A tummy tuck compression garment, also known as a binder, is an important part of post-surgery recovery. Wearing a binder as directed will work towards a faster, easier recovery. A tummy tuck compression garment is an elasticised piece of material that stretches around your midriff. It provides a snug fit, with constant pressure being applied to the encased region.
Binders typically cover the area between the hips and up to the breasts – everywhere and beyond where was treated during your tummy tuck. A plastic surgeon in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and beyond will tell you – it’s important to wear your compression garment. It is an understandable question, as many patients find the tight fit somewhat uncomfortable.
However, the benefits outweigh the snug fit’s annoyance, and they will help you recover more effectively.
- Reduce risk of seroma
Excess collection of serous fluid that fills a pocket under the skin is called “seroma”. Seromas are considered the most common complication associated with tummy tucks. The even, constant pressure your binder provides will push down on tissues that may otherwise experience this fluid build up. The garment also promotes healthy blood circulation during recovery. These two reasons are behind the treatment of seromas in post-surgery patients.
- Improved circulation
Whilst we’re talking about circulation, it should come as no surprise that improved circulation will help you heal in the post-surgery process. Improved circulation improves the amount of beneficial nutrients that promote healing. This can help reduce bruising, swelling and reduce the risk of blood clots, which can be very serious if they occur.
- Greater comfort
Your binder will help keep body tissues in place while you move. Incision lines and damaged tissues are protected from being strained or pulled. This means you’ll be far more comfortable in the recovery period. Certain patients prefer to wear their binders for weeks after surgery as it can improve comfort post-surgery.
- Improved contouring
Your surgeon will take great care to minimise contour irregularities and tighten your midriff, but there is still a chance that inconsistencies may occur. Many contour inconsistencies can become permanent if not corrected early in the post-surgery period. A binder helps flatten any unwanted lumps that can appear during recovery.
However, poorly fitted binders can leave permanent indentations. Therefore, it’s important that your binder fits properly. If you are unsure about this, consult your surgeon and they will be able to ensure it fits properly. You can also wear a seamless tight-fitting cotton shirt under your garment as a protective layer if necessary.
The importance of proper breathing in your garment
Some patients complain of breathing problems when wearing their binder. While your binder should fit snugly, it should absolutely never inhibit your breathing. It also should not cause any pain when wearing it. If it does, contact your surgeon so you can receive a new garment.
Sometimes, patients may experience breathing problems because wearing the garment is causing them to breathe unnaturally. People become lazier about breathing when they sit more, and shift the focus towards breathing only using the stomach. This is caused by belly breathing, and it can be a reason as to why patients experience breathing difficulty post-surgery.
If you feel this may be the case, take a moment to focus on your breath. Your rib cage should expand with every breath, and your abdominal muscles and diaphragm should work automatically and in unison. If you notice it’s not your breathing, please remember to contact your plastic surgeon in order to receive a new binder.