Why are Massages so Important After Surgery?

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Brazilian butt lifts (BBL), liposuction, body contouring procedures – in the plastic surgery community, these are some of the most commonly referenced ways to achieve the ideal hourglass shape. While these procedures are incredibly popular and common, they do require some special post-op care to achieve ideal results and a smooth recovery. Most patients who have researched these procedures have likely read that they should plan to have multiple massages after their surgery.

Many patients wonder why having massages after these procedures is so important and why they need to prioritize getting them in the days and weeks after their surgery. Below we go over the ins and outs of post-surgery massages, the type of massages patients should be getting, and what to expect.

Why are Massages so Important After Surgery?
Massage therapy can make or break a person’s post-surgery recovery period. Targeted massage is known to help put pressure on scar tissue to loosen the muscles around it, reducing their appearance and smoothing them out. Additionally, massage therapy can increase circulation to help flush metabolic wastes out of the body to relieve pain and swelling. It can also help drain excess fluids that cause swelling and help relieve numbness and soreness. This is vital to achieving smooth, long-lasting results and avoiding unforeseen complications in the future.

On top of physical benefits, massage therapy is also excellent for stress reduction, which is vital during surgery recovery. The pressure from a massage can aid in flushing out lactic acid from the body, improving circulation and stimulating the distribution of blood back to the rest of the body. It can also help relieve the psychological symptoms of stress. As massage improves circulation, it also helps to stimulate the production of important mood-regulating hormones, like dopamine and serotonin.

What Type of Massage Should I Get After Surgery?
The type of massage you get after your surgery will depend largely on the procedure you have had done. After a BBL or liposuction, your surgeon will suggest a series of drainage massages. This specialized form of massage is generally believed to decrease recovery time and improve results, by reducing post-surgical swelling and fibrosis, or scar tissue formation. By squeezing out any excess liquid that has accumulated near your incision sites, your body can heal more quickly, revealing your final surgical results.

How Many Massages Should I Get?
Most doctors recommend that you receive at least three massages in the week following your surgery. After that, you should monitor how your body is recovering and schedule massages intermittently depending on pain levels and swelling.

How Long will the Massages Take?
Typically, massage therapists offer massages in varying lengths and intensity levels. At Mia Aesthetics, drainage massages are short (usually no longer than 15 to 30 minutes) but are typically high in pressure. Some therapists offer drainage massages that last a full hour, but with less pressure. Patient preferences vary when it comes to what type of massage they prefer. While some patients prefer a longer, softer massage, other prefer to get the experience over with more quickly.

Do the Massages Hurt?
The short answer is yes, drainage massages are typically uncomfortable. This is primarily because of how sore you will be in the days following surgery. On the flipside, after patients have their massages, they typically report feeling significant pain relief and a noticeable reduction in swelling.

In Conclusion
In conclusion, massages are an essential part of proper recovery and pain reduction after many plastic surgery procedures. After BBLs and liposuction, drainage massages are essential to reducing scarring, eliminating excess fluids and reducing overall swelling. Massages also help reduce stress and aid in relaxation during the recovery period. With its many physical and mental benefits, massages are an integral part to the plastic surgery experience that should not be overlooked.