How to massage scar tissue?


Question from Brenda Thostenson: I had a bilateral mastectomy in October without reconstruction. My scars are long and the skin is pulled very tight. My concern is scar tissue. How often and in what direction etc. should I rub or move my scars? They run from sternum to under the arm pits. No chemo or radiation needed from very low Oncotype score, but I am taking tamoxifen. Thank you, Brenda.
Answers - Kristin Brill, M.D., F.A.C.S. Stretching and massaging along the scars can be helpful.
Linda Miller What we usually recommend is along the scar itself, you actually massage perpendicular to the scar line. Therapists call that transverse friction massage. But it's important not just to focus on the scar line itself. As Dr. Brill mentioned, that mastectomy procedure goes down into the trunk as well. So massage should be done on the skin above and below the incision.
Kristin Brill, M.D., F.A.C.S. The distribution of the breast and where the surgery takes place extends from the collar bone down to the base of the ribcage and from the midline of the chest all the way to the midline side of the body. So this is all potential area for scar formation.

On Wednesday, May 21, 2008, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called After Surgery: Short-term and Long-term Effects. Kristin Brill, M.D., F.A.C.S. and Linda Miller, P.T. answered your questions about short-term and long-term side effects of breast surgery, and what you can do about them.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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