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Pregnancy & ChildbirthWellness & PreventionTreatment & Care

Your Recovery: Scar MassageAfter Going Home

Why Massage the Scar?
Scar tissue will form at the incision for up to one year after surgery. Massaging the scar will help it become soft and lessen the chance that it will pull on your pelvic organs. Massaging the scar also lessens the “pulling” sensation in the scar when you cough, sneeze, or reach overhead.

Two to Four Weeks after Surgery
(When there is no oozing from the scar and the staples are gone)

  • Wash your hands before beginning scar massage.
  • Rub a clean wet or dry washcloth over the scar to make it less sensitive and to make it ready to “touch."
  • With your finger or a washcloth, GENTLY rub in circles around the scar.

Four to Six Weeks after Surgery
(When the scar has healed)

  • Place two fingers on the scar and move the skin in all directions.
  • When you feel the skin to be “stuck,” hold in this position for 60 seconds.
  • Continue to move the skin in other directions and hold if the scar feels stuck.
  • As you feel the skin loosen, place two fingers on the scar, apply gentle pressure (so that you are massaging a deeper layer of skin) and continue moving and holding the skin layers as described.

Tips for Scar Massage

  • Massage the scar 5 to 15 minutes every day.
  • You may use a warm compress before the massage.
  • You may use vitamin E cream, aloe, or cocoa butter after four weeks and only AFTER the massage, not during. During the massage you may feel strong pulling or light burning. You should never feel stabbing or sharp pain.
  • When you feel the scar to be “stuck” in a particular direction, gently hold in this position until you feel it get “unstuck.”

After Surgery at Woman's: Activity/Exercise | Bowel Function | Bladder Function

After Going Home: Eating and Drinking |Bowel Function | Personal Care | Activity/Exercise  | Scar Massage