Manual lymphatic drainage and proper garment wear is key for reducing fibrosis after cosmetic surgery.

One of the most common secondary effects of surgery is fibrosis. Many people notice it some weeks after the surgery or during the post-op. At first, you may feel some lumps on the scar tissue, then you will notice that they get thick and hard, and you may feel pain in the area. To avoid fibrosis development it’s very important to start your post-op manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) as soon as possible, to wear your garment 24/7 and to have the right compression to prevent the accumulation of fluid in order to heal properly and faster.

What is fibrosis?

After any type of surgery, the skin can build up adhesions and scars as part of the healing process. However, the body can abnormally increase the production Fibroblast (a main connective tissue cell present in the body) in the form of bands which connect two or more tissues causing hardness under the skin.

Your wound heals in stages. The healing process starts the instant your surgeon makes the incision. The acute stages of coagulation and inflammation can take minutes or days, whereas the proliferative and remodelling stages can take days, weeks or even more. Although various cell types are involved in fibrosis, it’s the fibroblast, the main character when we talk about wound remodelling and collagen deposition. Fibroblast plays an important role in creating and remodelling this extracellular tissue and in some cases, this excess fibrous tissue can be painful or disturb your body functions.

In other words, fibrosis is a set of imperfections that you can observe after liposuction and are described as painful hard lumps under your skin where liposuction has been done. It can also appear as large pores, tissue discoloration and uneven areas.

What are the risk factors of Fibrosis?

Some risk factors are:

  • The size of your scar. When the scar is big there are more possibilities to develop fibrous tissue.
  • Genetics. There are people who are prone to develop fibrosis even when having small cuts, they can develop big scars (keloids). 
  • lack of movement.  Sitting for long period increases the risk of fibrosis. Remember you need to move every hour for 5 minutes after your surgery and increase exercise as soon you star feeling better. 
  • Un appropriated garment and compression 

There is no way to say who can develop fibrosis, but if you developed it don’t worry, fibrosis can be treated at early stage with manual lymphatic drainage  or if is more chronic a combination of Lymphatic drainage, ultrasound,  and fascia stretches  can help to soften the tissue and restore the affected area. The earlier fibrosis is treated, the more effective the treatment will be. Prompt attention to hard lumps under the skin is crucial. Red light therapy has potential benefits including improving skin health and reducing pain and stiffness in joints and muscles. However, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and take precautions. You can read more about this in this post which explains the red light therapy dangers and the precautions that can be taken to avoid any complications.

What are the symptoms of fibrosis?

Fibrosis post-op is characterised by:

  • Feeling of a radiating pain, in some cases it could be constant or get worse in some postures.
  • Thick and hard skin added to your scar tissue
  • Uneven skin
  • Local pain around the incision
  • Numbness or loss of light touch sensation
  • Pulling sensation on the area as you try to move or stretch

How is fibrosis diagnosed?

The best way to diagnose fibrosis is through palpation of the area treated therefore, check the tissue daily.  Talk to your surgeon if you think you have developed fibrosis.

When fibrosis is presented in organs or unreachable places you will need a magnetic resonance.

What is the best treatment for fibrosis?

Once you have developed fibrosis you need combination of treatments to achieve better results such as:  Manual Lymphatic Drainage , ultrasound therapy, myofascia and prescribed stretches. 

Lymphatic Drainage, unlike some other forms of massage, it uses very light pressure, combined with soft pumping movements to drain the excess of fluid from the affected area towards the lymph nodes.

After surgery your lymphatic system becomes suppressed. Therefore, the lymphatic system is not filtering properly, causing you pain and fluid retention.

Manual Lymphatic drainage also allows fresh nutrients such as oxygen, vitamins and minerals to nourish your cells, at the same time, it reduces swelling, bruising, and fibrosis; it helps in the scarring process and alleviates pain.

Daily drainage is important to relieve pain and drain excess of fluid and speed up recovery. Our fibrosis treatment is designed to help you recover fast and help reduce scar tissue and uneven skin. The treatment is tailored based on your needs. If you feel some stomach discomfort you can buy omeprazole, it is a type of medicine called a proton pump inhibitor. Proton pumps are tiny substances in the lining of the stomach that help it make acid to digest food. Omeprazole prevents proton pumps working properly. This reduces the amount of acid the stomach makes.

No matter what stage of recovery you are in, our post -surgery treatment will help you to achieve best results.  

We hope this information is useful for you. If you need more information about it or any of our treatments, please contact us. We are always happy to help.

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Berenice Luevano says:

    Can fibrosis be treated with vaccum therapy ?

    • Yaneth Perea says:

      Hi Berenice,
      Thank you for contacting us
      Yes, vacuum therapy can help to reduce fibrosis, but can only be used in conjunction with Manual Lymphatic drainage, massage, ultrasounds or FR. Vacuum therapy could be very invasive and interfere with your healing if not performed correctly. If you want to try it we will recommend to find a therapist specialised in post- surgery and also specialised in the use of vacuum therapy.
      If you want more information or want to visit our clinic You can call on 020 7993 2720 or email us on [email protected]
      Thank you again for contacting us.

  • I had liposuction in 2010, on abs back n thighs in India.
    I developed 4 hard lumps in back, at the ends of my both floating ribs.
    This has happened over a period of several years but has increased in past 2 years. It’s very painful. I can feel the hardness. MRI doesn’t show anything.
    I am having difficulty walking for more than 20 min, sitting for long time and excercising. I have put on a lot of belly weight.
    What’s the best way to treat and heal this to reduce pain and increase flexibilty?

    • Yaneth Perea says:

      Hi Kusum,
      What you’re experiencing could be caused by various issues. We would recommend you come to see our Osteopaths for an assessment so see if the issue stems from fibrosis or something else.

      Kind regards
      Perea Clinic

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