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What are Abdominal Binders?

An abdominal binder is a wide elasticized belt that provides compression around the abdomen. Abdominal binders come in various sizes and secure around the abdomen with a Velcro™ or hook and loop closure.  Some abdominal binders offer secondary lumbar support.  Others have straps that hold surgical drainage tubes in place. An abdominal binder may be used to speed-up the recovery process after abdominal surgery. Your doctor may recommend that you wear abdominal binder after:
A Tummy Tuck
Bariatric surgery
An Exploratory laparotomy
A Hysterectomy
A Cesarean Section
Hernia Surgery
Spinal Surgery – carefully positioned abdominal binder may help with people with spinal cord injury.
Support the Abdomen
Maintain Abdominal Pressure
Improve Respiratory Function

The Benefits of Using an Abdominal Binder

1. Wearing an abdominal binder may decrease post-operative pain. After surgery, an abdominal binder is thought to:
Support your surgical incision
Relieve pain
Get you moving more
Reduce swelling

2. Using an abdominal binder after a hysterectomy may help:
Hold your abdominal muscles together to relieve pain
Increase circulation at your surgical site to promote healing and decrease swelling
Make physical activity more comfortable
Strengthen abdominal muscles.

3. Binders may also decrease psychological distress following your procedure.
Abdominal Binders may decrease early post-operative pain
May also reduce psychological distress.

4. They also may promote deep breathing.
There’s some evidence abdominal binders may also promote coughing and deep breathing after surgery, and improve overall mobility.

5. Daily Use.
Some people wear abdominal binder to help support their core during daily activities and heavy lifting.
Women may use an abdominal binder after vaginal childbirth to help shrink the uterus and lose weight.

How to Use an Abdominal Binder
When choosing an abdominal binder, it is very important to get the right size. Measure before ordering!

To determine your size
1. Measure the widest part of your body the binder will cover. For women, the widest part is usually the hips. For men, it’s usually the waist.

2. Abdominal Binders comes in two different heights, depending on how much vertical coverage you want, and to accommodate various torso heights or sizes.

You can choose from the three-panel binder, which is 9” tall or the four-panel binder, which is 12” tall.
For are a short man or woman a 3 panel 9 inch binder should give you ideal abdominal coverage. 
For a tall man or woman than a 4-panel 12 inch binder should give you ideal abdominal coverage.

How to Wear an Abdominal Binder

1. Wrap the abdominal Binder around your abdomen, under your clothes with the closure in the front.
2. Exhale and close the binder. The binder should be snug, but not too tight, allowing you to breathe comfortably.

How to Take Care of your Abdominal Binder

1. Keep the abdominal binder clean and dry. If it gets wet or dirty, it may irritate your skin or increase risk of infection.
2. Most abdominal binders may be spot-cleaned and air dried. 
3. Follow the manufacturer’s  cleaning instructions

Risks and Warnings

1. Wearing an Abdominal Binder is generally well tolerated, however some people may find it hot and uncomfortable. Although it is meant to ease pain, compression around the surgical site may actually increase pain.
2. Breathing may be uncomfortable, although there’s no evidence that using an abdominal binder causes or worsens breathing problems.
3. Abdominal binders may cause an allergic reaction, itching, rash and other skin irritations. To reduce your risk, use an abdominal binder that fits properly and is made of hypoallergenic fabric and latex free.
4. Be sure to follow your doctor’s guidelines on how long to wear the binder. Let the doctor know if you experience any redness, warmth or unusual swelling on or around your incision.