Congratulations! You’ve decided on your plastic surgery procedure and now you’re planning for the recovery ahead. So, which surgical garment will you need to wear following your procedure, how often will you need to wear it and where does it come from?!
These are all very common questions that we hear from our patients! Your surgical garment provides vital compression to help reduce swelling, help with healing and obtain the shape you desire. For this reason, when planning your surgery you will need to consider if the garment will get in the way of weddings, special occasions and even the weather. Read on to find out which garment you will be wearing after your procedure, as well as our top tips for making your surgical garment your best friend.
What garment will I be wearing after breast augmentation?
Most breast augmentation patients will also receive a stabiliser band. The stabiliser is just another tool alongside the post op surgical bra garment in the recovery process and it is used to help position the implants in the desired location. It provides a gentle external force that moves the implants down and stretches the skin under the breast. A step-by-step guide for positioning your stabiliser band can be found here.
What garments are required for fat grafting?
Dr Moncrieff often performs fat grafting in conjunction with another procedure, such as a breast augmentation or breast lift. Fat grafting is the process of removing fat from one area using liposuction and reinjecting it into another. Dr Moncrieff views fat grafting as “the icing on the cake” that can help to provide a layer of coverage over the implant, sculpt cleavage lines or add natural volume.
Dr Moncrieff’s preferred donor site for fat grafting is the inner thigh. Patients undergoing fat grafting will be required to wear a lower body garment, similar to the look of bike shorts, throughout their recovery process. These compression shorts ensure that the liposuction sites heal efficiently and that the patient is left with a smooth result. This garment is thin and flexible and can easily be concealed under jeans, long dresses, etc.
What garment will I be wearing after a breast reduction or lift?
Following breast reduction or breast lift surgery, patients will receive a more traditional post surgical bra garment which clasps at the front of the chest for easy dressing. Pending availability, breast reduction garments are available in black, white or nude.
What garment will I be wearing after abdominoplasty?
After abdominoplasty, patients will wear a fitted bodysuit type garment that begins just under the breast and extends to a knee length legging. This suit is crotchless, which comes in handy for the first few weeks following your procedure! We do have a variety of different abdominal garments available for patients with a shorter torso, etc who may require a slightly modified style.
Patients undergoing a combination of breast and body surgery will receive the abdominal garment as well as the corresponding breast surgery garment. Below is an example of the post surgical garments a patient would be wearing if they underwent a tummy tuck and breast reduction.
What garment will I need to wear after an arm or thigh lift?
Arm lift patents will wear a three quarter sleeve bolero style crop which clasps at the front of the chest for easy dressing. A soft bra seamless bra should be worn under this garment.
Thigh lift patients will wear the same garment as that provided for abdominoplasty (pictured above).
Our top 3 tips to get the most out of your garment:
1. Wear your garment 24/7
It’s simple - the more you wear your garment, the better the surgical outcome. Dr Moncrieff has completed the surgical aspect during the procedure and has passed the baton to you to get through your post-operative phase, with our support of course! Wearing your surgical garment as much as possible within the first 6 weeks following surgery is not only crucial to your final result, but will assist with post-operative bloating and swelling, scar minimisation, reducing bruising, minimising the risk of infection and much more.
2. For larger operations, choosing surgery in the cooler months can make life more comfortable
Particularly for patients undergoing a tummy tuck or combination of breast and body surgery, planning to recover from your procedure in the cooler months makes garment wearing a lot more comfortable. Not only do your garments provide an extra layer of warmth, but they are much easier to conceal under winter clothing! If your surgery is scheduled for the warmer months, don’t fret. Plan to sit back and relax in the air-conditioning instead.
3. Have ‘one to wash and one to wear’
Many patients report that purchasing a second garment (i.e. one to wash, and one to wear) makes managing hygiene and laundry a whole lot easier.
FAQs about surgical garments:
Do I need to source my own garments?
