After surgery, scar tissue will form at the incision for up to one year. Massaging the scar will help it become soft and lessen the chance that it will pull on your pelvic organs. In addition, massaging the scar helps relieve the “pulling” sensation you may feel when you cough, sneeze or reach overhead. Aim to massage the scar for about five to 15 minutes every day.
Tips for Scar Massage
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.
- With your finger or a washcloth, GENTLY rub in circles around the scar.
Four to six weeks after surgery, when the scar has healed:
- Apply a warm compress before the massage.
- Place two fingers on the scar and move the skin in all directions.
- When you feel the scar to be “stuck” in a particular direction, gently hold in this position until you feel it get “unstuck.”
- 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.
- During the massage you may feel strong pulling or light burning. You should never feel stabbing or sharp pain.
- After your massage, apply vitamin E cream, aloe or cocoa butter. Do not apply anything before or during massage.