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Lymphatic Drainage Massage Therapy after Plastic Surgery

Are you planning on having surgery and are you worried about the recovery? You might have heard of lymphatic drainage massage for quicker recovery. Many health care experts and plastic surgeons swear by lymphatic drainage massage post-surgery. But does it work?

The Body’s Natural Lymph System

Before we go any further, let us explain what the natural lymph system of the body does?

  • It is a cleansing mechanism of the body that gets rid of toxic fluids
  • Because of these fluids, our body can experience pain and swelling
  • We might also feel lethargic along with numerous other health problems
  • A full functional lymph system ensures that our body gets rid of all the toxins frequently. As a result, we feel healthier and energised

A Lymphatic Drainage Massage Treatment

  • Drains the excess fluid which is close to the lymph nodes
  • Reduces bruises dramatically and at a much faster pace
  • Minimises pain, discomfort, and swelling
  • Speeds up the overall process of healing
  • It May help to improve the appearance of the scars and make them less visible
  • And it may also help reduce indentations, rippling, and hard lumps in the body

Few Things to Know About a Manual Lymph Drainage Treament

  • It is a gentle treatment that involves extremely gentle hand strokes, which are quite relaxing
  • It should be pain-free
  • You might still be asked to wear your compression garments after the treatment
  • It is not a one-time treatment. It involves multiple sessions to achieve optimal results
  • You will have to take your clothes off for the treatment

What Is Lymphatic Drainage Massage or MLD?

If our bodies have a natural lymphatic system, why do we need a massage for lymphatic drainage?
Think of it as manual assistance to the body’s natural drainage system. This technique originated in Germany for treating lymphoedema (body swelling).

  • In Clinic we use the Vodder technique
  • This is caused by a blockage in the lymphatic system, part of the immune and circulatory systems. Lymphoedema is most commonly caused by lymph node removal or damage due to cancer treatment
  • The treatment is not only used to drain excess fluids in the body but also to eliminate swelling and pain
  • Sometimes, patients might experience excessive water retention and swelling due to other reasons
  • Over the years, the technique became widely popular amongst patients of cosmetic surgery and people struggling with the dysfunctional lymph system

The top benefits include;

  • Lymphatic drainage massage eliminates excess water, toxins, bacteria, and metabolic waste from the cells of the body
  • It is known to significantly reduce body pain, which gives you both mental and physical comfort after the treatment
  • The Manual Lymph Drainage Massage supports the sympathetic nervous system and works wonders to reduce stress and anxiety levels
  • Lymphatic drainage massage also minimises stiffness and pain in the body
  • It significantly reduces bruising which is always a plus with any kind of cosmetic surgery
  • Cells are transported at ten times faster rate, as a result, bruising disappear in a fraction of a time
  • Furthermore, it can help prevent infections after surgery. Draining excess toxin-loaded fluid makes sure that your body heals seamlessly
  • It can help to boost your immunity
  • As well as assist in quicker healing and faster recovery after surgery
  • And, it can help minimize the appearance of scars

Importance of Lymphatic Drainage Massage aka MLD

  • A functional lymphatic system of the body is critical for its ability to function optimally
  • It regenerates the body tissues, filters out the toxins, detoxifies the body, and maintains a healthy immune system
  • The entire lymphatic system comprises various vessels and nodes that are constantly working to keep your body in a healthy state. The lymph itself is made up of fatty acids, immune cells, toxins, proteins, and hormonal cells, which are processed by the nodes
  • If the body is under any kind of stress, surgery, infection or illness the entire process slows down

Lymphatic Drainage Massage and Cosmetic Surgery

We are all aware of the fact that all cosmetic surgeries come with some form of swelling. This is fairly normal as this is how our bodies heal. Certain surgeries such as liposuction and tummy tuck disrupt the natural pathways which are used by the lymphatic system for drainage. In these cases, lymphatic treatments can be great.

Choose Post-Surgery Garments Wisely

There is a reason why your surgeons ask you to wear a compression garment for a specific amount of time after the surgery. They help with the entire lymph drainage process as well as the swelling.

