A tummy tuck, also called abdominoplasty, is a surgical procedure that can eliminate excess fat and skin from the tummy area. Choosing an experienced plastic surgeon is an important part of surgery. However, equally as important is the recovery phase after surgery that requires special care and a bit of preparation. One of the most important elements of recovery is a good quality compression garment after abdominoplasty. It can also be called a binder. It is important to wear it as directed by Dr Hunt to support you in your recovery.
Post-surgery, one of the most common side effects is excessive swelling and fluid retention at the treatment site. The right compression garment can help tackle that and help reduce your changes of complications during your recovery.
Guide to Tummy Tuck/ Abdominoplasty
Think of an abdominoplasty compression garment as a heavily elasticated garment that stretches around your mid-section, almost like a girdle. It should be quite snug and will put pressure on the treatment site that will help minimise swelling and offer support. The garment generally covers the entire area, starting from your breasts, down to the hips.
UPDATE NEW 30175 MEDICARE ITEM NUMBER – The Australian Government has a NEW Medicare Item Number for a Tummy Tuck – abdominoplasty for some eligible post-pregnancy patients with 3cm+ Diastasis Recti (Split Tummy Muscles) if you are eligible and meet the new medical criteria. This new 30175 Medicare Item Number – is effective from 1st July 2022. Read the 30175 Medicare Item Number factsheet.
If you qualify for the 30175 Medicare item number you may also get a subsidy from your Health Fund. There will still be a significant out-of-pocket GAP as Private abdominoplasty surgery is NOT FREE.
Benefits of Wearing a Compression Garment after Abdominoplasty
This is one of the most commonly asked questions we get. As the compression garment is quite snug, most patients find it quite uncomfortable to wear especially during the first few days after the surgery. You need to wear it as long as possible because it will essentially help you recover and offers the following benefits:
1. Reduced Risk of Seroma Formation
The collection of excess fluid underneath the skin is referred to as seroma. Seroma is considered to be the most common complication individuals experience post-abdominoplasty or any kind of surgery. A compression garment can reduce the risk considerably. It puts even pressure on the tissues that were treated during the surgery. Hence, the pockets of fluid can be minimised.
2. Improved Circulation
Better circulation is the key to healing faster after the surgery. The blood circulating inside your body is responsible for delivering essential nutrients to the treated areas and promoting healing. It also reduces swelling, bruising, and minimises the risk of blood clot formation which can be fatal.
3. Makes You Feel Comfortable & Supported
Although the compression garment can feel quite snug for the first few days, it can make you feel quite secure and comfortable during daily activities. The compression garment will offer a layer of protection to the damaged tissues and incision lines and prevent them from being pulled or strained. In fact, a lot of patients like to wear a compression garment even longer than advised as it makes them feel quite secure and reminds them to move more carefully.
4. Helps reduce the risk of ireggularities
There is always a slight chance that uneven contours will appear after this type of intervention. A lot of contour irregularities become permanent and aren’t corrected early on in your recovery. A compression garment can help reduce this.
Read more about the Benefits of Wearing a Compression Garment after Cosmetic Surgery here.
Brands for a Compression Garment After Tummy Tuck/ Abdominoplasty
Here is the list of compression garment brands recommended by Dr Hunt’s team for use after abdominoplasty surgery.
OTHER GARMENT SUPPLIERS
Which Compression Garment Is Right for You?
Finding the right compression garment for you involves more than reading a list. You need to feel comfortable while wearing it and ensure it is doing something for the healing.
The goal is to find something that offers a good level of support and pressure.
Compression garments are generally recommended for the second stage of recovery. During the first stage of recovery, Dr Hunt might ask you to wear an abdominal binder. You may be wearing your compression garment for weeks or months. Make sure to take your time in selecting the right one that fits. You can also ask Dr Hunt’s team to make recommendations. Make sure to try a few before the surgery so you can select the right one for yourself.
Having Trouble Breathing When Wearing a Compression Garment after Abdominoplasty?
Some patients have had trouble breathing while wearing a compression garment. While the garment has to be snug, your compression garment shouldn’t prevent you from breathing properly. Make sure it isn’t causing you any pain while you are wearing it. If it is causing you discomfort, it is important to let Dr Hunt know and get a different one. In certain cases, the trouble breathing is not caused by compression garments but by not breathing right.
Breathe the Right Way
As you breathe, three parts of the body are involved in the process: the intercostal muscles, diaphragm and abdominal muscles. When you are breathing in, the muscles contract upwards and outwards and allow your lungs to expand fully with air. During this time, the diaphragm will move downwards to create space for your lungs. If you are breathing properly, your chest will rise and widen along with the expansion of your stomach. And you will feel a lot more comfortable.
Over the years, the belly has become more common as we have become lazy with how we breathe. Instead of involving all three parts with every single breath, we use only our stomach to breathe. Look closely at how you breathe. If your stomach expands and contracts while breathing but your chest isn’t moving, you are belly breathing. If you are belly breathing, you will find it difficult to breathe while wearing a compression garment. You shouldn’t rely on your stomach to breathe in the air. Your stomach won’t expand because of the constant pressure on your compression garment.
If that’s true, you need to be conscious about how you breathe. Make sure you feel your rib cage expand with every single breath and along with the diaphragm and abdominal muscles.
Now that you know how to breathe properly and have the list of recommended compression garments to use post-surgery, you will have a better idea of how to feel comfortable and supported while breathing properly.
Further Reading about Tummy Tuck/ Abdominoplasty Surgery
- Read Dr Hunt’s Tummy Tuck/ Abdominoplasty Surgery page
- Read Dr Hunt’s Patient Case Study of Tummy Tuck/ Abdominoplasty
- See Dr Hunt’s Real Tummy Tuck/ Abdominoplasty Patients Before and After Photos
- Read Dr Hunt’s Bruising and Swelling after Tummy Tuck/ Abdominoplasty Surgery.
Medical References about Recovery after the Abdominoplasty
- What to Know About Recovery from Abdominoplasty
- Abdominoplasty recovery: Timeline and tips
- Managing Complications in Abdominoplasty: A Literature Review
- Adding Liposuction Helps Prevent Common Complication after Abdominoplasty
About Dr Jeremy Hunt – Specialist Plastic Surgeon Sydney
Careful, considerate and honest, Dr Jeremy Hunt works with you to find a solution that is suitable for your body and your lifestyle. Every patient is unique and requires a personalised approach to reach their goals.
Dr Hunt has provided his one-on-one service and attention to detail to thousands of women and men from the Sydney & Wollongong NSW area and across Australia.
Dr Hunt’s qualifications and education
Dr Jeremy A. Hunt MBBS FRACS graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine degree from Sydney University in 1990 and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and member of ASPS – the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. He completed a Fellowship at the University of Texas in the United States, where he learnt from well-established and experienced plastic surgeons.
Next Step – Make an Enquiry or Request a consultation with Dr Hunt
Want more information before scheduling your consultation?
- Find out more about pricing, medical payment plans and paying for your surgery
- Request more information about the procedure – call on 1300 157 200 or contact us
If breast reduction mammoplasty is something you’re considering, Dr Hunt can thoroughly explain all the options to you in a one-on-one consultation.
- Make an Enquiry or Request a consultation with Dr Hunt
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health professional.