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What is Post-Operative Lymphatic Drainage Massage?

This section of our website is not yet finished! Below you will find some information, but it may be incomplete or lacking links. Please text us with any questions you have.

Post-op or Post-lipo Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage (MLD or LDM) is most often used for individuals who have recently had Liposuction, Augmentation, or other Body Modification and Cosmetic Surgeries over large surface areas of the body. This can include: "Lipo 360", "BBL", "Tummy Tucks", "Mommy Makeovers", or liposuction/fat grafting procedures done to the arms, legs, waist, flanks, or glutes. 

After surgery, the client will typically receive a series of lymphatic massage from the facility before being discharged. These sessions appear to last from 15-30 minutes, and involve firm pressure to force the built up lymphatic fluid out of the incisions or drains (if used). From there the surgeon will typically recommend more lymphatic drainage massage to ensure that the surgical sites heal properly without excess swelling or fibrosis.

What they don't tell you about Liposuction and Lymphatic Drainage:

  • The surgical procedure is only the first step of the process. 

  • Lymphatic Drainage Massage is considered a necessary part of getting Liposuction.

  • Edema is what happens when excess lymphatic fluid is produced, causing swelling and pain. This is a natural immune response to having an invasive surgery, as the body is trying to send all the healing cells and helpers to the area. Unfortunately, the lymphatic system does not contain a pump (like the heart for the circulatory system). Often times the pressure of the fluid builds up and the fluid stagnates. This is where Lymphatic Drainage Massage comes in, to release the pressure and aid the lymphatic system and recycle the fluid and the debris it contains through the lymph nodes. 

  • Without LDM, you may experience immense pain due to the swelling and tightening of the area, and without enough massage the areas may heal incorrectly, feel lumpy or hard, and may not look natural once the body has fully healed. There is also a higher risk for infection.  

  • Lymphatic massage does not have to be aggressive - the methods used at the surgical facilities seem to be vastly different than our methods at True Healing Massage (according to client testimonials). We've learned that these techniques force lymphatic fluid out of the surgical incisions or drains quickly, and often hours or days after surgery, when the client is heavily bruised, raw, and exhausted from the physical trauma liposuction causes on the tissues. (Whether or not this technique is necessary after surgery is not something we claim to know, we only know that our clients have complained of the excess pain, and are surprised to learn how our techniques differ.)

  • Typical Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage uses a feather-light touch** to coax and encourage the lymphatic fluid through one-way vessels towards the lymph nodes to be recycled, and eventually towards the heart to be emptied into the blood stream - regardless of recent surgery.
    **excluding instances where there is fibrosis or pitting edema - see below.

  • There is a difference between Sculpting or Contouring with Lymphatic Massage, and using Lymphatic Massage for healing. Sculpting/Contouring uses firm pressure on the postoperative sites to scrape, sculpt, contour and shape the tissues so that they heal in the desired placement. Similar to immediate postoperative massage, this causes immense pain and is often not well tolerated - if at all - by the client. 

How do we ensure that our post-lipo clients receive enough Lymphatic Drainage Massage to heal properly, while managing the pain that comes with surgical trauma?

  • We base our business on establishing relationships with our clients and creating trust - our only desire is to heal.

  • We stick to the mentality that Lymphatic Massage is designed to help reduce edema and manually pump lymphatic fluid through the lymph nodes, which only requires gentle pressure.

  • We massage slowly and treat the skin and healing tissues with care.

  • We use a proprietary blend of pain relieving and numbing creams to help desensitize the skin during massage. 

  • We allow our clients to take breaks as needed.

What is recommended:

From our research, at least 8-12 sessions of Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage are needed throughout the healing process. 

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