Question: How long do I have to wear an abdominal binder, compression garment, or “Faja” after Tummy Tuck surgery?
Answer: I typically do a significant amount of liposuction at the same time of the abdominoplasty – and this often involves the “anterior flap” – to sculpt and enhance the “violin” shape to the area above and around the umbilicus. I feel that this is very important and greatly improves results and ultimate contour. Because of the liposuction and its effect on vascularity, I sometimes do not start the binder or faja for a week or so – in order to avoid injury to the skin. After a week or so, I encourage more compression which helps prevent seroma (fluid pocket) formation – and also helps with the shape in the long run. The binder functions as a splint for the healing muscle repair and helps prevent suture cheese wire pull through. Scar tissue takes over 2 months to reach 80% of its eventual strength. For this reason, I like compression for at least 2 months – and 3 is even better. Every surgeon has a different theory on this and may modify it based on their technique or personal opinion. You really need to discuss this with your operative surgeon. Make sure he/she is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. This is the only board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties to require residency training in Abdominoplasty (“Tummy Tuck”) procedures!