For years, compression therapy has been used in the healing of injuries. Whether it be a sprained ankle, a venous ulcer, a varicose vein or oedema, compression has long been utilized as a means of speeding up healing. However, compression, as well as the method for applying compression, has evolved over the years to become an essential aspect to cosmetic surgery.
While compression therapy is not a new concept, it has only relatively recently becoming a familiar (and essential) means of therapy following an operation. With the success and feedback from patients, surgeons are recognizing compression as an integral aspect to the healing process following cosmetic surgery. While there is an inadequate amount of experimental research regarding the use of compression garments post-operation, many surgeons, clinics, and hospitals are more frequently encouraging patients to purchase compression garments to wear directly following their surgeries in order to speed up the recovery process and reduce the risk of complications.
Surgeons will offer many reasons as to why compression garments should be worn post-operation; however, the main functions of compression therapy are to improve skin recovery and maintain a consistent external pressure on deep tissues to lessen the chances of common post-surgery complications. Because patients are ultimately concerned with achieving desired results, continual external pressure keeps the skin smooth and evenly compressed, minimizing the chances of sagging and the formation of unwanted creases.
With consistent and evenly distributed pressure, the skin is given the necessary support needed to heal naturally. As the garment is being worn, the skin remains stable, diminishing the chances of unwanted pain caused by movement and is able to act as a physical barrier, reducing the risk of infection and holding possible dressings and bandages in place. Given that infection is one of the most common complications of surgery, it is important to keep the wound clean and protected while providing necessary support for healing.
Compression garments vary from surgery to surgery and are recommended to patients based on personal preference (both the patients’ and the surgeons’). In order to ensure a proper recovery, firm and consistent pressure is required throughout the entire garment It is essential the garment fits snugly around the body, yet not be too tight as to provide discomfort to the patient and have a negative impact on the recovery process. Size guides and measurements are provided for each garment to make certain the patient is purchasing the best fitting garment so the area can heal uniformly.
Durability and comfort are vital aspects in order to ensure garment is providing the right amount of support. As time passes, the garment should give off the same elasticity as it did when it was first put on. Medical-grade fabrics are used to construct the garments to make certain they provide consistent pressure throughout the patients ‘recovery. If the garment is comfortable, it minimizes chances of removal, ensuring the patient wears the garment as directed and the full benefits can be realised. The garments are specifically made with soft, stretchy, and breathable materials that reduce irritation and allow for the patient to move with ease.
There are many different garments made purposely for specific operations; however, it is important to choose a garment that provides proper coverage to the trauma site and the surrounding area. There are garments specifically designed to cover the whole body, ones that focus on specific portions of the body, and inserts specially made to be worn under the garments to minimize dead space and keep the treated area flat. Because patients are less mobile post-surgery, the garments are designed to provide convenience to the patient so they can deal with the garment with ease post-operation. Many garments contain hook and eye closures either on the side or in the front to ensure the patient or the staff in theatre are able to put the garment on without trouble and can be worn throughout the entire recovery period.