Summary: Recovery is one of the most important aspects of your cosmetic surgery transformation, and as such, it’s important to follow your plastic surgeon’s recommendations closely. A part of the recovery for many women who elect to undergo breast augmentation surgery is wearing a compression band, and the recommended time to do so is often up to the plastic surgeon, leading to a wide variety and a few questions.

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Get to Know Your Compression Band

As part of the recovery from any breast augmentation procedure, you might be required to wear what’s known as a compression band. This band may take a few different forms, especially if you are required to recover in a hospital. Even as an outpatient, you may be required to wear this special device to keep down swelling and preserve the results of your operation.

Two Goals

The purpose of a compression band is pretty straightforward. By putting pressure on the chest, usually just below the incisions, surgeons hope to accomplish two goals. First, reduce swelling. Reduction in swelling means, generally, a shorter recovery period, so this is a definite benefit for the patient.

The second goal that surgeons are looking to accomplish is to protect the work that they’ve done. As plastic surgery is a field especially dependent on proportions, surgeons put a lot of thought into making sure those proportions—and the angles that accompany them—work with the rest of the body. Sometimes the compression bands are used to help the breasts settle more quickly. Everything, after all, is supposed to work together.

Recovery Instructions are Important

Most recovery instructions are individualized, so everyone from Minneapolis breast augmentation patients to Los Angeles tummy tuck patients will likely receive written documentation. This means your doctor will generally tell you how long to keep the compression band on, and it’s important to listen to his or her instructions.

That said, don’t be afraid to voice your opinion. The internet is replete with examples of women who have been told to keep compression bands on for six months or so, and generally this seems like a bit too long (at least, under normal circumstances—so check with your doctor before you ever remove the compression band).

Protecting Your Investment

In most cases, you’ll have to wear the compression band for a number of days to a number of weeks, and your plastic surgeon will almost always be very specific about how long it will take. Remember, it’s about protecting the work that’s been done, and the investment you’ve already made, so following doctor’s instructions during recovery is almost always a necessity.

Discuss Recovery with Your Surgeon

In the same spirit, it’s always a good idea to discuss your recovery in detail with your plastic surgeon before your procedure begins. This will give you a better idea of how much help you’ll need and your family a better idea of the kinds of things they’ll be assisting with over the following few weeks. And remember that, in many ways, it’s up to you to ask smart questions and be an informed patient.

Get started on your own breast augmentation by talking to your plastic surgeon today.