Massage for Plastic Surgery Recovery

Massage for Plastic Surgery Recovery

Post-Operative massage is not only a great way to ease the stress and pain of surgery but also can assist in reducing inflammation and swelling, improve circulation, and decrease bruising. It may seem like a miracle drug but in reality, it’s just the fastest growing trend in post-operative surgery recovery.


Post-Operative Massage: What is it?

Your lymphatic system absorbs fluid, foreign substances, and waste products held within your body and flushes them out. It’s basically, a 24-hour detoxifying system that is working to keep you healthy. Post surgery, some people can be affected by the hardening of these fluids. This hardening of the fluids is called fibrosis and can lead to bruising, swelling, and overall discomfort.

A Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massageis a gentle massage that increases blood flow in the body and helps to release the buildup of toxins in the lymphatic system. The waste tissue will naturally be removed from the body and your system will function as normal and continue to reabsorb the toxins.

The massage itself is designed to not affect the incision or deep tissue. Its main purpose is to gently massage the upper layers of skin and tissue in order to help with recovery. By gently massaging the affected area, you will notice a reduction in swelling and the disappearance of bruising within days.

The lymphatic drainage massage can be started as soon as a few days after surgery. It’s recommended that this procedure be performed for an hour at a time, four to five times a week until you’ve healed. This massage is an effective way to reduce swelling and bruising and speed up recovery. Be sure to speak with your doctor about your desire to have this procedure before your surgery.


Benefits of Massage for Recovery

Eases Pain

A post-operative massage can allow for increased blood flow to assist in pain management. Typically, you’ll run into two different aspects of the massage–clearing and reabsorbing. Clearing allows the body to wipe out any toxins or waste that may be getting stored or blocked within the system.

The massage will release the blockage and allow the fluids to flow naturally to the lymph nodes. This stops the process known as fibrosis and allows the lymphatic system to begin the next aspect, reabsorption. Reabsorbing involves the blood to remove free of toxins and waste to provide adequate blood flow to the affected area. This eases the pain a lot sooner than those that don’t get the massage.

Reduces Swelling

The hardening of fluids in the body can increase swelling and this inflammation is the main cause of bruising after surgery. Massage will keep these fluids moving and not sitting in one place to harden. An added benefit is that it makes for a properly functioning lymphatic system helping to increase blood flow and eliminate toxins and waste.

Quicker Recovery

The majority of individuals that have plastic surgery will experience a great recovery. They will let the drugs the doctor prescribed ease pain and they will rest while they recover. After surgery, your body will see an increase in toxins around the affected areas which your body will naturally work to remove. Massage can help move these toxins along much more quickly allowing your body to heal that much quicker.

Reduces Scarring

Your body will be healing itself and sending collagen fibers to the affected area. This can be used to your advantage as the massage can gently work these fibers into place much quickly and more accurately than if they tried on their own. The skin will become soft and pliable allowing for the skin to stay loose so that they don’t harden into unsightly scar tissue.

Anxiety and Stress Reduction

Plastic surgery is already a stressful and anxious situation. You’re going through a surgery where you’ll be cut open and things will be done to your insides. You can hope for the best but those jitters don’t go away until the procedure is over and you can see the results. After surgery, depression can seep into the brain as you learn to love your new self. Massage can be very therapeutic and allow you to emerge from recovery as the best you.


Risks and Precautions to Consider

Your body is a machine, and naturally, that machine wants to make sure it is taken care of if things go wrong. It knows to fight infections, how to heal a cut, and repair itself in many situations. After surgery, your body will be working hard to put itself back together. Massage can assist the speed at which you recover but it can also do more damage if done the wrong way.

To be sure this doesn’t happen to you, communicate with your doctor. They will be able to assist with selecting the perfect massage therapist for your particular surgery. Anyone recommending a deep tissue massage or other aggressive method is doing you a disservice. These types of surgery will abuse the tissue and muscle surrounding the affected area. Incisions may tear open again, scars may be increased, and recovery may be delayed. To assist in recovery, it’s important that a gentle massage by a licensed therapist is used that will increase blood flow and reduce swelling. At Urban Oasis, one of our massage therapists, Debra, is highly experienced in performing Lymphatic Drainage Massage on clients who have had plastic surgery.


A massage as a post-operative surgery treatment is a fantastic way to ease the pain, reduce scarring, and recover more quickly. As long as you’re using a qualified massage therapist, the risks are minimal and the rewards are great.


This article was written by Laura Chow from





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