How soon after liposuction is lymphatic drainage massage recommended?

I'm 2 weeks post-op with pretty significant swelling still, and all of my incisions are closed.

Doctor Answers 6

Massage after liposuction

I don't encourage massages after liposuction.

When I was in medical school, I heard an attending say, "One kidney is smarter than four doctors." The implication was that the body knows what to do, and interfering with the natural healing process is not needed.

In general, I'd rather see the tissues not be manipulated immediately after surgery. I would definetely avoid any treatment that causes discomfort.

Many surgeons recommend a massage after surgery such as liposuction. I tell my patients it's fine to have a massage after surgery if they wish but not beyond the point of tenderness.

Any activity that causes discomfort or pain after surgery is causing further tissue damage, which in turn causes more inflammation, more scar tissue formation and prolongs the healing.

A massage may be appropriate at two to three weeks after liposuction.

Best of luck,

Mats Hagstrom, M.D.


San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Massage after liposuction

I have patients begin gentle massage at about 2 weeks.  The massage needs to be gentle because there is still tenderness.   As tenderness subsides more aggressive massage is possible.  My Best, Dr C

Lymphatic Drainage Massage After Liposuction

If the massage is performed by a licensed massage therapist with medical training, you can start massage therapy as early as three days after surgery. However, if your surgery was performed using Endermology, Syngerie, or Venus workstation, it is best to wait at least two weeks after surgery before commencing any lymphatic drainage massage.

Reps B. Sundin, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Lymphatic Massage after Lipo

Hi there thanks for your question about post-op massage after liposuction. In general, I only suggest my patients to have very light massage after their liposuction procedure. We also recommend a high protein, low salt diet and a custom fit compression garment all which aid in post-operative swelling. Best to you. -Dr. Coan.

Brian Coan, MD, FACS
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Lymphatic Drainage Massage After Liposuction

For many patients, lymphatic drainage massage performed by a qualified, licensed massage therapist can begin as early as three days after your procedure. Patients who had their liposuction performed using the Endermology, Syngerie, or Venus workstations should wait at least two weeks after surgery before beginning a massage program.

Burton M. Sundin, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Post Liposuction Irregularities, Swelling -- Try Massage, Velashape or Venus Legacy With Your Compression

It is very common to have bruising and swelling for weeks to months after liposuction procedures. What is most important is that you follow your surgeons post operative instructions and continue compression. If you are concerned, lymphatic massage and Velashape or Venus Legacy treatments can be used to improve the swelling and help the skin tighten. My patients start treatments right away and it improves the long term results. Speak to your physician if you are concerned. Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 168 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.