How long do you wear shapewear after lipo?

Shapewear is often recommended after liposuction to help support and compress the treated areas. The length of time you should wear shapewear varies depending on factors like the location of treatment and your surgeon’s recommendations. Many surgeons advise wearing shapewear for 4 to 6 weeks after liposuction. However, some patients may be advised to wear shapewear for up to 3 months post-surgery. Here is a more detailed overview of how long to wear shapewear after liposuction and why it is recommended.

Why Wear Shapewear After Liposuction?

There are several benefits to wearing shapewear after liposuction:

  • Compression helps reduce swelling and fluid buildup.
  • Shapewear provides support to the treated areas as they heal.
  • It helps smooth out any irregularities or bumps in the contours.
  • Shapewear can help the skin adapt to the new contours and prevent loose skin.
  • Wearing shapewear may help the results last longer.

By providing compression and support, shapewear plays an important role in the healing process after liposuction. Your surgeon will provide specific instructions on the type of shapewear to wear and how long to wear it based on your individual case.

How Long to Wear Shapewear After Liposuction on the Abdomen

For liposuction of the abdomen, most surgeons recommend wearing compression shapewear 24/7 for 4 to 6 weeks. This allows the abdomen time to heal while controlling swelling. Some surgeons may advise patients to wear abdominal compression garments for up to 2 to 3 months after treatment.

During the first 1 to 2 weeks, tighter compression like binders or multi-layer garment systems are often recommended. After the first couple weeks, you can switch to shapewear or spandex undergarments that provide medium compression.

Make sure any abdominal shapewear extends down over the pubic area for comfort and proper healing. Wearing the garment for the full recommended time allows the abdomen to heal in the desired contoured shape.

How Long to Wear Shapewear After Liposuction on the Thighs

For inner and outer thigh liposuction, shapewear is typically worn for 4 to 6 weeks afterwards. Compression shorts, thigh slimmers, or girdles extending down the leg are ideal after a thigh liposuction.

As with the abdomen, firmer compression shorts may be worn for the first 1 to 2 weeks. After that, compression can be reduced somewhat but should be continued for the full 4 to 6 weeks.

Properly fitted shapewear prevents friction and supports proper healing. Your surgeon may recommend using foam padding or gauze bandages between the thighs during the first 1 to 2 weeks for additional comfort.

How Long to Wear Shapewear After Liposuction on the Arms

After arm liposuction, compression sleeves are typically recommended for 2 to 4 weeks. Long compression sleeves that cover from the wrist to the shoulder provide gentle compression to control swelling.

The compression sleeves may be worn 24/7 for the first week. After that, your surgeon may recommend continuing compression sleeves during the day for another 1 to 3 weeks. This allows the arms time to heal while controlling fluid buildup.

How Long to Wear Shapewear After Liposuction on the Chin/Neck

After chin and neck liposuction, a chin strap or compression wrap may be recommended for the first 1 to 2 weeks. The gentle compression helps reduce swelling while supporting the area as it heals.

The chin compression garment is typically worn 24/7 for the first week. After that, the garment may only be required at night for another 1 to 6 weeks. This helps with healing while the effects of gravity are reduced.

Tips for Wearing Shapewear After Liposuction

Here are some tips as you recover after liposuction while wearing your compression garments:

  • Slowly ease into the compression. Start with looser shapewear and work up to more compression as tolerated.
  • Ensure proper fit to avoid rolled or binding edges.
  • Remove shapewear to shower. Clean skin daily.
  • Inspect skin each day for signs of blisters or wounds.
  • Follow surgeon’s instructions for using foam, pads or gauze for cushioning.
  • Wear loose clothing over shapewear to avoid friction.
  • Give skin breaks from compression as directed by the surgeon.

Be sure to follow all of your surgeon’s instructions on properly wearing and caring for your shapewear garments during recovery. Contact your surgeon’s office with any concerns or issues with the compression wear.

