If you are recovering from abdominal surgery or childbirth, your doctor may recommend that you wear an abdominal binder to aid in the healing process. Here is what you need to know about abdominal binders.
What is an Abdominal Binder?
An abdominal binder is essentially a wide belt that wraps around the user’s abdomen and provides compression. You can find them in various sizes and colors. They are a supportive solution for post-natal or post-abdominal surgery, abdominal strains, and weakness.
Abdominal binders may close with hooks, ties, or Velcro to help make it easier to put on and take off. You can also find specialized binders. For instance, some abdominal binders offer lumbar support, while others may have straps for surgical drainage tubes.
What is an Abdominal Binder For?
In general, the goal of an abdominal binder is to provide mild compression to the area and promote wound healing.
The abdominal binder can help decrease swelling and improve posture, as well. Wearing an abdominal binder can also potentially reduce pain after surgery and promote good breathing to keep you more comfortable. Your doctor can go into a more detailed explanation of why he or she recommends an abdominal binder for your specific circumstance.
How Long Do I Wear an Abdominal Binder?
The amount of time you need to wear an abdominal binder depends on several factors, including the type of surgery or event you’re recovering from. An average amount of wear time is six weeks, but it could be shorter or longer.
How to Find Your Abdominal Binder Size
Abdominal binders are not one-size-fits-all. To find your correct size, measure the body’s width where the binder would cover. The binder should cover your abdomen and your hips. For men, the widest part is usually around the waist. For women, the widest part may be around the hips.
How to Wear an Abdominal Binder
You should wrap the abdominal binder around yourself with the closures in the front. The binder should be snug but not too tight.
You can wear your abdominal band under most regular clothes. If you feel self-conscious about it, consider wearing looser clothing to help cover the binder.
If you are nervous about putting the binder on by yourself, speak to your healthcare team. They can show you the best way to wrap and unwrap it either prior to surgery or after.
How to Care for an Abdominal Binder
Some binders may be machine washable, while others must be hand-washed. Please ensure your binder is dry before you put it on, and keep it dry throughout the day. Wearing a wet binder can cause skin irritation.
Are There Side Effects with an Abdominal Binder?
Abdominal bands rarely cause side effects when used as directed. However, if you wrap the band too tightly, it can cause pain and restrict breathing. Remember, you want it to be snug but not too tight. If you have any concerns, please consult with a healthcare professional.