Why do you need an after surgery massage?
There are many reasons you need an after surgery massage. The reasons may range from easing pain from post-operative scar tissue right the way down to reducing swelling in your body as it struggles with healing on its own.
The massage we use for these different issues vary depending what you need.
For instance, if you’re struggling with stubborn scars which are itching, restricting movement or raised (keloids) and looking unsightly, then we’d be likely to use myofascial release therapy to unstick the fibres that are causing the adhesions to clump together. This after surgery massage therapy helps to reduce the blood flow to the scar tissue that causes it to be raised.
At the other end of the scale is the light touch manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), which is another common after surgery massage. MLD is great for reducing swelling and helps decrease a patient’s recovery time and improving the end results of the scar. It does this by reducing the post surgery swelling and scar tissue formation (fibrosis).
Plastic surgeons often recommend manual lymphatic drainage, particularly as a post liposuction massage as it is safe and incredible effective using only gentle friction.
How does the healing process work? And what are the benefits of after surgery massage?
Our body carries oxygen and nutrients that it needs to help heal us in blood flow. Massage therapy increases our blood flow, and so a massage is how we can help our body naturally heal. An increase in blood flow produces not only an increase in the blood, but all the good stuff our body uses to piece us back together post surgery. This applies to muscles and joints as well as postoperatively, by the way. Once the blood has delivered all these nutrients, it removes the waste. It’s this removal of toxins and metabolic waste that also helps us to heal. So the more blood flow, the better our healing process.
Now, with particular types of scarring that can be helped by after surgery massage therapy, we’re working differently. All the above still happens, but then your massage therapist has trained in different techniques that allow us to support your body and your healing process in additional ways.
When you have an operation including plastic surgery and liposuction or freeze sculpting, they often disrupt the lymph flow which means your body can’t heal. If you use MLD as your choice of therapeutic massage after surgery then this supports the lymphatic system. This modality uses light pressure to stimulate the part of our body that helps drain away the waste and aids the healing process. After surgery it can become overloaded to the point where swelling occurs, impeding us so much that it often affects our range of movement.
Reduce scar tissue
To help reduce scar tissue on patients, myofascial release massage can be beneficial. When we injure ourselves our body sends additional blood to heal the affected site. So when a doctor slices through our flesh, our body goes into overdrive. It doesn’t know that they did this with good intention, all it’s intent on doing is sealing our damaged skin, muscle and tissues back together again. This excess blood leads to several effects; the heat that makes us itch, and the red swelling either side of the incision.
This can help as much if you’ve cut your finger on a broken glass down to post breast surgery, including mastectomy for cancer treatment. In this situation, massage can also help reduce stress, tension and anxiety and improving postoperative circulation.
In its eagerness to seal us back together, our body often overstimulates, increasing collagen.
This increased production is why all the sticky fibres that pull the skin back together can be a little too much. If we don’t have a scar tissue massage, we will often find that our range of movement is hindered by our once mobile flesh now being stuck to bones and other deeper set body parts that they were never meant to adhere to. Myofascial release literally massages your scar to release this sticky fascia and not only improve the appearance of your wound but also reduce the appearance of that red swelling.
Other conditions that may benefit from after surgery massage include:
Capsular contracture — during breast augmentation surgery a complication can arise in which internal scar tissue forms around the breast implant. This constricts the blood and lymph supply to the area, resulting in a misshapen and hard breast.
Hip replacement — an after surgery massage will loosen up tight muscles and help create improved flexibility as well as helping to improve blood supply to the area and improving skin elasticity. MLD will also help to decrease any buildup of fluids caused from the damage the surgical procedure has created.
Injury caused from abdominal surgery, including liposuction and tummy tuck. This encourages faster healing, reduced long-term discomfort and chronic swelling. This also applies to any kind of plastic surgery, including butt lifts.
Breast surgery, including enhancement procedures and cancer treatments.