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abdominal compression

Guest tearose

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Guest tearose

Here is what I do to avoid the leg and splanchnic/abdominal pooling from the time I wake up...

The abdominal compression I use is NOT the "binder" that they sell in the pharmacy. This slides up on me. The garments I use are of various styles so I will explain the best I can but you feel free to ask me more questions if you don't understand.

My general daily schedule is to wake up and take off my lymphedema sleeve unless I took it off during the night. Then I stumble to the kitchen for my "nectar of the goddess" coffee! Then, when I am human, I go and take a shower (sitting on my shower chair when needed) I dry off really well and get dressed right away. For me, the girdle/abdomen type compression goes on first and then my compression pantyhose. I only use underpants if I'm in the mood because I have enough girdle garments to change every day. I then need to catch my breath and then I resume my dressing. (also includes my heart rate monitor as needed, and a lymphedema arm compression sleeve) Do not be discouraged by feeling wiped out and squeezed at first when you use the compression garments. It takes the body a good 20 minutes to adjust to the compression... and then WATCH OUT! You will notice your heart rate will drop and you will feel and see your legs and torso will feel more invigorated and strong.

Now to explain my choice in abdominal compression garments and why I use them:

1) "Body girdle" This I purchased at the surgical pharmacy and it is one piece. It is usually used for people recovering from surgery. It slides on from the feet up. It goes from just above my knees to just below my bra. It has two adjustable shoulder straps (detachable) Picture a girdle that continues up higher. It has a open oval area (crotchless) so you can use the bathroom without having to pull it down. I put my compression hose on over this.

They cost around $90 each.

The pro is that it is one smooth garment. It doesn't have boning so you can roll it down if your abdomen needs a break from the compression.

The con is that the oval open area is hard for me to pee through and so I am very careful and for sure if I have to do #2 I wind up pulling the whole thing down. Which can make life a little difficult cause then you have to take your top off to get the straps down, or you undo the straps and then have to reattach them afterwards.

2) "middle thigh (4 inches above knee), high waist girdle" This I purchased from a discount but excellent, bra and girdle shop in New Jersey. This is the best for compressing the abdomen in my opinion and keeping more compression on the thighs. I use this a lot. It does not interfere with my bra and it does have a discrete slit opening in the crotch.

Cost around $44 each

Pro, one piece easy to slip down if needed. Maintains the gradual compression from legs up to waist.

Con, sometimes I don't want to have anything on my abdomen. It has boning so it won't roll down.

3) "regular middle thigh, regular waist girdle" Also purchased from the shop in NJ. This is my most favorite and if I don't have a lot of abdominal pooling I will use this. I also has a discreet opening in the crotch and sometimes I just use the opening when having a little quick trip to the bathroom. No need to pull it down unless I want to.

Cost around $38

Pro, one piece easy on and off and it helps maintain the gradual compression from legs up to waist.

Con, no abdominal compression.


(you can have a small band made custom to carry and use as you need...if an over the counter abdominal binder is too high on you for example, have someone cut it down and add elastic so you can still use it in an emergency!)

4) "long leg,(mid calf) high waist girdle" This is also from shop in NJ. I use this when I want to wear compression socks and a compression garment. It is good with pants.

Cost around $60

Pro, one smooth long piece. Good in winter. no boning so it slides down easy. Nice change from the 30-40mm hose.

Con, not as firm as our 30-40mm hose.

5) "long leg, regular waist girdle" From same shop in NJ. Use for same reasons as above. Just nice to have no abdominal compression alternative sometimes.

Cost around $50

Same pros and cons as #4

I would summarize that under my compression panty hose the added compression from my thigh to my waist has decreased my pooling enough to make me feel like life is better (more stable better blood pressure and heart rate) because of this compression.

