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 17

Gentle Massage & Stretching Exercises Following Liposuction

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.

Don't massage after Liposuction

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.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

You should not be massaging yourself.


There is no need for massage after liposuction, except in the abdomen, which is more prone to irregularities.

In New York, we send liposuction of the stomach patients for professional lymphatic drainage massage, as soon as they are not too sore (a few days). But I don't recommend that you massage yourself.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Massage After Liposuction

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.

Massage anyone?

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.

Message for specific problem areas

It may not be necessary for you to perform message after liposuction.  It is fairly painful, and should only be performed if there are areas of lumpiness which you can improve by messaging.  Otherwise, you are just pushing on areas which are trying to heal!

Massage after liposuction

Massage can start at a week or ten days after surgery. You can use your hands or a soft paint roller for about 20 minutes once or twice a day.

However, please ask your surgeon first for their advice. They may have different guidelines.

Massage and Lipo

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
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Massaging After Liposuction

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
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Massaging after Liposuction may be helpful but not a must

Although Therapeutic or "lymphatic massage" may be helpful it is NOT mandatory. Endermologie is also very helpful after liposculpture/liposuction but again, not critical.  Although deep tissue massage following liposuction can aid in smoothing out  contour irregularities that invariably accompany this procedure it has limited effect on the final outcome and  is not mandatory. Some plastic surgeons recommend it to all  patients as they feel the edema resolves faster.  Ask your surgeon to show you or a significant other how to do this if cost is an issue.That "significant other" will be able to get to the hard to reach places like your back.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

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.