Post Abdominal Surgery Corset Notes

Sitting here in the corset workshop, I am realizing I should share some of my thoughts on body changes after surgery and wearing a corset. Please keep in mind these are my personal thoughts and observations. They may or may not apply to others.


Two summers ago, roughly a year and a half, I had four surgeries due to a gallbladder insurrection sticking gallstones in my bile ducts. I have residual problems with my pancreas, liver, and drain scar tissue swelling.

Corset related results:

The most immediate problem was trying to participate in events between surgery 2 and 3. I could not handle any pressure on my rather ballooned abdomen. The biggest worry wasn’t my corset, but the pressure and weight of skirts and petticoats. I opted to wear a combination of my Regency short stays with some bust adjustment, and a skirt support what transfered the weight of the petticoats to my shoulders. Please see this post for those details.

Fast forward… My first attempt at wearing my corset, I discovered just how much asymmetry resulted from organ removal. The gallblabber is fairly central as organs go. On my body, my left abdomen got smaller and softer. My right abdomen got bigger and tougher. This is also the more sore area. My bust was also effected. My right stayed pretty much the same. My left softened and sagged. In a corset, this means three things:

  • The right side doesn’t want a tight corset. It also swells up some days.
  • The left side wants a tighter corset. There is almost a cavity over the rib area.
  • The left bust likes to sink into the bust gusset.

The plan is to tweek my current corsets for use this year. Then make an adjusted one that will meet the needs of my body after it has healed more. This will also let me tone my abdomen and drop the extra fluff I gained in the past few stressful years.

The current corset is going to get a crescent of padding in the bottom of the left bust gusset. The cup area will get some quilting to add firmness. Dresses may need bust padding to smooth from the shoulder through the bust. The rib area on the left will get additional support. It may also get a little dart pinching bulk out. The goal is smoothness and support.

The diagonal \V/ bone placement runs a section of bones over the area where my scar tissue gets irritated and painful. This placement protects this area from waistbands. I am considering expanding the quilting for the hip gusset to cover the rest of this area.

Published in: on January 12, 2019 at 1:00 pm  Comments (3)  

3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I gave up on a boned corset and made a corded one instead. One problem is that with a bum knee (torn apart skiing many years ago), I can’t squat, so have to bend over at the waist to get anything off the ground. That ruled out the busk, because It didn’t let me bend sufficiently at the waist. The corded one doesn’t make me look nearly as good, but is far more comfortable. I also have limited the number and weight of petticoats to reduce lower back strain. The shoulder harness sounds good, except that my shoulders are very pressure sensitive–so the only thing to do was to lighten up.

    We do what we need to do, and I’m pretty sure our 19th century ancestors did, too!

  2. I totally understand knee injuries. My right knee has no acl due to stairs and ice. My left has damage from a horse and trees. Both proof I led a not so boring youth.
    My diagonal boning allows for nearly as much bending as I can stomach uncorseted. That does vary each day.

  3. I often had to explain to visitors to the Medical Tent/display the type of clothing I was wearing. My body is in constant hot flash mode due to cancer surgery. To help lighten up the layers (a proper lady of the day wore 12 under pinning’s/slips ) I chose to get a wired or caged crinoline to wear. I just told the people due to medical problems, I had to wear it. They understood, accepted and followed the layers I explained to them.

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