After plastic surgery, you may notice hardness, water retention, or lumpiness at and around the surgical sites. This is normal right after surgery. This post-surgical swelling is caused by inflammation and trauma from the instruments used during your procedure. The channels that are formed by these instruments become filled with fluid and the tissue around becomes swollen. Lymphatic drainage restores function to damaged lymph vessels to reduce inflammation, pain, and scarring while contouring and enhancing the cosmetic results of your procedure.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage helps to move the fluid by gently pumping it back into the lymph vessels, reducing the swelling and retention of fluids after the surgery. Without lymphatic drainage the inflammation can evolve into fibrosis- a permanent hardening of the tissue that leaves unwanted lumps and bumps commonly associated with liposuction. Many surgeons prescribe lymphatic drainage after lipo and other plastic surgeries to reduce swelling, the risk of infection, excess pressure on incision lines, and to ensure their patients get the best possible aesthetic from their procedure.
Cosmetic surgeries all produce swelling to some extent because it is part of the body’s normal healing process. Lymphatic drainage massage after liposuction, tummy tucks, breast work, or arm, thigh, and Brazilian Butt Lifts will make your overall healing from surgery much faster and much more comfortable.
In our expertise we usually recommend between 4 to 12+ sessions depending on the type of surgery, the areas of operation, and the recovery process which is different for each individual. The sooner you begin post op lymphatic drainage, the better. Most surgeons advise their patients to begin lymphatic massage as soon as 24 hours to 2 weeks after your procedure to expedite the fastest recovery and fibrosis prevention.
It is extremely important to understand the difference between traditional massage therapy, Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD), and Post-op Manual Lymphatic Drainage massage-
Traditional massage targets soft tissue and muscles. It requires deeper pressures that collapse and bypass lymphatic vessels altogether. The pressure used with a Swedish or deep tissue massage is too deep and damaging for after surgery.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) massage is a gentle skin stretching technique, used with precisely the right pressure that won’t collapse the lymph vessels which are just under the surface of the skin. It increases the rhythmic contractions of the lymphatics to enhance their activity so stagnant fluid can be rerouted.
Post-op lymphatic drainage is like manual lymphatic drainage, but performed by therapists who specialize in advanced manual techniques, specifically on postoperative traumatized tissue. This includes specific focused work directly on areas of fibrotic tissue to prevent a permanent undesired outcome from liposuction, and other cosmetic procedures.
Your surgeon wants you to receive Post-op Manual Lymphatic Drainage from a specialist after your procedure. NO use of body contouring machines or other aggressive tools during your recovery process until decided upon by the recommendation of your therapist and approval from your surgeon. To do so would cause extreme pain, inflame your traumatized tissue and already overburdened lymphatic system, and can compromise the safety and outcome of your surgery. Always consult with your surgeon and call us with any questions.