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Post Operative Lymphatic Massage + Medical RF

by Dr. Daniel Lin

Woman getting a Lymphatic Massage. Dr. Lin. Shine Cosmetic Surgery.

Lymphatic massage is a postoperative therapy that can reduce swelling, soften scar tissue, and tighten skin following an abdominoplasty or abdominal liposuction procedure. Slow-moving, or clogged drainage pathways in the lymphatic system can lead to discomfort and unwanted side effects. However, with lymphatic massage, patients can see faster and better results following their procedure. These sessions can stimulate your body’s healing response and speed up your recovery. Alongside lymphatic massage, medical radiofrequency (RF) can be used to minimize discomfort and promote rapid healing.

A tummy tuck is a cosmetic procedure that requires an incision to be made across the abdomen. Although the scar is well-hidden in the waistband, many patients want to reduce its appearance and enhance their results. And with liposuction, even though the incisions are much smaller, there will be some scarring. After surgery, there is also localized swelling in the treatment area. Shine Cosmetic Surgery offers postoperative lymphatic massage, with or without medical radiofrequency, to aid with your recovery, allowing you to get back to your daily routine quickly and effectively! 

Top cosmetic surgeon Dr. Daniel Lin will ensure that your cosmetic surgery and recovery runs smoothly. As a dedicated medical professional with many years of experience, Dr. Lin provides premium surgical services and first-class aftercare to match. Call (626) 810-6165 or fill out this form to book your appointment at his West Covina Office. 

About Abdominoplasty and Liposuction

The purpose of an abdominoplasty is to remove excess skin and adipose tissue (fat) from the abdomen for a slimmer, more aesthetic body contour. In the same procedure, a surgeon can also repair and relocate displaced musculature in the abdominal wall. With liposuction, no excess skin is removed. Instead, a cannula dislodges and removes fat permanently through small strategically placed incisions.

Anatomy of the Abdomen

Umbilicus – A central point in the abdomen, the umbilicus, or navel, is relocated during a tummy tuck procedure.

Linea Alba – Latin for “white line”, the linea alba is a vertical strip of fibrous tissue that runs down the midline of the abdomen. It separates the left and right sides of the rectus abdominis muscle. The rectus abdominis can be separated farther apart at the midline during pregnancy.

Rectus Abdominis – Known colloquially as the “abs,” the rectus abdominis undergoes significant changes during pregnancy. It separates at the midline, causing a condition known as diastasis rectus, which can cause weakness, bulging, pelvic pain, and lower back problems. (1)

Pannus – Caused by weight gain and by weight loss, the pannus is an area of excess fat and skin that hangs over the pubic region. Patients with or without this extra tissue can undergo an abdominoplasty.

Surgical Procedures

In an abdominoplasty procedure, the surgeon makes a long hip-to-hip incision just above the pubic area. The skin is separated, exposing the abdominal wall and musculature. Where rectus diastasis has occurred, the rectus abdominis is sutured together at the midline. The surgeon  removes excess skin and fat from the pannus, relocates the position of the umbilicus in the newly situated skin that remains, and sutures the incisions. In doing so, patients achieve a flatter abdomen, reduced waistline, and slimmer abdominal profile. With liposuction, smaller incisions are made for the insertion of a long, thin cannula, a device that quickly and precisely removes adipose tissue from a target area.

Cosmetic Abdominal Surgery

Liposuction is the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery worldwide. Abdominoplasty is the sixth most common cosmetic procedure, with an estimated 800,000 people undergoing the surgery every year. (1) Understandably, the tummy tuck is a popular surgery among women, as it can address the drastic changes that occur to the abdomen during and following childbirth. However, virtually any good candidate can undergo the surgery. There are numerous reasons patients get cosmetic abdominal surgery, including:

  • Men and women seeking aesthetic improvement of the abdomen
  • Women with significant skin and abdominal wall laxity following multiple pregnancies
  • Bariatric patients with excess skin and/or pannus following significant weight loss. (2)

Contact Shine Cosmetic Surgery today to arrange a personal tummy tuck consultation with Dr. Lin.

Lymphatic Massage For Tummy Tuck Scars

Lymphatic massage, sometimes referred to as manual lymphatic drainage, is used to help patients recovering from surgery, including abdominoplasty and liposuction. It promotes a healing response in the body that can help to reduce rough, textured scar tissue. 

The lymphatic system is responsible for maintaining fluid levels in the body. It takes up excess fluid in certain tissues and directs it back into the bloodstream. It plays a key role in our immune system, and reduces swelling when it’s working optimally. However, it may need a literal helping hand after a major surgery like a tummy tuck.

How Does Lymphatic Massage Work?

Patients receive manual massage in the area around their scar. Providers use a series of hand movements directly on the skin at specific pressures to stimulate the lymphatic system and promote circulation. This promotes the body’s natural healing, encouraging it to work optimally to soften scarring and reduce localized swelling.

Think of each lymphatic massage session as post-operative self-care. You’ve had the surgery, and now it’s time to help maximize your results!

