You may wonder, what exactly does compression do for someone recovering from surgery?
Meet Crystal. A 37-year old agriculture employee from Toledo, Ohio. Most days, Crystal is behind the wheel of a straight truck as a heavy machine operator. While she may be used to heavy lifting, nothing was as tough as the medical procedure she had five years ago. Crystal underwent gastric bypass and lost a 250 pounds! But along with all that weight loss came something she didn’t want. 21 pounds of excess skin from her abdomen and 9 from her thighs! But thanks to modern medicine, Crystal had options. She decided to go under the knife and get rid of all the extra skin- electing to have not one, but two plastic surgeries!
Crystal’s recovery wasn’t easy. It took her 3 months to get back on her feet, and she says compression helped her every step of the way, (and continues to help her even today). Her reliance on compression began right away. Immediately after surgery, Crystal’s doctor put her in compression garments. In fact, in recovery she woke up wearing the garments- a compression girdle for her abdomen and a capri-length girdle on her thighs. She wore these garments 24/7 for the first four weeks after surgery and then tapered off, wearing the garments only when she went to the gym. She said wearing compression helped her feel more secure and comfortable during her work outs, “they don’t snag easy and are durable yet not too restricting on your incisions or if you need to make a hole for drains the fabric does not run or ruin,” she says. “They are not too hot and they are comfortable all day with the holes in the crotch you don’t have to worry about taking them up and down all day and even sleeping in them is comfortable.” And it wasn’t just about comfort. Crystal says the garments were essential in managing her pain level. “I was in less pain when I wore my compression and swelling was more manageable.”
It’s been 8 months since Crystal’s surgeries, and she continues to wear compression pants. She says the pants are helping to keep the swelling down in her legs and calves. Crystal is wearing the garment most of the day; to work, the gym, and everywhere in between, “they don’t slip down as I’m moving so I don’t have to fight them all day. They go under my clothes so nice that I don’t really notice them at all once I have them on.”
And so Crystal’s wellness journey continues. Compression is keeping her comfortable, giving her confidence, and making her feel pretty great about herself!