Massaging After Liposuction?

How long after Liposuction do you have to start massaging? Does this hurt? What about areas on your back where you cant reach to massage?

Doctor Answers 22

Don't massage after Liposuction

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There is no evidence that massage has any positive benefits for the liposuction patient. As a matter of fact, it might even do harm if too agressive. The area that has been treated by liposuction is a surgical wound. A repairative process must ensue that takes many months. The healing mechanisms in the body (that have evolved over thousands of years) are very efficient at repairing what the procedure has created. Let your body do the job it knows how to do.

Massage anyone?

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Massage after liposuction is a good idea.  Most people are pretty sore that first week.  Best to hold off till the major swelling is down by about 2 weeks.  Expect lumpiness and unevenness for at least the first 3-4 weeks.  Your surgeon should see you at one week to be sure there are no fluid accumulations (seroma) that can go on to become scar tissue and lumps that are difficult to fix. A rolling pin is better than a  Swedish massage.

Gentle Massage & Stretching Exercises Following Liposuction

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There are no scientific studies that conclusively demonstrate that massage is helpful following liposuction. Despite this, many plastic surgeons utilize massage as a routine component of postoperative care following this procedure. They believe that massage minimizes internal scarring, decreases edema, and helps remodel soft tissue.

It’s not unusual for patients to complain of swelling, tightness, and stiffness following this procedure. Massage and an early return to physical activity seems to help with these issues. For these reasons, plastic surgeons often recommend gentle massage and stretching exercises after liposuction. These are usually started 7 to 10 days following the procedure. Initially these maneuvers cause mild discomfort which quickly resolves with time.

If you’re planning liposuction, it’s important to discuss this issue with your plastic surgeon. In many cases, massage will be an important part of your postoperative care.

Massage and Lipo

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I do not specifically recommend massaging the treated areas afterwards. It can be helpful to have a lymphatic drainage massage after surgery to reduce inflammation. Your plastic surgeon may or may not recommend this as part of your post care.

Jeffrey W. Hall, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Massaging after liposuction is a must

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massaging after liposuction is invaluable. massaging after liposuction helps to reduce swelling, smoothen out the skin irregularities or folds, and to make the skin less sensitive.

Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 51 reviews


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This will vary somewhat from patient to patient and surgeon to surgeon. Good science does not exist to answer this question.   I tell patients there will be bruising and swelling. The bruising is usually gone in 2 or 3 weeks but swelling takes longer. I advise patients that about 80% of edema will resolve in 6-8 weeks but it may take 6-8 months for the remainder of the edema to resolve completely and see the final result. Compression garments are recommended to the treated areas for the first 4-6 weeks, after which I tell patients to wear them as needed for obvious swelling or comfort. I allow activity as tolerated after the first postoperative visit.  I encourage gentle massage to the treated areas after the first postoperative visit if the patient can tolerate it to promote lymphatic drainage and remodel the tissue.  Whether or not it actually accomplished these goals is uncertain, but at the least patients seem to resolve their subjective discomfort sooner.

Jeffrey D. Wagner, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Massaging After Liposuction

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There is no need to massage oneself after liposuction.  A few years ago ultrasound was prescribed for fibrotic areas.  Endermologie has also been used with some success.

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Massage after liposuction

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It is really not necessary for you to massage yourself after liposuction. The idea of lymphatic drainage massage is a special type of massage technique used to decrease swelling by increasing the lymphatic flow. If you feel that you would benefit from that type of massage, call your surgeon and ask him/her for advice on someone they trust. In terms of timing, you are ready for massage when you feel you are able to move around with minimal soreness. Good luck,

Sirish Maddali, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon

Massage after Liposuction

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Each surgeon has their own specific post-operative protocols when it comes to the various cosmetic surgery procedures performed.  In the case of liposuction some surgeons would agree with the use of massage in the post-operative period, while others may not.  For the lumps and bumps that can sometimes form a couple weeks after surgery, I generally teach my patients how to perform gentle massages on the areas treated.  Occasionally, I will also discuss the use of lymphatic drainage massages or use the VelaShape technology to help roll these areas out after surgery.  With that said, I would recommend that you defer to your operating surgeon to discuss whether or not massages are appropriate for your specific case.  

Massage After Liposuction

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Massaging should only be performed if it is part of your doctor's instructions. There is no evidence that massaging the area will have any benefits.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.