Maximizing Your Cosmetic Surgery Results with Post-Op Massage

Congratulations on your decision to have plastic surgery! During your recovery, you might find post-op lymphatic massage helpful in supporting you during the various stages of healing.

What are the common post-op healing symptoms of cosmetic surgery?

After surgery, patients may experience limited mobility, inflammation, swelling, stiffness, bruising, and fibrosis. These symptoms are typical with liposuction, which removes fat by inserting a small tube (cannula) through incisions.

Liposuction is often combined with other procedures like abdominoplasty, Brazilian butt lift, breast augmentation, or fat transfer. The number of procedures you have will affect the length of recovery and degree of symptoms experienced.

How long does it take to recover from cosmetic surgery?

There is usually a recovery period to care for any incision, and cosmetic surgery is no different.

However, the time it takes to heal varies from person to person. Complete healing can take a few months to a year.

Different factors affect recovery, including:

  • The number of procedures performed
  • Age
  • General health
  • Fitness level
  • Complications, such as infection and wound closure
  • Compliance in practising self-care and following your surgeon’s advice

What are the benefits of post-op massage?

Post-op massage is beneficial for many reasons, most importantly by stimulating the lymphatic vessels to contract more frequently to remove protein-rich fluid caused by inflammation.

Encouraging the lymphatic system to work optimally will help manage symptoms, including pain, swelling, and bruising. As your recovery progresses, other techniques, such as taping and fascia manipulation, will soften fibrosis and hardness, which can occur two or more weeks after surgery. Additional goals include keeping the skin and tissue soft and pliable and ensuring neat, flat scars.

With fat transfer, the body may reabsorb some fat in areas with poor blood supply. Lymphatic massage can help blood flow, delivering micro-nutrients to keep tissues healthy.

Depending on your surgery, you may have to sleep on your back or in another less-than-comfortable position. Massage helps ease tense and stiff muscles, hopefully aiding you in getting much-needed healing sleep.

How many massages will I need after liposuction?

The frequency and number of sessions recommended depend on the aggressiveness of the liposuction, the number of procedures performed, and each person’s constitution.

Canadian surgeons are reputed to be more conservative than their counterparts in the USA or abroad, who can be more aggressive with fat removal, which may result in a longer recovery.

Depending on your mobility, a massage is beneficial 5-10 days post-op to stimulate the lymphatic system. Clients often have one or more weekly sessions in the first month to help manage their symptoms.

The body will naturally heal after trauma, and it does so automatically. Post-op lymphatic massage is here to support you.

What else can I do to encourage recovery?

First of all, you should always follow your surgeon’s advice. Whenever possible, take time off work, wear compression garments and foams to prevent excessive swelling and fibrosis, get adequate sleep, do light exercise, and follow a healthy diet.

Headshot of Catherine Walton, RMT

Book Your Pre- or Post-Op Massage Session Today

If you're interested in booking a massage session to prepare you for surgery or support recovery afterwards, please get in touch. Let’s work together to make your recovery journey as smooth and comfortable as possible!

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