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

Asked by BigMac

16 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?

Hot Stone Massage, Therapeutic Massage, Aromatherapy Massage, Body Treatments, Chinese Massage

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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


I agree Myofascial release is one of the best options!

Other answers (15)


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.


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



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


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


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


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


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



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.


in my professional opinion i completely agree with eledukes advise


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


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.


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


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.


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!


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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