Fort Collins Surgery Massage (and Post Procedure Lymph Drainage)

Fort Collins Surgery Massage is a specialty of LymphWorks therapists. Surgery recovery presents unique problems that our training and many techniques may address to get you healed quickly and back to your daily routine. Whether your surgery was to repair a joint, plastic surgery, breast cancer, or surgery due to disease, accident or trauma, we can help.  Both therapist C.J., Lindsey, and Kaitlin are adept at techniques for swelling and pain reduction, improved circulation and range of motion, scar realignment and more.  It does not matter what type of intervention you are recovering from as Lymphatic work & Massage Techniques can assist in your recovery;  explant surgery, BBL (Brazilian Butt Lift), Mommy Makeover, Liposuction, Full Body Lift, Skin Removal, Breast Augmentation, Knee Replacement, Hip Replacement, Orthopedic surgery, Mastectomy, Lumpectomy, Tummy Tuck, Venous Surgery, Tumor or Skin cancer removal or more.

Benefits of Lymph Drainage Therapy Pre-Surgery:

  • Prepares tissue for surgery and clean incisions
  • Alleviates edema / swelling
  • Detoxifies tissue
  • Stimulates the immune system and accelerates production of lymphocytes
  • Induces a state of relaxation; parasympathetic response
  • Surgeons find it easier to make incision through clean, well-drained tissue (2)

Benefits of Fort Collins surgery massage, Lymph Drainage Therapy, and energy healing after surgery may include:

  • Reduces recovery time
  • Reduces edema or swelling after surgery (1)
  • Reduces pain
  • Alleviates spasms (parasympathetic response) (1)
  • Increases range of motion
  • Improves fluid circulation
  • Drug or anesthesia detoxification
  • Increases immune function reducing likelihood of infection1
  • Counteracts the effects of immobilization in bed (2)
  • Improves scar appearance and function
  • Reduces likelihood of more surgery to address scar tissue
  • Stress and anxiety reduction
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves sleep
  • Helps stimulate lymphatic "reroutes" or alternative pathways for lymphatics to move (1)

What type of session and how many sessions do I schedule for Fort Collins surgery massage?


For pre-surgery Lymph Drainage Therapy, it is recommended you receive one to two 30 minute sessions prior to your procedure no closer to your procedure date than 3 days.


Post-surgical swelling and pain reduces with just one 30 minute session of gentle touch Lymph Drainage Therapy "as long as there are no other untreated factors stimulating swelling" (2). The average person will experience a significant improvement after four to ten 30 to 45 minute surgery massage sessions depending on the severity or your surgical intervention.  

Please note: Your surgical site should often not to be touched until six weeks after your procedure when incisions and scars are mature/strong enough to be manipulated or stretched without breaking open.

However, Lymph Drainage Therapy and Energy Healing techniques are both gentle enough to be done on and around the surgical site 24 hours after your procedure or as soon as your surgeon approves it.

Massage therapy and more invasive techniques can be safely performed away from the surgical site on other areas of the body during the first six weeks after your procedure but therapists must be cautious not to pull the tissue near the surgical sites, create more inflammation, and/or inhibit lymphatic circulation to key lymph node centers (armpits, groin, neck, deep abdomen). 

Warning: There are several surgical centers and body contouring centers (on the east and west coasts) that boast deeper and very aggressive techniques they claim are "lymphatic massage", "body contouring" and "post surgical care" but they are NOT lymph drainage or lymphatic focused and much of the time they are performed by therapists with NO lymphatic training.  These techniques are often unsafe to be done on acutely traumatized tissue and can cause seromas (fluid filled pockets), open sutures, and DELAY healing.  At LymphWorks, We do NOT perform aggressive manual techniques on any client until the surgeon has released them for regular exercise - often 6 to 8 weeks after your surgery.

Additionally, we do NOT advocate for the pushing or massaging of fluids out of any open wounds/holes left by the surgeon.  This is unsanitary and unsafe.   Once surgical drainage tubes have been removed, the body should begin reabsorbing fluid via the LYMPHATIC SYSTEM and Lymph Drainage Therapy can and does facilitate, accelerate, and enhance this process of fluid reabsorbtion/edema reduction.  

Post Surgery it is generally recommended you schedule in advance (at least 6 weeks) the following: 

  • 4 × 30 min Lymph Drainage sessions scheduled 7 to 10 days apart beginning one week after surgery (one-time package available as your book online). Note, those who have BBL's with Tummy Tucks will likely have to stand, kneel on the table, or lean against the table since you won't be able lay on your abdomen right away and you cannot lay on your back. Side lay permission depends on your surgeon and where the BBL fat was grafted to (side hips, butt or both).
  • Then 4 x 45 min Lymph Massage sessions scheduled 7 to 10 days apart beginning 6 weeks post procedure (one-time package available as your book online)..... At around 6 weeks after your operation/procedure, this is when other, more targeted techniques will be used to soften any remaining scar tissue, lumps, pockets, adhesions, dimples, imbalances, and incision scars.  These include Massage Cupping, Gua Sha/scraping, Lympho-Fascial Release, Myofascial Release, deeper massage, and potentially Kinesio taping.  If you are doing Physical Therapy such as after knee replacement, your PT may already be working the scar tissue in their own way, so there likely isn't a need to do both.  However, keep us in mind if your edema/swelling persists or you aren't making the progress in healing you would like.  If you have other body issues to address and are feeling healthy, you may consider scheduling up to a 60 minute session with your LymphWorks' massage therapist.
  • After that it is at your own discretion for continued care as everyone heals differently.  If you are post radiation therapy, your radiated tissue may continue to shrink/tighten for up to 10 months and bodywork can help keep your range of motion healthy.  If you have had lymph nodes removed, your risk of lymphedema may be reduced with regular care and improved circulation.  If you have had a joint replacement, your muscular/skeletal system may need assistance to realign after many years of postural compensation.  If your procedure was particularly difficult or unexpected, your physical/mental/emotional/spiritual body may need some energy work to address the trauma..... and so on.
  • Clients who follow surgeon's instructions and wear their medical grade compression have the best results.  We recommend you purchase two styles of compression garments and alternate them to avoid areas of rub or firming.  We also recommend acquiring and utilizing soft to firmer foam inserts under your compression.  Place them anywhere the seams of the compression land or over any firming/hot/lumpy areas.  Unlike most surgeons, we actually recommend that good quality medical compression be worn daily for about 6 weeks, and then for a few hours a day for 2 to 4 weeks after that.  

Lymph Drainage Surgery

Please contact CJ or one of our Lymphworks therapists to ask which therapy or combination of therapies is right for your Fort Collins surgery massage needs.

Note: It is advised you seek the consult and advice of your surgeon before seeking post-surgical massage services or Lymph drainage therapy services.  

(1) Bruno Chikly, M.D.,, Chikly Health Institute, Lymph Drainage Therapy Level I, pg. 311. 2009.
(2) Bruno Chikly, M.D., Alaya Chikly, CMT. "Applications of Pre & Post-Surgical Lymph Drainage Therapy". Massage & BodyWork, Summer/Fall 1997.

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