Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) massage is frequently used post-surgery to help reduce swelling, alleviate pain, and accelerate healing. Yet, it’s not only useful for joint replacement or similar surgeries.
MLD massage also has a place during cosmetic surgery recovery.
Dr Evelyn Mora at Healers of Motion Physical Therapy specializes in MLD. She has extensive experience using it with patients post-cosmetic surgery. Additionally, she holds a doctorate of physical therapy, and has accrued significant training, education and instruction on the lymphatic system, manual lymphatic drainage massage and treatment of lymphedema.
For this reason, she is a clear choice when it comes to deciding who to choose to perform your treatment.
In this article, we’re going to explore how lymphatic drainage helps after cosmetic surgery, covering everything you need to know.
What is a Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage?
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is an intervention used to help the body move fluid that has built up in certain areas. Lymphatic drainage massage involves a gentle pressure and sweeping movement, encouraging the lymph fluid to redistribute throughout the body. This massage focuses on the lymphatic system, which has tiny glands called lymph nodes that help fight infection and keep fluid moving within the body.
The lymphatic system includes tissues, vessels, and organs, all connected within one network. In a way, this system is considered the body’s “drainage system,” helping remove waste and toxins from the body’s tissues. When these lymph nodes are damaged or become sluggish, fluid accumulates.
Through lymphatic drainage massage, you can improve your immune system function, decrease stress or anxiety, reduce pain, decrease swelling, and improve function. In particular, the post-surgery goal of lymphatic drainage massage is to help decrease pain and swelling.
Research in the Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation states that individuals with fluid buildup demonstrated over 20% more lymphatic function in affected and unaffected limbs following MLD.
So, let’s take a closer look at exactly how lymphatic drainage can help individuals after cosmetic surgeries.
How MLD Massage Contributes to Recovery After
Lymphatic drainage massage is often recommended to individuals following cosmetic surgery, such as liposuction, body sculpting, and implants.
By including lymphatic drainage massage as part of post-surgery treatment,
recovery time can greatly be reduced. Research also indicates how it can help decrease pain and reduce tissue fibrosis (hardening or scarring of tissue).
During cosmetic surgeries, such as liposuction, patients usually experience varying degrees of swelling, pain, and bruising. In fact, many of these cosmetic surgeries are highly invasive, disrupting the normal functioning of tissues in the surrounding area and causing tissue damage.
In particular, liposuction involves the removal of fat tissue, which may result in blood and lymphatic vessel damage. This means that the body might struggle to clear toxins and fluid build-up from the surgical site. Post-surgery, this accumulation of fluid is monitored very closely to ensure excessive fluid pooling doesn’t occur.
Thus, within a few days after surgery, it is often recommended to begin a lymphatic drainage massage routine to prevent scar formation and fluid accumulation. In turn, you can experience a much smoother and faster recovery time.
Preparing for Your MLD Massage
Generally, you’ll want to ensure you drink plenty of water before and after. While rest is essential for post-surgery recovery, too much rest can actually lead to fluid pooling. Instead, make sure you walk around a little bit each day to encourage fluid movement.
Depending on your swelling and pain, you may require three to five sessions or more. Also depending on your condition, as well as the type of surgery you’ve undergone, the start of these sessions can vary from a few days post-surgery to a couple of weeks.
At the same time, there are some contraindications for lymphatic drainage massage. Those with the following conditions should not undergo this type of treatment:
● History of stroke or blood clots
● Current infection
● Kidney or liver problems
● Heart failure
Initially, you will undergo an initial assessment, so that your physical therapist can determine that you are a good candidate for this type of treatment.
From there, your physical therapist will complete your lymphatic drainage massage, as well as provide tips for how you can do an at-home version of it. Many individuals have benefited from lymphatic drainage, helping them recover as safely and as quickly as possible.
If you’re ready to book your lymphatic drainage massage, contact Dr. Mora at Healers of Motion at 954-861-0252. Start supporting your body through every stage of recovery!
Here at Healers of Motion Physical Therapy, in Pembroke Pines, FL we strive to provide the highest quality of care possible. We provide physical therapy for Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Weston, and surrounding areas.
We have a clean, professional environment and are experts in the field of physical therapy. Our patients choose us because they choose quality, and they want the best for themselves.