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.

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

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.


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