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Question: I have scar tissue around my navel area. Will a massage aggravate past repaired hernia's?

Asked by BigMac 4 years ago

22 answers

I had a mesh patch inserted in the navel area to reduce a repeat of a large hernia. I then had 4 further hernia repair operations all leaving me with scar tissue. When pressure is put on the area, I have the residual pain. if I was to have a massage, would the pressure of the massage strokes affect the scar-tissue?
I have also had hernia's and surgery in each groin, will certain massage strokes aggravate this?
I have an amount of scarring from all the surgery I have had. Is it possible for me to have a painless massage?

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Ahrlene 4 years ago

Massage therapy is very good for treating scar tissue and in the prevention of adhesions. It also is very good for helping improve circulation and getting fresh blood and oxygen back into the muscles affected by your operations. It might be painful during your first few sessions when your therapist attempts to break up scar tissue, but the pain should decrease after consecutive massage sessions.
The therapist should massage along the muscle fiber to promote proper laying of the scar tissue so that the adhesion fibers are parallel to the muscle fiber and not haphazardly laid down on the injured muscle or worse still attach on to some other organ.

It wont happen overnight but with regular massage treatment perhaps over six to eight weeks you will definately see an improvement and the scar tissue should break up enough so that it does not cause any more pain. Pain will be present in the initial stages as you have after all, had an operation and the initial cause was the hernia where one part of your internal organ pushed into another tearing the muscles layers. So yes pain will be present but will lessen over time and will indeed lessen much quicker using massage therapy.
A good therapist will be able to judge the depth and pressure of the massage they give you so that it will always be safe. My advice is to go to a therapeutic massage practitioner or a practitioner who has trained in anatomy and physiology for best results.

Other answers (21)

Brightonbodymassage 4 years ago

No, the area can be avoided completely. There is a treatment called Myofascial release which is very helpful for scar tissue if you wanted to have it treated though.

Answer Comments

LifeTouchMassage 4 years ago

I agree Myofascial release is one of the best options!

maggiehill 4 years ago

As with everything else, always speak to your physician before doing anything...but, if you would like to read about calendula (a carrier oil) maybe that will help some...good luck Maggie

Sources: Aromatherapy An introductory guide to the healing power of scent by Nicola Jenkins

EleDukes 4 years ago

In my professional opinion, if you wanted the scar tissue worked on to minimize the appearance of the scar, on your stomach, you should get a doctor's approval/note. Before going to a massage therapist.
Cross fiber friction can help break down the scar tissue but should be done lightly, because of the mesh patch.
You can receive a massage, and I am sure the massage therapist will avoid the groin area. Providing they want to keep their licences. If this area needs to be worked on, for what ever reason the doctor can do some soft tissue manipulation and bill it to your insurance.

It is possible for you to have a pain less massage, ask your massage therapist for a Swedish massage. He/She should ask if the the pressure level is comfortable during the session.

I hope this helps.

MoyraStinsonBacktoBacks 4 years ago

Hi I agree with bespoke therapy and skincare, Rosehip and even Lavender oil combined but as suggested assure you wait six months after your surgery. Back to Backs

Funkiinell 4 years ago

Hi Thanks for your email enquiry.
A couple of things need to be taken into consideration - firstly how recent is the scar tissue and secondly have you discussed it with your GP?
Massage can help with the reduction of scar tissue and the realignment of damaged muscle but providing the area with an influx of new oxygen and nutrient rich blood.

I've attached a link below which you may find helpful

Sources: http://www.drdahlman.com/hiatal-hernia-massage.shtml

sfmassage 4 years ago

You poor kid. Nobody should have to experience all that surgery. I am not saying it wasn't needed, just that it is a shame to have it happen. I have worked with several clients with similar experiences. An important question to address is, What do you want to accomplish when you get a massage? If you want a massage for stress & relaxation, then a skilled therapist can deliver it without making you hurt. They can skip the area where you have had the surgery entirely, if that is your goal.

On the other hand,if you would like to change the structure of the scar tissue and adhesions, then the type of massage, the products used and the pain you will experience all changes. You explain clearly about the surgeries, but have not included how long it has been since the final one, how well it is healing or if the surgeon feels your condition may require more. These are all factors that need to be taken into account. These are things that would be best discussed directly with your therapist.

You will definitely do better with a therapist experienced in a wide variety of techniques in order to adjust to your specific needs and goals. They should always adjust what they are doing to a level that feels safe to you and they should be able to explain the level of pain to tolerate with deeper techniques. The therapists you talk to should clearly understand your needs and goals and be able to communicate how they can help you reach them. Keep looking and you will find a therapist to accomadate you.

Sources: http://www.siouxfallsmassage.net

Sans70 4 years ago

Hiya Kevin,

I am sorry to hear you are still having pain after massage; this is unfortunately possibly due to scar tissue inside your. body contracting and adhering to other tissue. A professional massage therapist can massage in this area (which by the way can be done to assist in the reduction of scar tissue, tone muscle and increase comfort)however, the strokes should be light and of barely any pressure. Aromatherapy massage is probably more suited to you as this massage is lighter but uses the power of oils to relax, heal and protect the body. Also, if you having a massage while lying on your stomach, the therapist should be putting small cushions under your lower abdomen to support you, otherwise it might be easier for you to lie on your side. I am a registered nurse as well as a massage therapist, so if you require any further information, please don't hesistate to ask. All the best in health to you.

Sources: Mosby's Pathology for Massage Therapists

HeavenlyMassage 4 years ago

Hello, I received your question (via) email regarding a painless massage and your scar tissue. It is possible to have a massage even if a person has scar tissue. I recommend a deep tissue massage in the area's that need it, however, it's best to ask your therapist to go
over the area's you mentioned with less pressure if those area's are painful for you.

