The Difference in a Post Operative Compression Garment and a Body Shaper, Standard Girdle or Athletic Wear

March 7, 2011: Authored by: Alpha Health Asia Staff

The large number of body shapers, girdles and athletic wear on display in any local department store begs the question- do I need a post operative compression garment, or can I wear one of the garment found in the department store?

You need to wear a post operative compression garment to assist your body with healing and increase your level of comfort. A high quality post operative pressure garment has a number of unique features that are not found in athletic wear, body shapers or department stores girdles. Your post operative compression garment should include the following features:

  • Fabric- the fabric must be strong, designed to retain its shape and form during extended wear, provide compression and support equally from all angles and should be breathable.
  • Design- the post operative compression garment must be designed to provide the ideal amount of compression and support to the surgical area. Too much compression can slow down the healing process, not enough compression defeats the purchase of wearing a garment.
  • Inner Support Panels- inner fabric panels are needed at key surgical sites to stabilize the tissue that has just been shaped and molded and provide the ideal amount of compression
  • Open Crotch- your body will be swollen and sore during the initial recovery time, you do not want to remove your garment each time you need to use the facilities. Your garment must feature an anatomically correct open crotch that will allow you to use the facilities without having to remove the garment.
  • Flat Seams- you will be wearing your garment for extended periods of time, it is a compression garment that will “press” into the skin, all seams must be flat or the seam line can leave an indention in the skin and a raised seam can become very uncomfortable.
  • No Seams at key surgical sites- seams can rub and irritate a surgical site; your compression garment should be designed without seams at key surgical sites or with minimal, flat seams at the surgical sites.
  • Zippers, Hook & Eye closures- the garment you wear immediately after your procedure must have zippers- you will not be able to “step into” a zipper less garment and pull the garment on. The zippers must be lined to avoid the zipper digging into your body during extended wear, it is recommended that hook & eye closures be used under the zippers to reduce any stress on the zipper.

A garment that feels like athletic wear, yoga wear, or a lingerie shaper are not designed for wear after a surgical procedure, will not provide the level of constant and sustained compression and does not have the specific design features you need. A post operative compression garment is a medical garment with a specific purpose: to encourage the healing and recovery process after a reconstructive or aesthetic procedure, and help the skin conform to its new contours.


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