Hopes this helps people considering addressing abdominal pooling!

best regards, tearose

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like tea, i use both hose and girdle...however at this point i am just wearing 'lipo in a box' as my girdles. they have all different styles too, like tea has. i have the high-wasted brief and the long-legged brief. they are super comfortable as far as a girdle goes!

i also wear hose that compress all the way up through the abdomen. most brands only compress up to the mid-thigh, even in pantyhose.

tea, have you ever had a problem with indigestion with the abdominal compression??????

sorry to bug you more...

i have had a problem with indigestion just in the middle of my chest. it is a bit weird. like a gurgling type thing.

i've never had indigestion before.

i have two possibilities:

something got irritated when i got intuabated


the abdominal compression

just wondering, as i've never ever had a problem before with this. it doesn't happen at night either...which i thought often happened in people with traditional acid reflux...




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Guest tearose

When I get indigestion it isn't always when I'm in abdominal compression so I think it could be I am just having trouble with digesting my food. Which as we know, POTS can bring on. I do try to eat smaller and more frequent meals because of it.

However, that being said, if I am feeling too tight and this can happen, I will roll down the abdominal part until I am done eating. It is getting the best of both worlds for me. I don't allow my gut to get squished to the point I can't properly get my food down and digested.

Do you switch between waist high and rib high compression emily?

take care, tearose

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Thanks Tearose for all the great information :) I had no idea you were such an expert :) Just so I understand, most of the garments you have aren't necessarily "compression hose", but they squeeze you in?

Also, just wondering are there places to get these items on-line? I'd love to be able to see some pictures.

Thanks again,


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Guest tearose

Glad to offer something possibly helpful...

Pam, I will try to see if anything is online that resembles what I use.

To answer your specific compression question: I only know of one "official compression body garment" usually used after some people have lipo, but the insurance company considers it a body girdle and classifies it like a band-aid so it is not a covered expense. What I have learned from years of experience, it that some of the "old fashioned" girdles are just as good or better than what I purchased at the surgical pharmacy as a "compression body garment". I have been "compressing" for years with various "girdle type garments" at a discounted price!!! :)

I think I may have mentioned this before... I share this to help you endure and laugh with the rest of us who use compression...my husband lovingly refers to my "donning compression" as "stuffing sausage". :) ...it must look quite funny to someone else observing a grown woman rolling around on the floor forcing delicate personage into small tight spaces!

take care, tearose

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let us know what you find!!!! k? it's amazing how much difference finding the 'right' form of compression makes!

tea got me on the right track or i would have never known where to start!

i'm gonna try some more kinds soon...this month i used money to pay for new hose...next month it's new abdominal compression! fun stuff to spend money on huh? like buying new gutters or something. oh well! :)


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Last weekend I purchased some undergarments from Victoria's Secret in the mall. :) Not what you're thinking! (My 20-something daughters dragged me in!) They have much more spandex than many of the "compression garments" sold for a lot more money. I get such a stomach ache frequently from wearing the ones over my abdomen. I think Victoria's Secret has a semi-annual sale coming up and they have on-line specials as well. Martha

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Guest tearose

This is the website for the garments that the surgical pharmacy would carry and that you may have insurance coverage for...if your doctor can write it up properly too! I do use this veronique brand.


I'm about to look around for the "old fashioned" girdles but they are generally what you can imagine...much firmer than the lightweight girdles people use to just smooth out their bumps.

back on my surfboard...


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Guest tearose

I'm so excited that I just found the website for the products I use all the time :D


These are the BEST!!! (for me) Anyway, the price and quality were the best I could find and I have RAGO in many styles and colors and I think at the very least, you all should try adding a girdle under the pantyhose...even without the higher abdominal coverage the continuous pressure up to the waist does help. Try one! Then after you decide if you will use it, try others! You may find you feel much better too!

Maybe we all who do serious compression could start the "sausage stuffing club"! :)

best regards,


P.S. The styles of RAGO that are the firmest are the "shapette" line.

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Wow, I am too claustropohic to wear girdles and with my hands, would be tough to put on.

BUT one thing I found help me are backsupport/abdominal binders. They fit from bra line to a bit below hip bone. I use a rubber one (that is too hot in summer) and a white velcro one in summer. My sister used the white one for back problems a couple years ago for a bit and then let me have it. Both are quite snug...so much that when I take them off, I get a bit lightheaded, but that's how I know they keep the blood pushed upward..

