Post liposuction massage
What is post liposuction massage?
A post liposuction massage could comprise many techniques depending on the advice of your surgeon. However, the most common modality we use is manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) but your surgeon will guide us what is the best massage for a complete and effective therapy for your specific needs. Everyone is different and requires a plan specific to your personal healing and process. Whatever they suggest, we'll be able to provide a mix of techniques used at varying intensity based on your recovery following your liposuction. We can combine manual lymphatic drainage with myofascial and deep tissue massage to break down fat lumps that are forming hard globules under your skin and aid toxin and fluid to be expelled by your body.
Why do you have to massage after lipo?
Immediately following your liposuction surgery you’ll suffer from swelling, bruising and discomfort due to the tissue damage caused during the procedure.
A lot of people don’t realise that fat is an important tissue, which is both active and living and contains good cells as well as the bad, blood vessels and lymphatic vessels. These play an important role in energy storage and hormone regulation which is why we often put weight on around our middle when our hormones change during menopause.
Read about liposuction post op care.
It stands to reason that when we remove the fat, these vessels and cells are damaged. This causes blood and lymph fluid to accumulate and as we’ve created more space for it to pool, it sits in what we recognise as lumps.
This is in addition to the damage we have done to our lymphatic system during the procedure, one of the systems along with our venous system which we need to balance fluids. When these are out of balance, as they are in this situation, swelling occurs (lymphoedema).
Whilst some swelling is good for natural healing (it carries the body’s natural healing system) in this case, the excess swelling is due to the imbalance. We remove this with a manual lymphatic drainage massage during which your massage therapist effectively steps in to redress the imbalance caused by the surgery.
How does post liposuction massage work?
To answer this, we’ll go backwards a bit and answer ‘what is liposuction?’ as this is the process from which you’re healing. During your liposuction procedure, your surgeon will place a plastic suction tube under your skin and move this from one area to another under your skin to suck out excess fat. This creates wounds that heal not just where the suction tube has been inserted, but also where your skin has been separated from your internals in order to move the tube around and suck out this fat.
Part of your healing process can very often result in fibrosis which is where connective tissue will thicken and scar. The result of this can be an uneven surface under your skin giving the appearance of ‘fat’ lumps and bumps. Obviously as everyone heals differently the visual effect of this is also different from person to person, but your surgeon will very often advise that you have a post surgery massage to break down some of this scar tissue will be effective in getting the best possible results from your liposuction.
At Essential Feeling we use a combination of 3 different styles of massage depending on the conditions that we’re presented with and how you are healing as well as any specific advice your surgeon has given you to ensure you get the best finish from your plastic surgery.
What do the different types of massage do?
Myofascial release can help to prevent unsightly thick scar tissue from forming building up by separating the fibres from each other so that ridges and dimples are less able to develop.
Deep tissue massage can work in a similar way to myofascial release and breaks down scar tissue so that it can reform correctly. This has the effect of evening out the pitting you will see in your skin and breaks down the fibrosis.
Lymphatic drainage massage (MLD) after liposuction will help you detoxify and remove excess fluid that may be sitting in what can often be hard pockets under your skin. This is a very gentle and therapeutic massage that uses soft rhythmic movements to move toxins in to your bloodstream so your body can expel them. You may have heard of lymph drainage therapy after liposuction. This is what people are talking about.
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Possible benefits of MLD massage therapy after my liposuction
Having a lymphatic massage after liposuction may speed up your ability to heal: it is a special type of massage because it will reduce swelling and bruising, ease your body’s ability to remove cellular debris and other waste from the area (including free fats), reduces inflammation, and decreases your risk of infection by improving your immune response.
It may decrease scarring and the accumulation of fibrotic nodules (hard fat lumps). This will have the knock on effect of improving your skin texture and tone.
By speeding up healing, MLD massage may decrease pain, sensitivity and touch-avoidance. It is also a gentle and pleasing massage when conducted by someone, as we are at Essential Feeling, who is trained and understands how to use lymphatic drainage post liposuction.
How long does swelling last after stomach liposuction?
Everyone is different and so was your surgical procedure. However, if you're having a post op liposuction massage, we do see clients coming regularly for up to approx eight weeks following their procedures.
How do you get rid of swelling after liposuction?
We’ve explained above why we suffer with post operative swelling, and the role of MLD massage in post liposuction, post surgery recovery.
This is also the reason that you’ll be put into a compression garment before leaving the operating theatre, and you’ll wear this for weeks after. The pressure will help you to seal the tissue separation caused by the sweeping action of the suction tube. If you’re given a drain, that also serves to help your system remove the excess fluid.
Proper management of the effects of liposuction are important, because without them, you will be more likely to end up with a poor aesthetic outcome. Kind of the point of this kind of surgery and this is why post liposuction massage is so incredibly important.
