How Long Should You Wear An Abdominal Binder After Surgery?
What is an Abdominal Binder?
A post-surgery abdominal binder is a specially designed garment that is used after an abdominal surgery.
How important is an abdominal binder after surgery?
Well, abdominal surgeries are considered to be the more aggressive surgeries that are performed around the world. To get the best results from the surgery, doctors recommend wearing these post-surgery belts after the surgery.
Another question that is frequently asked by the abdominal surgery patients is how long they should wear an abdominal binder after surgery. Let’s take a deeper look at this question now:
The Length of Time Varies…
If we need to give a simple answer to the question of length of time to wear an abdominal surgery, we will just say it varies from patient to patient. The reason is also simple because there are several factors to decide this. Your surgeon will be the best person to provide you a deep insight into this along with a complete post-surgery recovery plan.
However, the average length of time for which you need to wear an abdominal belt will range from 6 to 8 weeks.
What’s After Abdominal Surgery?
After an abdominal surgery, most patients will be fitted with drains that will be removed after 1 to 2 weeks after the operation, depending on the type of surgery and patient. At this stage, you are advised to use an abdominal binder to reduce some of the swelling, as well as the fluid accumulation around your abdomen. Even though some patients may be prescribed with a compression garment, abdominal binders are recommended because it can offer more comfort and they are easy to wear.
To put it simply, you will need some kind of compression for up to 6 weeks or more after the surgery.
How Long in a Day Should You Wear an Abdominal Binder?
Some surgeons will recommend wearing the abdominal binder throughout the day and even while sleeping, whereas some other surgeons will recommend wearing it for the most part of the day, usually 10 or more hours, and also while involved in any kind of physical exercises. When your surgery belt is on, you can find it’s easier for you to move around and even you can do some physical exercises easily.
An Abdominal Binder is Advisable to be Used After…
You can wear an abdominal binder after a variety of abdominal surgeries including:
- Gastric Bypass
- Bariatric Surgery
- Ovarian Cystectomy
There are several reasons why an abdominal binder is to be used by abdominal surgery patients. Let’s see what an abdominal binder can do here:
What an Abdominal Binder Can Do?
The first reason why it should be used by the abdominal surgery patients is for support. But, the reasons why an abdominal binder should be used don’t stop here.
The abdominal binders are known to be very effective in the following ways:
Reduce swelling and edema in your abdominal skin:
Swelling or edema would result from the leakage of the fluid from the blood vessels and capillaries can leak and it can disrupt your ability to heal smoothly and properly. According to research studies, this is due to the complex balances of forces that are felt on the fluids in our body after abdominal surgery.
The abdominal binders will apply pressure on the tissues, thereby helping to shift this balance of forces towards pushing the fluids back into place. Thus, it helps reduce the swelling in the first place and also to speed up the reabsorption of edema that has been collected.
Prevent collection of fluids:
The same forces that lead to swelling (as mentioned above) will also tend to make fluids to get collected in these spaces, thereby leading to pockets of clear fluids, a condition called seroma. The seromas can cause discomfort in the abdominal surgery patients and require frequent drainage using a needle.
When we are able to apply an external compression in the form of abdominal binders, these spaces will be kept closed while your tissues are healing. This way, they will allow your skin to adhere to the underlying structures and prevent the fluid collections.
Enhance the circulation:
Keeping your circulation going during the recovery process is the key to getting better. It is because it’s through the circulation the beneficial nutrients will be supplied to the treated parts to enhance healing. Wearing an abdominal binder will promote circulation, which in turn will reduce the risk of blood clots that can be serious and even fatal.
Increase your comfort:
As mentioned above, your abdominal binder will help keep the tissues in place while moving around. In addition to this, these abdominal binders will also protect the damaged tissues and/or incision lines from getting pulled or strained. All these will increase your overall comfort after the surgery.
In surgeries, such as tummy tuck, great care will be taken to tighten the mid-section and reduce any contour irregularities. However, still, there are chances that uneven contours may arise. Many of these uneven contours can become permanent if they are not taken care of during the initial days of recovery. An abdominal binder will help flatten out the lumps and bumps that may appear after the surgery.
So, if you want to get your body to heal properly after an abdominal surgery, you must use an abdominal binder to prevent all the bumps and lumps that may form during the recovery process. But, the final call should be taken by your surgeon who is most aware of your body and its requirements. He/she will be able to recommend the best abdominal binder for you to use depending on your individual requirements and what type of abdominal surgery was performed.
In short, the length of time during which you will have to wear an abdominal binder after surgery will depend on all the above factors in addition to the fact that whether your surgeon believes it will be beneficial to you or not.