Good news? with this I can clean house or even work in the yard briefly to do light gardening...in COOL weather and *** frequent breaks.

THis makes all the difference in the world to me and I don't have to worry about MAJOR HASSLES to go to the bathroom or anything. The rubber type can be found in any exercise section at the stor, Walmart/Meijer, etc. or sporting goods store.

These are all great if one can tolerate them. But for those who hate the suffocating feelings of a girdle (yikes!) I strongly recommend just a good waist/back binder. You'd be surprised how much that can help as well.

*This is similar to the one I have but I took out the stays. My sister got this at a medical supply store in town.


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Thanks so much Tea and Sophia for posting pictures :D That helped alot and they don't look as bad as I expected :)

Got another question, do you find that it's worth the extra hassle to get the abdominal compression that compresses your thighs as well? I guess I'm thinking about something that actually would let me wear shorts!

Also, think I'd be okay ordering on-line or should I try and track down a store so I can try these things on?

And finally, Sophia, can you see those back support items through your clothes?

Here are the 2 that looked fairly easy to get on and off:



Thanks again! As usual, you guys are awesome :)


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Guest tearose

I agree these are work to get on! I hope people understand that sometimes we have to learn to allow an adjustment period. Especially for people like me whose total treatment plan is based completely on behavioral modifications. It reminds me of those who discuss the pros and cons of meds and how they must sometimes wait for a couple of weeks before they notice a benefit to their meds. I am suggesting people try compression and give it time.

I too have pulled my wrist! I even pulled my left knee out of whack tugging up my hose! :D

I learned how to be more careful from those experiences.

But no person would go through all this unless the benefits outweigh the challenges!

I can say without a doubt, the compression is what makes me most able to function! For me, it is not an option. I have been able to "fine tune" by layering various garments to achieve the help I need on any given day. Donning compression has become one of my activities of daily living!

wishing all good blood pressure levels today.. :)

...may your baroreceptor reflexes be strong! :)

bye! tearose

P.S. Just noticed your post Pam,

I suggest you have the option of both! There are times when I want to be physically active and absolutely love having the abdomen compressed. It improves my stamina and endurance! If I am going to sit down to thanksgiving dinner, I would want the option of pushing down the abdominal part; or having a piece I could add/remove if I wanted to.


Oh, I guess you were also referring to the thighs and abdomen...

Yes, the thighs are an important part of the continuity of pressure for my body. You may have to figure this formula out with your body. I think having a few options is best if you can swing it.

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Surf's up...hang ten baby...here's what I found while catching the waves on the net..






This one seems to be a specialized order place, but it also showed compression gloves.


Tea, thanks for your links too - didn't see you out there on the waves! I have a question for you though...

Do you like the ones with zippers or is it better not to have zippers etc.? Also, many of these are for after surgery - lipo I think - and they have what they call Stage 1 and Stage 2. Stage 1 being the first couple weeks after surgery and Stage 2 being for the months after that. Which one would be better for us? Do you know?

Anyone who orders one... please let us know how it works. I hope to get one soon too! Isn't life ironic???? Getting excited about getting a new compression garment.... but I can't wait!

"Catch a wave and you're sittin' on top of the world"

"Get a abdominal compression garment and you're sittin' on top of the world"

(sorry didn't mean to go overboard with the surfing terms. Just feeling a little silly this morning. Maybe it's the weather!


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Guest tearose

Hi Roselover! Thanks for the links!

Hi all!

I hate bulk and I hate zippers! I go for the ones that you pull up. I like smooth lines if possible. And beige works well under clothing, even white blouses. I am of "european" skin tones.

Maybe if someone has an issue with arthritis though, the zipper may be better. Again, I want to help people who have to compromise on some things to remember that the end result will make all this fuss worth it!!! :)

...now to lay out my beach blanket and have some lunch!


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I have arthritic hands AND bilateral carpal tunnel so things that 'take work or are difficult to pull' ain't an option for me.

THANKFULLY, the ab binders help IMMENSELY. I also walk and prance in place to get my blood going sometimes in the morning. I may look silly but it helps...I also move my arms about.

