Post-Surgery Massage Part 3: Buttock Augmentation
In Post-Surgery Massage Part 1 and Post-Surgery Massage Part 2, we addressed two types of cosmetic surgery that are usually performed for aesthetic purposes but also have medical uses. This time, we’ll be talking about a strictly cosmetic procedure that can be a little uncomfortable to talk about: Buttock Augmentation, also known as a gluteoplasty or a Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL for short).
There shouldn’t be any shame in wanting to enhance your body’s physical appearance. I mean, I think you look perfect just the way you are and we’re all just our own worst critics – but as long as you approach cosmetic surgery with a healthy mindset and a good attitude, you do you!
So, before we get into how massage therapy aids the post-surgery healing process, what exactly does a BBL entail?
A BBL is a specialized fat-transfer surgical procedure. Excess fat is removed via liposuction from the hips, abdomen, thighs, and/or lower back; the fat is then washed and purified before being injected into specific parts of the buttock for the desired size and shape.
As is the case with many types of invasive surgery, lymphatic drainage massage is a highly recommended treatment for patients recovering from post-BBL symptoms. What symptoms can a post-BBL patient expect to endure during the recovery process?
Symptoms Following Buttock Augmentation
- Swelling on buttocks or area(s) where fat was removed
- Bruising – Discoloration may travel down the thighs and into the legs
- Tenderness to the touch
Why Lymphatic Drainage Post-BBL?
The direct trauma resulting from a gluteoplasty causes a buildup of toxins and waste materials in the body. When the excessive debris doesn’t immediately exit the body, the symptoms coinciding with BBL recovery take effect. Swelling, bruising, and pain are all results of a high waste product concentration impeding the natural flow of lymphatic fluid. When the lymph is congested, it has trouble carrying waste towards the lymph nodes for neutralization.
Lymphatic drainage massage assists with the BBL recovery process by manually flushing the symptom-causing impurities from the body, freeing the congested lymph and restoring its normal movement towards the lymph node-rich parts of the body. Post-BBL, how is a lymphatic drainage massage performed?
How Lymphatic Drainage is Performed After Surgery
A lymphatic drainage massage customized to a BBL patient will mostly involve strokes directed towards the lymph nodes in the inguinal area, also known as the groin. Other than the groin, the most lymph node-rich areas of the body include the neck, chest, and armpits. But because the areas targeted in a BBL are closest to the nodes in the groin, lymphatic drainage will be most effective when the glides begin on the symptomatic bodily areas and end near the groin.
With that said, the areas to be touched during this type of massage does not include the buttocks itself unless approved by a doctor. Direct pressure to the buttocks too soon after an augmentation runs the risk of distorting the results of the procedure.
For the duration of a lymphatic drainage massage post-BBL, the patient will remain prone (face-down) on the massage table for the entire session. This is due to the same reason why the buttocks can’t receive massage therapy, as lying supine (face-up) will place a prolonged amount of pressure on the buttocks and possibly impact its appearance.
At the start of the session, the massage therapist will likely begin with light methodical glides down the back, but may also initiate with gentle strokes on the legs or hips. The strokes will be guided in the direction of the buttocks, but will wrap around under the hips before the buttock area is reached. When the massage therapist’s hands scoop under the hips and to the front of the thigh, the stroke will end near the lateral edges of the pubic bone.
The carefully directed strokes push the congested lymphatic fluid towards the inguinal lymph nodes for neutralization. As stated previously, when the waste materials are flushed out by the lymph nodes, the adverse symptoms start to wane. For best results, the lymphatic drainage massage is usually performed two weeks after the surgery, twice a week until the symptoms have completely subsided, usually two months post-op.
Now You Know!
If it’s been two weeks post-cosmetic surgery and your doctor deems the treatment safe, schedule your lymphatic drainage massage with a specially trained therapist!
Author, Licensed Massage Therapist
Katrina Jenkins graduated from Towson University in 2013 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Science and worked as a nurse’s aide briefly before pursuing her true passion. She graduated from the Massage Therapy Institute of Colorado in April 2016 with honors and completed the Touch of Healers Scholarship Program the following summer. She has been a part of the Moyer Total Wellness Team since the summer of 2017.
Bellini, Elisa, et al. “The Science behind Autologous Fat Grafting.” Annals of Medicine and Surgery, vol. 24, 10 Nov. 2017, pp. 65–73, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5694962/, 10.1016/j.amsu.2017.11.001.
“Buttock Enhancement Recovery.” American Society of Plastic Surgeons, www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/buttock-enhancement/recovery. Accessed 6 June 2022.
Randolph, Gwendalyn J., et al. “The Lymphatic System: Integral Roles in Immunity.” Annual Review of Immunology, vol. 35, no. 1, 26 Apr. 2017, pp. 31–52, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5551392/, 10.1146/annurev-immunol-041015-055354.
Ren M.D., Rongxin, and Hongyi Zhao M.D., Ph.D. “November 2021 – Volume 148 – Issue 5 : Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.” Journals.lww.com, Nov. 2021, journals.lww.com/plasreconsurg/Fulltext/2021/11000/Tridimensional_Combined_Gluteoplasty__Liposuction. Accessed 6 June 2022.
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