When Can I Start Getting Massages for Excess Fluid, and Swelling Post-TT?

I just had a tummy tuck and lipo on August 11, 2001 and I wanted to know when can I start getting massages to expel excess fluid, and to reduce swelling as well as making your body go back to a more natural feel?

Doctor Answers 4

Massage ater Tummy Tuck

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There is nothing wrong with massage after recovery from tummy tuck surgery but it is too soon for you. First you drains must be out with no evidence of fluid collection. I would recommend a minimum of six weeks and discuss with your surgeon before doing anything

Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon

Is massage OK 7 days after tummy tuck?

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You still have surgical swelling that resolves on its own as your tissues heal; this takes several weeks and needs neither massage nor "water pills." You may even have a drain, which allows the tissues to adhere and heal together without blood or serum accumulating. This comes out when the amount of drainage is less than one ounce of fluid per day, or when your surgeon deems it ready. Some surgeons do not use an abdominal drain but may need to aspirate fluid if it collects. A seroma forms if undrained, and can require additional surgery to correct. But this is entirely different from tissue swelling or edema.

Feeling "normal" and recovering skin sensation takes weeks to months, and also is not helped by anything other than normal healing and "tincture of time." There is nothing that makes nerves heal or regenerate faster; certainly not massage. And assuming your kidneys are functioning normally, you don't need to do anything to "help" your body "expel excess fluid;" that will happen all on its own!

Bottom line here: let your tissues heal. We actually have a massage therapist on our staff that helps resolve residual edema (swelling) and scar fibrosis (firmness due to scar formation during the healing process) in our liposuction and other surgical patients, including tummy tuck. (Patients also like it, and that makes us and them happy.) I do not have my patients start this until the third or fourth week after surgery, assuming there is complete and uncomplicated healing, no fluid, and drain(s) out for at least two weeks without any re-accumulation.

Beware overzealous self-help--this can actually ruin your results, or make a normal recovery longer than it otherwise might have been! Follow your doctor's advice and don't do anything "extra," at least without his permission.

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Massages post abdominoplasty

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you are way to soon to start that. follow your surgeons advice. do not take on more than you are instructed to do to avoid problems. be patient you will get the result, if careful.

Rick Rosen, MD
Norwalk Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Tummy Tuck Recovery

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I am assuming you meant to write Aug. 11, 2011 not 2001.  It is too soon to start getting massages. You are only 6 days out of surgery.  Keep to your recovery process, take it easy and follow your surgeon's instructions.

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