Postoperative Lymphatic Massage with RF

RF energy, or ultrasound, can augment the lymphatic drainage process. Medical RF devices are used in a number of cosmetic procedures, including skin tightening and the promotion of tissue healing. Studies demonstrate that manual lymphatic drainage with therapeutic ultrasound is beneficial to patients. In one study, participants showed a significant decrease in swelling, reduced scarring after treatment. As well as this, pain was effectively eliminated. (3) 

When directed onto a target area, radiofrequency energy stimulates lymphatic circulation and tightens skin. It does so by stimulating the body’s production of new collagen in a process known as neocollagenesis. After RF treatment, through the tissue repair process, new collagen is formed in the skin. This strengthens the skin’s structure and increases its resiliency. (4) Abdominoplasty patients note the noticeably improved appearance of abdominal scarring and improved elasticity.

Benefits of Lymphatic Massage with RF:

  • Promotes fluid drainage, reducing swelling
  • Aids the body’s natural healing processes
  • Stimulates collagen production to soften scars
  • Reduces the appearance of scarring
  • Tightens skin safely and effectively
  • May reduce overall recovery time

Candidates for Post Operative Lymphatic Massage

After your surgery, you may experience the following:

  • Swelling
  • Numbness
  • Pulling Sensation
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Visible Scarring

We offer every abdominoplasty and abdominal liposuction patient postoperative lymphatic massage, with the option of RF enhancement to aid their recovery. If you’ve recently had a tummy tuck, lipo, or a mommy makeover including aesthetic abdominal surgery, speak to Dr. Lin about your options for postoperative lymphatic drainage with or without RF treatment. Enhance your results and complete your body transformation in the most effective way at Shine Cosmetic Surgery!

Personal Consultation

Every patient is invited to our state-of-the-art location in West Covina to discuss their requirements in detail. You’ll be treated to a one-on-one consultation with leading cosmetic surgeon and tummy tuck specialist Dr. Lin. He will provide expert guidance regarding your procedure from start to finish, including detailed information about postoperative lymphatic massage. Feel free to ask any questions you may have about the procedure or its recovery requirements at this time.

Effective Results with Lymphatic Massage

Postoperative lymphatic drainage can mean the difference between a good recovery and a great recovery! Both abdominoplasty and liposuction can be large undertakings and a considerable strain on the body, so we want you to receive the best aftercare possible. Our patients are amazed at its effectiveness in softening the consistency of their abdominal scars and its ability to tighten skin further as their healing journey progresses. Through safe, effective recovery protocols such as postoperative lymphatic massage, patients can see fantastic, lasting aesthetic results that, with a healthy lifestyle, will last for many years to come.

Cost of Lymphatic Massage in West Covina

Every treatment plan at Shine Cosmetic Surgery is designed for the individual, so no two are quite the same. This also applies to postoperative lymphatic massage and lymphatic massage with RF. Therefore, the number of sessions you will need, and the cost of your treatment will vary according to your specific needs. For more information about our surgical procedures and aftercare treatments, please contact us online by filling out this form, or call (626) 810-6165 to speak to us directly.

Read our blog for more information about Dr. Lin’s surgical and non-surgical services. You can also find Shine Cosmetic Surgery on Facebook and Instagram to see our patients’ tummy tuck results for yourself!


What is lymphatic massage?

Lymphatic massage is a treatment that encourages fluid drainage through the lymphatic system. After surgery, swelling and fluid accumulation can occur which can be uncomfortable. Postoperative lymphatic drainage involves massaging the treatment area to promote healing and soften scarring.

What does medical RF do in postoperative lymphatic massage?

A radiofrequency device can be used alongside postoperative lymphatic massage to help you recover from your surgery. It is commonly performed after cosmetic procedures, and is particularly beneficial to patients who have had an abdominoplasty, liposuction, or a mommy makeover. RF energy stimulates collagen production which can soften scars and tighten skin in the abdomen.

Will lymphatic drainage with RF get rid of my tummy tuck scar?

Abdominoplasty incisions are usually placed discreetly in the bikini line, however, many patients ask if they will one day disappear. Though no aftercare treatment can remove scarring completely, lymphatic drainage with RF can significantly improve skin texture and elasticity. With a series of treatments in conjunction with other measures, such as scar strips, patients will see effective long-term scar-reduction results.


  1. Hall, H., & Sanjaghsaz, H. (2022). Diastasis Recti Rehabilitation. PubMed; StatPearls Publishing.
  2. Regan, J.-P., & Casaubon, J. T. (2022). Abdominoplasty. PubMed; StatPearls Publishing. 
  3. Maningas, T., Sturm, L., Mangler, A., & Pazdernik, V. K. (2019). Manual Lymphatic Drainage in Postoperative Abdominoplasty With Core Liposuction Patients. The American Journal of Cosmetic Surgery, 074880681987494. 
  4. Masson, I. F. B., de Oliveira, B. D. A., Machado, A. F. P., Farcic, T. S., Júnior, I. E., & Baldan, C. S. (2014). Manual lymphatic drainage and therapeutic ultrasound in liposuction and lipoabdominoplasty post-operative period. Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery, 47(01), 70–76.

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