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 Surgery Aftercare MLD as soon as possible, wear your garment 24/7 and 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 a 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. 
  • Unappropriated 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. 

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 the 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. 

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 advice or have any questions about our treatments, please contact us. You can find us in Mill Hill Broadway and Islington. We are always happy to help. If you like this blog, please share!

Join the discussion 18 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
      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

  • Lorraine Green says:

    I did lipo in January will be 1 year an I developed fibrosis….my stomach is lumpy..what do you recommend?

    • Hi Lorraine,
      It is difficult to recommend a treatment without seeing the tissue. First talk to your surgeon to re access the tissue, sometimes they offer a correction.

      Remember we will be here to help you.

      Kind regards,
      Perea Clinic team

  • Shinae says:

    I’ve developed fibrosis five years ago when I had liposuction in 2018. My question is, since it’s been so long, is it still treatable?

    • Hi Shinae,
      When fibrosis is untreated or not properly treated it becomes scar tissue. You can try scar tissue treatments to improve the appearance of the tissue but in severe cases you will need another surgery to correct the tissue.

      Remember that if you need a personalised consultation from one of our specialists, we will be here to help you.

      Kind regards,
      Perea Clinic team

  • Tracy O'connor says:

    I had surgery 15 days ago and in 12 areas had liposuction for that fat to be inserted into my breast as I’m having reconstructive surgery . The area near my right abs has been very hard and extremely painful and is numb to the touch in that area , this is the only area that feels like this , could this be fibrosis ?

    • Hi Tracy,
      Yes, this is sign of fibrosis. You need to do some post- surgery treatments to restore the tissue. Regarding the numbness this is normal and it takes up to 4 weeks for the numbness to go away.

      Remember that if you need a personalised consultation from one of our specialists, we will be here to help you.

      Kind regards,
      Perea Clinic team.

  • Sarah Lopes says:

    I had arm lipo surgery in 2022 of March last year. I have developed noticable fibrosis. Is it too late to keep treating it myself ?

    • Hi Sarah,
      At this estate you will need a professional help, as the fibrosis has turned into a deep scar tissue and only profesional specialised in scar tissue can help you. In severe cases you will need a surgery to correct the scar.

      Kind regards,
      Perea Clinic team

  • Kay says:

    I had lipo and a bbl recently (6 days post op). I am so sore because if my lipo. I have mild fribrosis (mid section). I was told carboxy will also help with fribrosis. Will carboxy help with fribrosis, and help with cellulite, stretch marks, and tighten skin? I heard it is worth then getting massages along having fribrosis

    • Hi Kay,
      Fibrosis is part of the healing process. You can massage fibrosis as soon as start appearing, Carboxy help to tighten skin and help with cellulite, stretch marks, all these properties work well in a tissue that is healthy but it doesn’t help with a tissue that is damage, swollen and trying to repair. In some cases the use of inappropriate machines make the tissue react to it and create more fibrosis or even scar tissue. Talk to a professional specialised in cosmetic surgery recovery and tissue healing before using any machines for your recovery. If you are based in London we are here to help you.

      Kind regards,
      Perea Clinic team.

  • Kimberly says:

    I had liposuction to remove thousands of small lipomas from dercums Disease. The surgeon said she removed 10 liters of lipomas and day. There were so many, the tube kept getting clogged. It’s been almost six weeks. Most of both thighs are hard and sore to the touch. I have numbness on the entire front of both thighs and it almost feels like something is tearing inside when I straighten my legs after they’ve been bent for only a couple of minutes. How much of this sounds normal? I was originally told if feel better in two to four weeks. The pain from caused by the lipomas is gone but had been replaced by something different and somewhat worse. I do have a lympha-press m using at least once a day. It’s helping to keep the swelling from puddling down to my feet. I’m supposed to go for a consultation to have more removed from my stomach. They hurt more but now I’m worried. Any thoughts would be appreciated

    • Yaneth Perea says:

      Hi Kimberly, what you describe is your body trying to connect. this is what we call fibrosis. Fibrosis is normal part of the healing process, but we need to guide our body, so the new connecting tissue heals nice and smooth. Fibrosis could be painful as the body creates too many fibers in one small space. The numbness will disappear over time when the nerve system connects with the rest of the tissue. It is normal that you feel a pulling sensation, as the new connective tissue doesn’t have the a normal elasticity. I will recommend to wear a compression garment to help the body with the inflammation and to reduce the formation of lumps. I’m a therapist specialized in Lymph Drainage post surgery and I can help you with the reduction of the lumps. Also try to move as much as you can as this help with the reduction of the lumps.

      Kind Regards,
      Yaneth Perea.

  • Valeria Brown says:

    I had lipo 60 days ago in another Country. My arms and my chin have developed fibrosis. Where I live does not have any massage therapist pos-op specialist. My massage therapist is not familiar with post op massage, but is trying hard to learn how to do it. Is it too late to keep treating them?

    • Yaneth Perea says:

      Hi Valeria,
      Your body still in the healing process. Remember it could take up to 6 months to recover fully. If you find someone specialized in post op, she or he could help. It will be challenge to reduce the fibrosis and make all the tissue smooth but is not too late. If you need, we are here to help you.

      Kind regards,
      Yaneth Perea

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