How long will I drain after liposuction?
The post surgical recovery process varies from person to person. It depends on how your body reacts to the surgery, the level of work that was done internally by your surgeon, your general health and wellbeing and also how well you look after yourself post liposuction procedure.
What is the fastest way to recover from liposuction?
We would always recommend a series of lymphatic drainage massages following liposuction. But, don’t take our word for it. You’ve had a medical procedure and you're in a postoperative state, we encourage you to check with your doctor about what he says is the ideal massage because they know exactly what you’ve been through and may have their own recommendations.
Don’t be surprised if they tell you to have several MLD massages in close succession post lipo surgery though. The reason for this is that we're trying to drain fluid faster than your body has the time to replenish it.
What happens to your body after liposuction?
Essentially it will go into overdrive post liposuction and you’ll not only be in pain, but you’ll swell.
Manual lymphatic drainage could help prevent and alleviate any build up of fluid and also scar tissue. Following your massage you’ll often be able to visually notice a reduction in your swelling.
How long will I be swollen after liposuction?
This very much depends on how much swelling you have to start off with, which harks back to the points we made earlier about how much work the surgeon had to do, the process that they went through to achieve your results and how your system deals with this.
You can expect this to be a good few weeks though. We often treat our clients with post liposuction massage for six to eight weeks following their procedure.
How do you take care of yourself after liposuction?
Swelling may be greater than it needs to be if you don’t wear your compression garment, or if you remove them too early. You need this pressure to help you heal.
If you choose to have a post liposuction massage come along early. Check with your consultant, but some recommend it as soon as just a few days post surgery. The longer you wait, the more chance your body has to develop these fat lumps and pockets of fluid (seroma).
I’m having laser lipo which I think is like liposuction. Is this lymph massage still recommended?
We’d always recommend that you take the advice of your doctor about a postoperative massage, however, laser lipo or lipolysis as it is know is non-invasive, but it uses the heat from the laser to ‘melt’ away pockets of fat such as love handles and double chins. In this instance, your body is then left to metabolise (break this down) itself and expel it. For this reason we’d offer post treatment manual lymphatic drainage as this helps you deal with, and drive out toxins naturally.
When should I start my post liposuction massage?
Your surgeon will give you the best advice on post liposuction care following your liposuction procedures so be sure to ask and to get a sign off. However, most people tend to be told anything from a few days to 2 weeks following their operation is the best time to start swelling reduction massage. We wouldn’t recommend you come within 3 days of your surgery.
Is there a consultation process?
Yes. Please check out our FAQs page for details.
Where will I be treated?
Your post liposuction massage will be in a comfortable, calm massage room with soft lighting. Your massage therapist is fully licensed, certified in this kind of therapy following liposuction treatments.
After your consultation, your therapist will show you to your room where you will undress to your lower underwear whilst the therapist is out of the room. You will then lie on the bed, cover yourself with 2 luxury towels & only then will your therapist re-enter.
What will happen during the massage?
During your lipo massage, you'll will be covered at all times with soft towels, with the exception of the area you are having worked of course! Your modesty will be maintained at all times throughout your massage.
What do I do during a post lipo massage therapy?
Make yourself comfortable. If your therapist wants you to adjust your position, he or she will either move you or will ask you to move as necessary. Otherwise, change your position anytime to make yourself more comfortable. This is not a particularly relaxing massage because it aims to correct damage - you may therefore feel some temporary pain during your treatment. If this is unbearable, please feel free to let your therapist know and they will adapt.
During a post lipo massage your body releases toxins. This process can mean that your temperature can lower, so please do say if you become cold. Likewise, if the pressure is too light or hard, then please feel free to say as everyone is different.
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How will I feel after a post lipo massage?
You may feel tired or relaxed after your massage, or even sometimes emotional, however, most people will then feel rejuvenated and full of energy. You may experience some aches and pains for around 24 hours after your massage as your system flushes the toxins that have been released. In order to speed this process along, drink lots of water after your massage.
How often will I need a post lipo massage?
We recommend you speak with your consultant about this as they are more able to advise on your specific conditions.
Why would I not be able to have a massage?
There are a few conditions which mean post lipo massage would not be the best holistic therapy for you. In this instance, we wouldn’t be able to treat you, but there are plenty of other therapies that would be more suitable and we can help and advise you in making the best choice.
The following conditions would not be suitable:
*Infectious skin disease, rash, or open wounds
*Immediately after surgery (within 3 days)
Read more on post liposuction massage
Please Note: This is a totally safe and complementary treatment (it does not replace medical treatment).If you are in any doubt at all, please consult with your doctor prior to coming along.