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lymphatic massage after tummy tuck

The Truth About Lymphatic Drainage Massage After Tummy Tuck

So you finally did it. After months of researching surgeons, dieting, and mentally preparing yourself, you had an abdominoplasty. While you’re excited to see your new tummy contour taking shape, that swelling and discomfort from the procedure is no joke. Your doctor probably warned you that the healing and recovery process would take time, but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.


One of the best ways to speed up your recovery and reduce swelling after a tummy tuck is with lymphatic drainage massage. This specialized massage technique helps stimulate your lymphatic system to move fluid buildup out of your tissues. Keep reading to learn how lymphatic massage works and how you can benefit from treatments after your abdominoplasty.

Understanding Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Lymphatic drainage massage after a tummy tuck helps reduce swelling and improves healing. This gentle massage technique helps move fluid buildup from your tissues into your lymph nodes so your body can eliminate it.

Understanding How It Works

Lymph fluid naturally circulates throughout your body, but surgery can cause it to accumulate in the area around your incision. A lymphatic massage uses light, rhythmic strokes to stimulate lymph flow and drainage.

  • Light pressure is applied in the direction of lymph flow toward lymph nodes.
  • Slow, gentle, repetitive strokes are used.
  • The massage therapist focuses on areas where fluid has built up like your abdomen, hips, and thighs.

The lymphatic system relies on muscle movement and contraction to keep fluid circulating. Since abdominoplasty impacts movement, massage helps get your lymph flow going again. Most plastic surgeons recommend starting lymphatic massage 3 to 5 days after surgery, once drains have been removed and incisions have started to heal.

Lymphatic drainage massage is a key part of the recovery process. When done properly, it can reduce discomfort and speed up your return to normal activity. Be sure to drink plenty of water to help your body flush out the excess fluid. And get ready to feel less bloated and back to your usual self again.

Benefits of Lymphatic Massage After Tummy Tuck Surgery

After a tummy tuck, lymphatic massage can help reduce swelling and speed up your recovery.

Lymphatic massage helps move fluid buildup from your tissues into your lymph nodes. This aids your body in draining excess fluid and waste products. The gentle, rhythmic massage strokes also relax your muscles and soft tissues, relieving tension and discomfort.

Some major benefits of lymphatic massage after abdominoplasty include:

  • Reduced swelling and inflammation. The massage helps stimulate your lymphatic system to drain fluid, reducing puffiness and swelling in your midsection and abdomen.
  • Less discomfort and pain. The gentle massage can help relax muscles, relieve tension, and ease soreness from your procedure.
  • Quicker healing. By reducing swelling and inflammation, lymphatic massage facilitates circulation which brings more oxygen to your tissues, helping incisions and scars heal faster.
  • Improved results. With less swelling, your final tummy tuck results will appear smoother and more contoured once fully healed. Lymphatic massage also helps soften and flatten the abdomen by breaking up scar tissue.
  • Decreased risk of seromas. By keeping fluids moving, lymphatic massage helps prevent fluid buildup and the formation of seromas under the skin.

While lymphatic massage does provide substantial benefits after a tummy tuck, be sure to get clearance from your plastic surgeon before beginning massage therapy. They can evaluate if you’ve healed enough and provide guidance on when it’s safe to start and how often you should receive treatments. With the proper aftercare, you’ll be well on your way to a speedy recovery and loving your new slimmer tummy!

Tips for Safely Getting Lymphatic Massage After Abdominoplasty

After an abdominoplasty or “tummy tuck” procedure, lymphatic massage can help reduce swelling and improve healing. However, it needs to be done properly and carefully to avoid complications. Here are some tips for getting lymphatic massage after a tummy tuck:

Wait 2 to 4 weeks.

Allow adequate time for your incisions to close and initial swelling to reduce before beginning massage treatments. Your surgeon will examine you and determine when you’re ready to start.

Find a therapist experienced with post-surgical massage.

Make sure the massage therapist is trained and experienced in lymphatic drainage and post-surgical massage techniques. They need to understand how to properly massage without disrupting the treated area. Ask your surgeon for recommendations.

Focus on gentle, light pressure.

Lymphatic massage after surgery should use very light, gentle pressure. Deep tissue massage can damage healing tissues and incisions. The therapist should use light, circular movements to stimulate lymph flow.

Avoid the incision site.

The massage should not be done directly over the incision. The therapist should work around the site to avoid irritating the incision. As healing progresses, they can get progressively closer to the incision.

Stay hydrated and get rest.

In addition to massage, drinking plenty of water and getting extra rest will aid the healing process. Hydration helps flush waste and excess fluid from your tissues while rest allows your body to heal.

Be very careful when receiving lymphatic massage after tummy tuck and follow all of your surgeon’s instructions. While massage can be very beneficial for healing and recovery, your safety should be the top priority during this sensitive time. With the proper precautions taken, massage therapy and good self-care can help you get the best possible results from your procedure.


So there you have it, the truth about lymphatic massage after your tummy tuck. While it may seem like an unnecessary extra expense, the benefits to your healing and results can be significant. Reduced swelling, less pain and discomfort, and improved scar appearance are all compelling reasons to consider adding massage therapy to your post-op plan. 

And finding a therapist trained in lymphatic drainage techniques specifically for post-surgical patients means they have the proper experience and skills to help you heal as quickly and comfortably as possible. Your body has been through a lot, so why not give it every advantage to recover well and get you back to living life fully again? Lymphatic massage could be one of the best gifts you give yourself after your abdominoplasty.

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