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Frequently Asked Questions About Compression Garments and Post-surgery Recovery

Cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries have positive, far-reaching effects when healing is initiated early, and one of the most important secrets to successful results is consistent use of quality compression and post-surgical garments. Below are common questions regarding use of compression garments following most aesthetic surgical sculpting procedures:

Q. What are compression garments?

A. Compression garments are specially-designed elastic apparel worn after surgical procedures and throughout recovery. They provide additional support by contouring to the body or body part. Plastic surgeons generally recommend use of compression garments following tummy tucks (abdominoplasty), liposuction, arm lifts (brachioplasty), face lifts (rhytidectomy), facial procedures, gastric bypass procedures, male mastopexy (gynecomastia treatment), breast augmentation , breast reduction, and many other types of surgical sculpture procedures. Dermatologists also may recommend compression wear for patients with lymphoma, burns, and varicose veins to help improve quality of life.

Q. What are the benefits of compression garments?

A. Compression garments have several medical benefits such as reducing swelling from a surgical procedure and decreasing the risk of a blood clot. By speeding up the blood flow, compression garments also assist in flushing harmful fluids out of the body during post-surgical recovery. They also help control sudden uncomfortable movements (i.e. cough or sneeze), which is especially important during the immediate post-operative stage. Compression garments provide patient comfort and accelerate the healing process.

Q. How can use of compression wear help my body heal faster following cosmetic surgery?

A. When applied correctly, compression wear can increase blood circulation around surgical areas to accelerate healing, diminish swelling, and flush out harmful fluids. In the event of sudden movements such as sneezing or coughing, the garments help protect and stabilize the surgical site, minimizing discomfort. The result is not only a shorter recovery time, but a cleaner surgical area with minimal scarring.

Q. How do I launder my garments?

A. Garments are machine washable on the gentle cycle, and may be placed in the dryer on low. To ensure your garment’s integrity, do not use bleach or fabric softener.

Q. How should I protect the surgical site while my garments are in the wash?

A. A good rule of thumb is to purchase duplicates of your garments so you always have a backup. The key to a successful surgical result is consistent compression, so you will want to ensure the site is always protected and secure.

Q. I have not had plastic surgery, but recently read that compression garments can help improve my appearance. Is this true?

A. Yes. A popular trend with compression garments is non-medical use by people for body sculpting, shaping and slimming. Many consider compression garments an effective tool for contouring the body without having plastic or cosmetic surgery. While compression garments are not an alternative to losing weight or improving health, they can have a slimming effect by subtly smoothing and sculpting the appearance of the body beneath clothing. Often, people considering compression garments for non-surgical use have recently lost a great deal of weight, and may have excessive body tissue folds or conditions such as gynecomastia (male breast enlargement). Compression garments offer a safe, non-surgical alternative to stabilizing and compressing excess body tissue and skin folds.

Q. May I purchase Nouvelle compression wear at mall department stores or discount retailers?

A. No. Nouvelle manufactures highly-specialized, medical-grade compression wear not available through retail stores. Many merchandisers advertise and sell compression or sportswear, but a local department store or discount retailer is not going to be a reliable source for medical-grade garments. There are vast differences between retail garments and medical garments. For example, medical-grade garments offer significantly higher levels of compression than sportswear sold through retail stores. They’re also built for durability, with additional fabric layers, panels, and a higher LYCRA®/Nylon or Powernet content. With compression ratings of three to four times that of sportswear, professionally-constructed medical garments do not break down or lose integrity after consistent everyday use. The best source for quality compression wear is a company that specializes in and manufactures post-surgical garments. As long as product care instructions are followed, medical compression garments are designed to be worn 24 hours a day, seven days a week for up to six or eight weeks without losing integrity. Retail sportswear is only designed to be worn for the short term (four to six hour increments) and would rapidly lose integrity if worn all day, every day.

Q. What are the different types of compression garments?

A. When choosing a post-operative compression garment, it is important to that the garment is appropriate for your particular surgery, and that the size is correct. Choosing incorrect post surgical compression garments can do more harm than good. Always seek your surgeon’s or patient recovery specialist’s advice when making this decision.

Q. What is the fabric content of compression garments manufactured by Nouvelle? A. Our garments have a 55% Lycra®/45% nylon content for a smooth, comfortable feeling next to healing skin. This fabric combination ensures garments never lose compression integrity with continual use and appropriate washing procedures.

Q. What differentiates Nouvelle’s post-surgical garments from others I have found on the market?

A. The details. Post-operative healing stages can be extremely uncomfortable, so it is important to look for details that tend to every conceivable way fabric touches the skin. Stitches of quality medical-grade garments are constructed so they are perfectly flat, so as not to aggravate incisions. Zippers and hook and eye closures are never in danger of contacting the skin. Also absent from quality garments will be the use of metal wires or stays.