No! We take the hard work of finding a suitable garment out of the equation, so you can focus on the recovery ahead. We have a wide range of garments stocked in our rooms at all times. Our expert team will ensure we choose the right size garment for you, and you will wake up with your garment already fitted after your operation!
How many garments will I receive?
Breast surgery patients will receive one bra garment, and one stabiliser/pair of fat grafting leggings if required. Abdominoplasty patients will receive two lower body garments. Patients are more than welcome to purchase additional garments from our rooms at any time.
Should my garment feel tight?
Post surgical garments fit snugly, but should not be unbearably tight. Your abdominoplasty garment should fit firmly against your skin and be tight enough that the area is being compressed. If you are concerned that your garment is too loose or too tight, please give one of our friendly team a call on 4920 700 so we can arrange a suitable alternative.
Do I wear briefs as well?
Our tummy tuck and fat grating patients often ask this, given the garments are crotchless and the patients can feel a little exposed. We are happy for these patients to wear seam-free briefs over the top of their garment (you can channel your inner super-hero).
What if my garment feels like it is digging in?
For upper body garments, you can try a seam-free singlet top. Alternatively, a small amount of padding from a folded strip of soft fabric, a dry cotton make-up remover pad, or even a panty liner with backing remaining on, can help.
Do I really need to wear my garments 24/7?
Yes. Wearing your garment as often as possible is essential to achieving an amazing surgical result. Patients may have a “break” from their surgical garments for no more than two hours per day. Of course, garments may be removed for showering and laundry purposes. All of our surgical garments are machine washable and dryer friendly (delicate cycle).
What about indentations from my garments?
This is very normal, especially for lower body garments when fluid retention can lead to indentations in the tissue. These are temporary and will reduce as swelling subsides. Lymphatic massage (available at a number of local physio therapy clinics including Next-Gen in Kotara which many of our patients visit) can help.
How long do I need to wear my garments?
Patients must wear their garments for a minimum of 6 weeks unless they have clearance from Dr Moncrieff or our nursing team. Many patients continue wearing their garments after 6 weeks (especially to bed) for ongoing comfort and support.
How do I transition out of my garment?
Most breast surgery patients will be given the all-clear to be fitted for an underwire bra from 10-12 weeks post-op. Many of our patients visit Bras n Things Charlestown Square as it is across the road from our office and they are experienced in fitting women post-surgery - but any good lingerie store should be able to help. After surgery patients should still be wearing a bra everyday and a really supportive bra for exercise, especially with breast implants. The braless look should be saved for those special nights out!
After 6 weeks, abdominoplasty patients often transition from their garment to a ‘Spanx’ like underwear system for continued support. We highly recommend the Ambra range available at Myer stores.
Have another question about your garment, or not sure if it’s fitting quite right?
Please give one of our friendly team a call on 4920 7700. If you find that your garment is not fitting quite right, we are more than happy to organise you an appointment with our nursing team to check the fit and organise a replacement if required. Remember, wearing your garment is essential to ensuring we achieve the best possible surgical outcome. It might be a love/hate relationship… but we promise you will reap the rewards!
More blogs you may be interested in:
- Minimising scars
- Caring for your surgical drains
- Recovering from a tummy tuck
- Post-surgery bloating and swelling
- Tips to bounce back sooner from surgery
- Wearing a stabiliser
- 'Drop and fluff' after breast augmentation
- Do I still need to wear a bra after breast surgery?
- When can I exercise after surgery?
- Are stretch marks normal after breast augmentation?
- Getting the best long term results from plastic surgery
Alecia Baker, Practice Nurse, Hunter Plastic Surgery
Alecia is a Practice Nurse at Hunter Plastic Surgery and has worked closely with Dr Nick Moncrieff, Specialist Plastic Surgeon in Newcastle, since 2018. She is a Registered Nurse with extensive experience in nursing and patient management in some of the busiest hospital settings in the Hunter! She really cares about helping our patients become healthy and happy. Her kind and calm manner help them feel comfortable during their journey with us.
Learn more about our Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Clinic