Any and all information you can give your therapist is valueable. I hope this helps you. Have a great massage, and I hope you feel better.
Warm regards,
Sandy Smith
Heavenly Massage

bespoketherapyandskincare 4 years ago

Massage should be beneficial, however you must wait at least 6 months before having a massage in this area. In the meantime I would recommend using a combination of rosehip oil, aloe vera and palma rosa,but especially the rosehip oil which has been proven to dramatically heal scar tissue and can be bought at any good health store. Apply gently and frequently over area(s)

Sources: web,aromatherapy books

NicoleFerguson 4 years ago

Hiya, i agree with Maggie - do check with your doctor. Castor oil packs are great along with specific abdominal massage - Mayan Abdominal Massage -

Sources: http://www.thebodyworkspractice.co.uk/arvigo_massage.html

reSource-therapy 4 years ago

Pain is an individual experience so it is difficult to say you could have a painless massage. A better way to approach the question might be to ask if massage could benefit you? The answer would be yes! However as a practitioner I might be inclined to contact your physician directly to get his or her "take" on what would be safe and helpful.

tink10 4 years ago

You didnt say how long ago you had these operations, scar tissue is more sencitive I suggestyou speak to your doctor they will advise you if massage is suitable at this time it sounds fairly recent the way you describe the pain, I massage clients who have older scars they are not bothered by pain or any unpleasant feelings at all.

ambassadors 4 years ago

Greetings! There is some great advice given here for you. In my practice I use a scar kit which involves Massage Cupping (no fire) just negative pressure to help break up the adhesions, improve circulation and eventually smooth’s out the scar. Massage Cupping is a pleasant and gentle, non-invasive technique. Keep in mind there's no such thing as overnight results this produce will take several sessions. However, I do recommend you wait for 6 months or more before any type of massage is done in that area.

Hope this helps.

Sources: http://www.freemassagevids.com

AmirOsteo 4 years ago

in my professional opinion i completely agree with eledukes advise

AndrewWolfeLMP 4 years ago

If indicate yes. Massage therapy is highly beneficial to eliminating scar tissue. I had a patient years ago who came to see me who recently had a tummy tuck. The scars were not healing, evident by the rawness of some incision lines that were open. After one visit the healing resumed quite nicley.She had no open wounds eveident. With this case I would not recommend direct contact but you can effectively work just along side the site. As in any scar tissue acute or chronic you can work the region directly as long as there are no contraindications.

Sources: http://www.harmonymassagetherapy.com

AntonettePatou 4 years ago

Vitamin E oil applied gently to the area, as this is great for healing scar tissue from surgery certainly no deep tissue work is ever done on the stomach area

HannahSmith 4 years ago

That is a question for your GP, as a professional therapist we cannot give you any medical advice and could not carry out a treatment on you without written permission from you doctor.

LifeTouchMassage 4 years ago

Dear BigMac,

Thank you for your enquiry.
Please be reassure massage is a very safe treatment and it should always be pain free. Even a deep tissue massage. The expression 'no pain no gain' does really not relate to massage! While is very important for you to mention your health conditions to the therapist to allow a tailored and most beneficial massage, it's not a contraindication to massage. What it may be appropriate is for you to have a course of treatment. This will give the opportunity to work gradually and respect your body's natural rhythm of healing.

Is also good to know that a good manipulation of the tissues is meant to take pressure away from the body with the aim of reducing muscle tension, eliminate toxins, stimulate the blood circulations etc. Additionally while receiving massage the body will releases endorphins, these are neurotransmitters in the brain that have pain-relieving properties similar to morphine. There are many studies on this issue, please let me know if you want to know more and I will send you some links.

With relation to your question about scar tissue: massage actually support the largest organ of the body, the skin. The benefits of massage on the skin are many, let me list just a few:

Increase nutrition to the cells and encourages cell regeneration
help to re-moisturise and soften dry skin, improving skin's elasticity
Increase superficial blood circulation trough capillaries, which improves skin's texture.

I really hope this answered all your questions. Please let me know what you think and if there is more that you would like to ask, I would love to help you.

Kind regards,
Eleonora Lawson

SallyAngel 4 years ago

Massage can certainly make scar tissue more comfortable and prevent reduced flexibility on the tissue. However, only begin a treatment plan when scars have completely healed - also any underlying wound must be totally healed.

Massage pressure should be gentle initially and pressure may gradually be increased over weeks/months as pain subsides.

However, check with your healthcare provider that you may begin a therapeutic massage plan.

maximus 4 years ago

hi there! massage would be great. just avoid the stomach and groin area: basically anywhere you still have residual pain and sensitive scar tissue! sounds like you've had quite a lot of surgery done. when you go for a massage let your therapist know about your medical history and most of all make sure you are comfortable on the couch. don't forget you have absolute control over pressure applied by your therapist: if it's too strong(or not firm enough), let them know. enjoy!

Amylouise25 4 years ago

It depends on how long ago you received your last operation, I.T.E.C recommended leaving scar tissue for at least 2 years to allow it to heal fully, so no damaged is caused through massage.

Also an I.T.E.C therapist is taught to avoid the groin area as it is within the femoral triangle, the area running from the middle of the top of the thigh to the inner thigh about 6 inches above the knee, so with an I.T.E.C therapist this area would not be treated and you wouldn't have to worry.

Once or if 2 years have passed, if is still uncomfortable I suggest if you really want to have a massage treatment then inform the therapist of the details and ask them to be gentle and make sure if you do feel any pain or discomfort you let them know so they can either ease off the pressure or stop completely, if its just too much for you, always remember you are in control of your massage treatment, not the therapist and they should be aware of that too.

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