What type of massage is recommended after liposuction?

I heard that after liposuction it is crucial to have massages post-op to speed up the recovery process and reduce swelling. Is there a specific type of massage that is recommended for post-surgical liposuction and how often should I get one?


F, 42, Delaware

The type of massage you’re referring to is a lymphatic drainage massage, a massage technique that involves using gentle pressure to move lymph fluid away from the treated area.

Should you get a lymphatic massage? The answer to this question really comes down to the individual preferences of your plastic surgeon. As it stands, there’s no evidence to suggest that a massage provides any benefits to liposuction patients or assists in the healing process.

Nevertheless, many surgeons do recommend a massage as part of a postoperative care routine as they believe it can help with some of the swelling, tightness, and lumpiness associated with the liposuction procedure. Your doctor will probably advise you to wait a couple of weeks after your procedure before getting a massage.

On the other side of the fence, many surgeons — myself included — believe that there is no particular need for massage treatment. As I mentioned, there are no studies that indicate that massage helps with healing or improves the outcome of the procedure. In addition, there’s always the possibility that a deep tissue massage could be overly aggressive and may be detrimental to the healing process.

Liposuction results in a surgical wound that usually takes many months to heal — in my opinion, applying pressure to this wound is simply an unnecessary risk. Using compression garments and following your surgeon’s postoperative instructions will usually offer the best results.

I advise discussing the issue with your plastic surgeon, who will probably have their own reasons for or against utilizing post-liposuction massage therapy. Do not see a massage therapist unless your surgeon recommends that you do so.

Hi user:

I disagree with this.  I think it is important to use compression garments (your surgeon will take care of this).  Sometimes after a period of healing, a doctor may recommend lymphatic drainage type massage, but don't do anything without your doctor's blessings.


All the best.


Many surgeons recommend lymphatic massage after liposuction. Be sure to discuss with your surgeon first.