After various cosmetic surgical procedures, your doctor may recommend postop garments. But what are they meant to accomplish and is it required. Not all surgeons agree. Regardless, if you have a breast augmentation, tummy tuck or liposuction, chances are you’ll be wearing one of these.
What’s the purpose of postop garments
It’s not clear why postop garments became such an integral part of cosmetic procedures. There’s not a peer-reviewed, multi-center, high quality study showing the effectiveness of using postop garments. Nothing similar to a drug trial with and without postop garments.
However, many surgeons use them. Here are some possible reasons.
After a breast augmentation, with fresh incisions under the breast, your surgeon may worry you’ll wear a bra with underwire. This could cause irritation to the incision, possibly risking it to open. To avoid this problem, your surgeon may recommend a special postop bra because they are usually soft, without much structure. And certainly don’t have underwire. Therefore, your surgeon knows exactly what you’re wearing after surgery and can rest easy it’s not a bra that will place undue stress on “their work.”
In the case of a tummy tuck or liposuction, the patient is often sore and the potential for fluid to collect under the skin is high. With swelling, the skin stretches, causing pain fibers to fire, putting the patient in more pain. To alleviate some of this pain, the garment can reduce the amount of swelling, theoretically reducing skin stretch and therefore pain.
While there’s no proof of these benefits in a large study, many patients like the garment and the “sense of security” it provides after surgery. It’s also interesting to see how many patients are reluctant to embrace the idea of a postop garment before the operation but come to appreciate its benefits after surgery.