When Can You Stop Wearing Shapewear After Liposuction?

Typically, shapewear can be discontinued once your surgeon confirms healing is complete, usually by around 6 weeks. However, some patients may be advised to continue wearing lightweight shapewear for 2 to 3 months.

It’s important not to stop compression too early as this can lead to increased swelling, fluid buildup, contour irregularities, and loose skin. Discuss with your surgeon when it is appropriate to discontinue your compression garments.

Keep in mind that wearing shapewear may continue to provide benefits even after the initial healing period. Many patients opt to wear lightweight shapewear or spandex undergarments as desired for several months after liposuction to help maintain results.

Can You Wear Shapewear Too Long After Liposuction?

Wearing shapewear too long after liposuction generally won’t cause any harm. However, it is possible for compression that is too prolonged to weaken tissues. Continued rigid compression after the initial healing period of 4 to 6 weeks may also inhibit muscle strengthening.

As the treated areas heal and swelling subsides, compression requirements decrease. Rigid shapewear worn for more than 2 to 3 months post-op may be excessive. Follow your surgeon’s advice on transitioning to less compression over time.

What to Look for in Post-Lipo Shapewear

Here are some key factors to look for when selecting shapewear to wear during liposuction recovery:

  • Correct compression level – Choose moderate to firm compression based on your surgeon’s recommendation and stage of recovery.
  • Comfortable fit – Shapewear should fit snugly without pinching, rubbing or rolling.
  • Allows for padding/dressings – There should be room to accommodate any padding or bandages if needed.
  • Easy closure – Compression wear with zippers or hook and eye closures make getting dressed easier.
  • Breathable fabric – Look for moisture wicking fabric that allows airflow.
  • Adjustable straps – Adjustable bra-like straps help get the right fit.
  • Abdominal control – High waist shapewear extends over the pubic region if needed.
  • Thigh control – Thigh shapewear should reach down to the knee or below.

Talk with your surgeon about the right features to look for in shapewear during each stage of your recovery. The garments should offer enough compression to support healing without being uncomfortably tight.

Frequently Asked Questions About Post-Lipo Shapewear

Can I take my shapewear off to sleep after lipo?

Most surgeons advise wearing compression shapewear 24/7, including while sleeping, for the first 1 to 2 weeks after liposuction. After that initial period, your surgeon may allow removing it for sleep if healing is progressing well.

When can I resume exercise after wearing post-lipo shapewear?

Compression garments are typically worn for about a month before resuming exercise. Light cardiovascular exercise may be permitted after 2 to 4 weeks. More intense exercise usually requires waiting 4 to 6 weeks once the shapewear is no longer needed.

Will wearing shapewear after lipo help prevent loose skin?

Yes, wearing compression shapewear is important for helping the skin smoothly adhere to the new contours after fat is removed. Shapewear worn for several weeks after lipo helps prevent loose or sagging skin.

Can I wear my regular clothes over post-lipo shapewear?

Yes, you can wear loose, comfortable clothing over your compression garments as long as there is no friction against the treated areas. The shapewear should remain against the skin for proper compression.

How much does compression shapewear cost after liposuction?

Compression garments designed for post-liposuction typically range from $50 to $150. Additional shapewear may be needed as you progress through stages of healing. Insurance may cover a portion if prescribed by your surgeon.


Wearing compression shapewear is an important part of the healing process after liposuction. While guidelines vary, most patients are advised to wear shapewear 24/7 for 4 to 6 weeks after their procedure. Abdominal and thigh areas often require the longest compression duration of up to 6 weeks.

Firmer shapewear is initially needed to control swelling and provide support. As healing progresses, compression can be reduced. Your surgeon will guide you on the appropriate compression garments to wear during each stage of recovery.

Be sure to follow all instructions for properly wearing and caring for your compression garments. Let your surgeon know if any issues arise. With the right shapewear worn for the recommended duration, you’ll be on your way to smooth, beautiful results.

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