  • These garments help to prevent the build-up of toxins carrying fluids in one area.
  • It is a great pre-MLD measure to take as it helps prepare your body for the lymphatic treatment process
  • Listen to your surgeon’s advice in this regard and ask them to recommend some great options for compression garments. Any questions around compression or recovery, you must always consult your Surgeon

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Next steps

After reading this, you might be convinced that going for a lymphatic drainage massage is the best thing you can do for your body post-surgery.

  • While it can be amazing if done right, you should always, always, and always consult your surgeon before going ahead with anything.
  • Only your surgeon can give you the final word of whether it will be beneficial for you or not
  • If your surgeon is ok with it, ask him/her about how many weeks post-surgery you should get it done

What to Expect During the First Lymphatic Treatment

During your first session, your therapist will ask you about your medical history as well as what type of surgery you have undergone. These details are necessary to treat the condition effectively.

The lymphatic treatment itself is a simple process that involves only a massage table and appropriate draping and bolstering to support you. Sometimes a chair is used when lying down is not an option.
1. It will be a very relaxing experience.
2. The therapist will use gentle, rhythmic motions all over your body to aid the drainage
3. Once the treatment is complete, the therapist will ask you to put on compression garments along with some post-care instructions

Session Time

Most people are curious about how long the treatment will last. It typically lasts anywhere from thirty to ninety minutes. After your first session, you might be asked to come in every other day for the first few weeks.

  • After that, the therapist will perform a massage once a week for four to six week
  • Eventually, it will be done only once a month for four to five months

Lymphatic Massage FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions about Lymphatic Massage and Surgery

Here is a list of frequently asked questions we receive regarding lymphatic drainage massage and the answers to them:

How often should you get a lymphatic treatment after surgery?

Initially, the frequency will be a lot more (if your surgeon gives you the go-ahead). The frequency will most likely be every other day, then it is reduced to once every week and finally to once a month for four to five months after the surgery.

What are the benefits of a lymphatic drainage treatment?

  • A lymphatic drainage treatment minimises swelling, gets rid of toxins, boosts immunity, and promotes faster recovery
  • How long does lymphatic drainage treatment take to work?

  • After a treatment, the lymphatic flow rate will be approximately 100 to 120 bpm which gradually lowers over the following 48 hours
  • What helps the lymphatic system after surgery?

  • Wearing compression garments and manual lymphatic drainage both work wonders after surgery
  • Does lymphatic drainage massage treatments really work?

    Yes, it is based on our body’s natural drainage system.

    How will I feel after a lymphatic treatment?

  • You will feel tired immediately after the lymphatic drainage massage
  • Don’t force yourself to do any high-intensity activity and slowly ease back to your daily routine
  • Some patients also feel extreme thirst, immediately after the treatment
  • Can I get sick after a lymphatic treatment

    No, you will feel tired after the massage, but you won’t feel sick at all.

    What are the symptoms of a poor or sluggish lymphatic system?

    Here are the major symptoms of poor lymphatic drainage:

  • Swelling in arms and legs
  • Changes in the condition of the skin
  • Changes in the skin colour
  • Blisters
  • Fluid leaking
  • Who should not get a lymphatic treatment?

    People struggling with acute inflammation, malignant tumours, thrombosis or heart problems should not get a lymphatic treatment unless agreed to, in writing, by their primary health care professional (GP / Surgeon / Specialist).

  • Even if you don’t have any of these conditions, it is good to ask your doctor before you proceed
  • How often should I have a lymphatic treatment

    Each body is different and has different requirements. The need for lymphatic drainage can vary drastically from once a month, to once a week or four times a week.

    Can I manually drain my lymphatic at home?

    This is possible but not recommended post-surgery

  • You must visit a professional lymphatic therapist for a lymphatic drainage treatment after your surgery
  • What surgeries do you treat?

    This therapy suits all kinds of surgeries and plastic surgery. We frequently treat;

  • breast implant removals
  • liposuction
  • breast augmentation (with own fat)
  • post cancer breast recovery
  • mummy makeovers
  • Lipoedema liposuction recovery
  • Abdo-360
  • face-lift
  • post cancer head and neck
  • However we are trained to treat any post-surgical condition including orthopaedic recovery

    Post operative recovery guide

    Your surgeon will supply you with a post operative recovery guide but you are welcome to view this guide from CocoRuby Plastic Surgeons

    Remember!You must always follow your surgeons advice and guidelines