After liposuction surgery is performed, a certain amount of fluid is always left behind beneath the patient’s skin in the areas where the fat was removed. This fluid consists of anesthetic solution that was left over from the procedure together with blood, which the body produces to help heal all of the wounds that were created under the skin.
This fluid accumulation can greatly slow down the healing process by preventing fresh supplies of nutrients and oxygen from reaching the injured areas under the skin, and in some cases can cause cell death. All of the fluid that is backed up is considered a type of swelling known as edema, and it can also cause bruising of the skin, as well as other, more serious problems.
These anomalies can cause infections in the body, and the patient’s immune system may not be able to remove them on its own. In some cases, these problems can also develop into blood clots, which can cause even more serious problems such as thromboses or a stroke. In addition, even if none of these problems occurs, an excessive amount of fluid carried under the skin can cause the heart to work harder. The body maintains a balance of the amount of fluid that is between the cells and in the blood, and if there is an imbalance, it can be very taxing on the heart.
The solution recommended by virtually all plastic surgeons to correct this problem of the build-up of fluids under the skin is for the patient to wear an elastic liposuction compression garment for approximately two to six weeks after the surgery. These garments can be made from a variety of fabrics including Lycra, and the type of elastic material from which girdles are made, and often come with Velcro straps. A liposuction compression garment, which is made for the lower half of the body, is typically crotch-less, to enable patients to relieve themselves without having to remove the garment. They reduce the post-surgery edema by pressing down on the skin and squeezing the excess fluid back toward deeper tissue in the body, where it is absorbed.
Liposuction compression garments can serve to push the fluid that is trapped under the skin out of the ad-it, or out of any drainage tubes that were placed there by the surgeon. As is often the case when liposuction is performed, the patient’s skin does not shrink back all the way to fit their new, smaller body. This skin will be baggy and unsightly, and will require further cosmetic surgery to correct the problem.