I have used the white binder under sleeveless summer dresses to get things done. I read on an exercise site there is a summer mesh version but it was like $140! That's almost 1/3 of my monthly income...but I hope to find a cooler version of what I have.

It is SO NICE to be able to be upright. Also, I used the abdominal binder at times when I exercise to get me used to being upright and it helped IMMENSELY. I MUST exercise, when possible due to boneloss.

Whatever works for any of us, right? I have used my gizmo's for SEVERAL years, by the way. It would be interestiing to have my BP taken during and after wearing my waist thingies....

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Guest tearose

You triggered an important memory for me Sophia!

The fact is that people who use compression "keep" the benefit for between 12-72 hours AFTER they remove the compression. This is very important to know! I had to remove my compression two days BEFORE having a CT scan of my pelvis and abdomen so they could properly capture what was going on with my bladder dysfunction!

If this is not clear please ask me to explain more. :)

regards, tearose

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Thanks sooo much for posting about this..I've been meaning to ask about it for awhile..but I've been feeling really lousey and haven't been on the board much.

I did have a question though...is it okay to use the ab. compression when you're in bed most of the day? I'd really like to be able to sit up more..but I always feel so off balance and fatigued it's hard even to sit up. I usually get up for several minutes at a time during the day..doing laundry..going to the kitchen..ect. but for the most part I'm propped up in bed..I even eat in bed with a tray.

I've been so frusterated...I'd like to try this..but didn't know if it only helped those who were already strong enough to be up and around.

Let me know your experience...I actually ordered a couple of the ab. comp. yesterday and look forward to trying them.

Thanks for any input!! :)

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okay, one new thing...and a bit of a downer in the abdominal compression dep't...

i talked to my PCP today b/c i have never in my life had indigestion before, but am having it frequently in the afternoons...never at nihgt. just a gurgling in the middle chest.

i am pretty sure that it is from the abdominal compression and he was too.

it does help if i roll the girdle down when i lie down.

they are fairly easy to get on and off...the LipoInABox.

i, too, ordered some new ones, in the rago and crown brands. but, i now think the crown ones will be too tight.

i feel so conflicted...to wear compresison or not? i am sticking with my hose of course.

but as for the abdominal ones, i am going to have to be careful.

my PCP said it could just make reflux worse with time, there is no way to know. the last thing i want to do is cause yet ANOTHER problem!

so, wareagle, what to do? i don't know...but it does help me get up in the morning. maybe just wear it for a while? see if it helps? i hear you on having to eat propped up in bed. i'm not there so much now, but i was for three months after surgery...

well, that's it for now...i'm overly verbose tonight, and should definitley re-read ernie's instructions on brevity!


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Hi all :)

I got myself an ab compression garment yesterday :P I was about to order one off the internet at the sites that were recommended but, call me cheap, I was floored by the almost $10 shipping charge :P I started to browse a bit more and I found that Kohl's sells compression garments and that they're on sale this week. I ran over and tried some things on, and they seem to have a good variety of compression garments to choose from. The one I got was on sale for $20 - not bad B)

In case anyone is interested, here's the one I chose -


I must say, this thing is tight!! It takes a little getting used to and I now fully understand Tearose's stuffed sausage reference :) I wore it last night while standing up to make dinner and it did seem to make me a little less lightheaded. However, I can definitely relate to what Emily is talking about with the indigestion. I had to take it off before eating. I felt too squeezed in. Personally, I think this will work well for short periods of time when I know I need to be standing (i.e. shopping trips) But otherwise, I'm not sure. This particular one has these side wires (similar to an underwire in a bra) and they kind of dig in when I'm sitting. I tried on another compression garment without those wires though, and it had much less compression. Hopefully after wearing it more, I'll become more used to it!

Just wanted to share my experience in case anyone else is considering.


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I am glad to read your experiences with abdominal pooling. I have had pooling in the legs and arms but now the abdominal area! My family doctor wrote a prescription for a 'belly binder' which ties up like a corset around the abdominal area. I have not picked it up used it yet.

Have you tried this type?

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