdominal binder – You can switch into high waisted panty girdle/spanx 3 days post-op (unless you have drains).
Interested In Starting Your Breast Reconstruction Journey at PRMA?
To learn more about all your breast reconstruction options and the recovery process, we welcome you to schedule a virtual consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons today.
Guest Blog Post By: Nurse Katy Wemmert
“Set realistic, attainable goals after your surgery. Your body is going to feel different now than it did before surgery. If you are doing it simply to lose weight or get back into a certain dress or pant size you may be setting yourself up for failure. Reset your compass.”