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Scar Tissue: Surgery- Accident-Athletes-How is it effecting you? What can be done?

What is Scar Tissue?

Scar tissue occurs when tissue has been damaged due to surgery, injury, and overuse.

The body sends collagen to the area to create a “bandage” of sorts, repairing the damaged area for strong reinforcement.

This collagen grows in a crosshatch pattern which is a different pattern then was

previously present.

Different Tissue Types

Muscle Tissue

Is created from long cylindrical fibers that slide over one another which creates the muscles movement.

Skin tissue

Is a group of cells, which are made up of Keratin. This Keratin also connects or creates a glue of sorts to bind these cells together.

Fascial Tissue

Is a connective tissue of closely packed bundles of collagen fibers organized in wavy patterns, flexible and strong.

How is scar tissue effecting you?

This pattern may create limits in movement, texture, and appearance.

Scar tissue, especially deep in the fasciae, connective tissue or muscle may not be recognized visually but may be felt as a deep limit or pull within the body disallowing full movement, expansion, or pain. Quit often a fantom pain in the body may be caused by scar tissue. Superficially, scar tissue may cause a change in appearance. This may create a change of color and texture. Texture’s may appear as a plastic like finish or rough and bumpy depending on your unique genetics and type of injury to the tissue. Changes in color depend on your melanin. The pigmentation changes can vary from a nonexistent or white appearance to a deepened coloration of red, purple, or other depending on your skin tone.

How can scar tissue be improved?

Scar tissue in Cosmetic Surgery

Liposuction creates extensive scar tissue.

During the procedure, the skin, fat, and connective layers are separated to gain access to the unwanted fat tissue. The device is inserted and aggressively moved within this layer while a suction removes the fat cells. A fluid or air may be pumped into the cavity to open and hold the space for greater access. Lasers may be used to melt the fat for easier extraction or to tighten the skin. This procedure slightly burns the skins inner lining causing collagen production and tightening.

The scar tissue may take on different textures and appearances with Lipo.

As the layers heal, if proper attention from compression garments, lipo foam and Manual Lymphatic Drainage are not used, the skin may heal in an uneven fashion creating a lumpy darted or irregular surface. Compression garments are a must. They allow for even pressure along the surface plus inhibit excessive swelling. Lipo foam boards work wonders for bends in the mid-section that occur when sitting. Irregularities in the compression garment will transfer the pattern to the skin surface. This creates a matching pattern in the scar tissue which may be difficult to smooth out. The areas with deeper pressure from the garment may heal faster causing the layers to stick together. Pockets may occur in these layers or areas with less compression may grow more scar tissue causing a lumpy appearance.


Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage (MLD) supports a quicker healing process with improved results. Beginning at approximately 5 to 7 days post-surgery, once drains are removed and incisions are closed, treatment may begin. MLD is a light pressure of rhythmic strokes creating a stretch across the lymphatic vessels in the skin with a movement toward the closest nodes where the lymph is filtered and returned to the blood system via the vena cave.

Swelling bruising and pain are quickly reduced with each session. Swelling will lessen over time but will continue through 3 to 6 months. Scar tissue is addressed with myofascial release techniques. The formation becomes apparent about 2 weeks out and can be felt by the therapist. Scar tissue gently rolled and softened as it forms supports the best results possible. Scar tissue not addressed during healing can be improved with a more rigorous use of the technique. Improvement can be obtained.


A deep plane facelift has a unique pattern of healing and scar tissue. Many clients require 3 to 6 to 12 months to see complete healing. This procedure addresses the underlying facial muscles, tightening the structure for optimal lifting with lasting results. The first 4 weeks appear to be the most difficult for patients. Excessive swelling bruising and tightness are very unpleasant. A feeling of being strangled is common until the chin and neck muscles heal and relax. The main areas of scar tissue are of course the superficial incisions but also the deeper muscular incisions. Under the chin large lumps form at the central incision point. The temporary numbness created by the surgery may affect facial expressions and movement. As healing proceeds movement generally returns.

MLD treatments generally begin at 7 to 10 days depending on the surgeon’s opinion. Swelling moves out quickly with each session. Overall swelling will continue for several months but lessen over time. The deeper scar tissue is address beginning at approximately 3 weeks depending on the individual.

Myofascial Release techniques applied will soften and flatten the tissue. The healing process quickens greatly with the use of manual lymphatic drainage massage. A nationally certified therapist with experience in post cosmetic surgery experience is essential.

Scar Tissue and Athletes

As previously stated, muscle tissue is comprised of long cylindrical fibers which slide over each other, contracting and relaxing causing movement. To build muscle, the tissue is worked through resistance, isotonic or isometric movements which create tears in the fibers. These tears then repair with collagen and become stronger and larger. The collagen forms in a crosshatch pattern, much like a spider’s web. These points disallow the fibers to slide and become connected. A buildup of these micro bandages will cause loss of flexibility. It is essential to add sports massage to break down the micro bandages and increase flexibility through stretching so the fiber can regrow along the pull of the muscle fibers. This will allow full extension and contraction to return. The muscle is then stronger and flexible. This all assists in preventing larger muscle tears by removing the limits.

An athlete is anyone who moves. Sitting at a computer for hours a day creates overuse injuries. The isometric muscle contraction produces muscle tension without a change in limb movement. Isotonic muscle contraction produces limb movement without a change in muscle tension. Both actions are used while working at a computer. Over time, the muscles become laden with scar tissue, micro bandages, and lack of mobility follows. Regular sports massage will assist with preventing overuse injuries such as, carpal tunnel syndrome, frozen shoulder, and low back and neck injuries. Sports massage for everyday

living may be the answer you have been looking for.

Lymphatic Massage Del Mar at Body Being in Balance Massage in Del Mar Ca is the superior choice for post-surgery recovery needs. A Nationally Certified Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage Therapist since 1998, Paula Irwin clt has worked with 1000’s of individuals supporting their post op massage needs.

Sports Massage Del Mar offers 30 years of experience in supporting athletes as they push to their limits and beyond.

Call today 858-822-9878 or book online at

Return next month for more information on cause and treatment of scar tissue for various conditions.



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