Visit us in Chevy Chase, Tyson's Area/McLean or Gainesville:
5454 Wisconsin Ave, #1710 Chevy Chase, MD 20815

7601 Lewinsville Rd, #300 McLean, VA 22102

7500 Iron Bar Lane, #100, Gainesville, VA 20155
(With Katie Williar, P.A)

(703) 543-9252 | (301) 244-0148

Information and Instruction on Massage after Smartlipo Liposuction

Factors causing bruising and swelling after Liposuction

After smartlipo or liposuction, there will be swelling, bruising, and a generalized hardening of the skin.  The extent of these changes will vary greatly from patient to patient, and site to site.

There are several important factors to keep this swelling and bruising to a minimum and to hasten the healing:


  • appropriate numbing techniques (numbing contains epinephrine which decreases bruising/bleeding)
  • following instructions not to take advil or aspirin before the procedure
  • compression therapy right after the procedure
  • massage after liposuction


Massage techniques after liposuction:


In our practice, we like to see patients for follow up in the first two weeks after the procedure.  Once they demonstrate that the healing is started, we often instruct patients to start massaging the area.  There are two goals and two techniques for massaging after smartlipo that we recommend:


– For localized swelling, we recommend a pressing type massage.  this often occurs in the lower abdomen and inner thighs.  In those areas, blood, melted fat, and lymph fluid all mix to produce extra materials that takes the body some time to be able to reabsorb.  This keeps the area from being as flat as it can be.  I tell my patients to think of themselves as crushing a cube of sugar to make it melt in the water faster.  Five minutes daily of massage in a gentle pressing motion morselizes this collected fluid and makes the body absorb it faster.


– For generalized skin hardening, where there is not necessarily a bulge to treat but just  a “woody’ feeling to the skin, we recommend a pinching type massage and circular skin motion type massage.  These massages are designed to promote the mobility of the skin above the underlying musculature, and prevent the unnatural adherence of skin to the underlying muscles.  This type of massage is particularly useful in the neck area and in the flank area after smartlipo, but again, our patients are guided during the follow up to  the appropriate type massage if needed.

Lymphatic drainage massage and other professional massages:

Lympahtic drainage massage is the sequential massage of fluid away from an area towards the lymphatic drainage system.  it is useful in the treatment of lymphedema, but can also be used after liposuction.  It is my opinion that lymphatic drainage massage can help after surgery, but that it is not superior to self administered massage techniques.  It is my opinion that five to ten minutes of massage DAILY is superior to an extended massage session that is performed less frequently.  Therefore I tell my patients that they may seek professional massages and lymphatic drainage massages if they wish, but not to neglect the basic daily self massage techniques.

Video demonstating massage after smartlipo

return to main liposuction page

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Office location:

Chevy Chase
5454 Wisconsin Avenue
suite 1710
Chevy Chase, Maryland
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Tyson's Corner (McLean, VA)
7601 Lewinsville Rd, #300
McLean, VA 22102
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Gainesville (With Katie Williar, P.A)
7500 Iron Bar Lane, #100,
Gainesville, VA 20155
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Phone: (703) 543-9252
(301) 244-0148

Fax: (866) 206-6747

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