Post Operative Lymphatic Drainage Frequently Asked Questions.
What is Post Operative Lymphatic Drainage?
Lymphatic drainage massage is a form of gentle massage that encourages the movement of lymph fluids around the body.
The fluid in the lymphatic system helps remove waste and toxins from the bodily tissues. Some health conditions can cause lymph fluid to build up. Lymphatic drainage massages can benefit people with lymphedema, fibromyalgia, and other conditions.
This type of massage can be performed for any Massage therapist who is trained with basic knowledge in Manual Lymphatic Drainage.
The difference with Post operative Lymphatic Drainage is big as the needs for the patient with cosmetic surgery differ from patient to patient and they change during the recovery time. Not every Massage Therapist has the training for this type of massage. The Post operative Lymphatic Drainage massage is not limited to hand massage, Ultrasound and Radiofrequency may be included if there is not existing contraindications, Myofascial Release will be used in order to break adhesions, scar tissue and prevent the development of Fibrosis, NEVER WOOD THERAPY!!!
Why is important to get your Post operative massage from a Massage Therapist and not from Body contourist?
Massage Therapist have at least 500 hours training in the State of California.
In our clinic our therapist have more than 750 hours training plus additional training and other certificates, we have been treating patients for more than 4 years. Getting a Body Contouring Certificate take at much 6 hours training.
This is the main difference between our clinic and other practitioners.
We work with different Plastic Surgeons, they refer patients to us because they know how good are we at our job, they trust us because we really take care of our patients and their patients.
When I can start receiving my massages?
Not only because Doctors say it, and we say it. The massage must be done as soon as you get out of surgery, preferably 2-3 days after surgery.
The massage will help to reduce inflammation, speeding the healing process and recovery. The massage will reduce symptoms as pain, swelling, redness, stiffness and more.
If you start massage after 2 or 3 weeks, it will take more effort from your therapist and more sessions as you probably will start developing adhesions on the Fascia and the chances to develop Fibrosis will be increased in 50% or more.
How often I need to get my massages?
During the first 8 days, when you have wounds open or drains open is important to get a massage every day.
After your wounds are healed and drains removed the massage must be done every 3 days for at least 4 weeks.
Patients with Liposuction for example will need between 10 to 12 sessions.
Patients with Liposuction plus Tummy Tuck will need between 12 to 15 sessions.
Does the massage hurt?
The massage must not be painful, but the skin is tender to the touch due the trauma of surgery.
The first two weeks you probably will not enjoy the massage a lot but every time after the treatment you will feel release and relief because the Swelling goes down so there is less pressure over skin nerves and the massage relaxes the overactive nerve reaction and then you feel good...
How long takes every massage?
Every area is treated for 30 minutes.
Chin: 30 minutes.
Breast (only after breast removal surgery): 30 minutes.
Arms: 30 minutes.
Abdomen: 30 minutes.
Back/ Sides: 30 minutes.
Inner tights: 30 minutes.
BBL: NEVER LET SOMEONE TOUCH IT!
What we recommend after the massages for faster recovery?
1. Ginger tea.
Cut 4 tin slices, put it in boiling water for 3 minutes, use Stevia or Honey as sweetener and remove the ginger slices or your tea will taste to spicy.
Drink it at least 4 times a day.
Ginger is a natural and powerful anti-inflammatory.
2. Never drink Arnica tea or pills.
Arnica is good as topic anti-inflammatory but ingested is poisonous.
You can have rashes, nausea and vomiting and even death.
3. You need a Medical Grade Compression Garment.
During your recovery process you will need around 3 to 4 different size compression Garments as every week your inflammation decreases your garment will fit loose. If there is not enough pressure fluid will come and fill the under skin causing pain. stiffness and once that inflammation is not removed becomes fibrotic.
Cardio will help with the Lymph Circulation.
No weight lifting until 4 months after surgery, you have different level of tissue and some of them can be still healing, if you start working out and doing weight lifting you can tear some tissue and complicate the healing process.
5. Plenty of water.
6. Get your massage on time and regularly with professionals like us.
Hand Massage or Machine?
Depend on the patient it can be only hand massage or combination with machine if there is not existing contraindications.
What about Wood Therapy?
Wood therapy is a completely NO.
Wood therapy cause more damage than benefit for Post Operative massage, the goal of the massage is heal the tissue and reduce inflammation making faster the recovery and prevent the formations of scar tissue and fibrosis.
Wood therapy damage the underlaying tissues of the skin causing micro tears, internal bleeding and inflammation worsening the symptoms.
Wood therapy is not proved to be good in cases of Post Operative Lymphatic Drainage and all Doctors we work with they do not approve the use of it.
If someone does it for you or did it before for your Post op massage, they do not have a clue of what they are doing.
Why we massage the pelvic area?
This information is provided by the Canadian Cancer society:
The lymph nodes in the pelvis lie along the internal, external and common iliac arteries (the main blood vessels that supply blood to the lower abdomen and trunk of the body). The 3 main groups of pelvic lymph nodes are:
internal iliac lymph nodes
external iliac lymph nodes
common iliac lymph nodes
The lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system helps fight infections and is made up of lymph vessels, lymph fluid, lymph nodes, bone marrow and the lymphatic organs (thymus, adenoid, tonsil and spleen).
Lymph fluid from organs in the pelvis drains into the pelvic lymph nodes. The lymph fluid can carry cancer cells from these sites into the pelvic lymph nodes. Bladder and prostate cancers most commonly spread to the lymph nodes in the pelvis. Cancer may also spread to the pelvic lymph nodes from the following organs and tissues:
seminal vesicles (the glands on either side of the prostate that produce semen)
urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body)
ovaries, uterus (womb), cervix and vagina
lower abdominal wall
perineum (the area between the anus and scrotum in men or the anus and vagina in women)
inguinal lymph nodes (lymph nodes in the groin).
We need your written consent to massage the Pelvic area before treatment.
Are we good and your best option?
Clinical case at our Massage clinic:
This patient came to our office with a open Tummy Tuck due to inflammation. The procedure done by the Doctor was designated to remove fat tissue and skin from the abdomen of the patient. Inflammation was to much that made the wound to open not allowing to heal the incision.
Before first Massage September 1st. 2021
Two days after the first massage, patient went back to Doctor and Doctor removed necrotic tissue from inside the incision.
We proceed for a second treatment next day.
Next day after, patient went to Doctor for another procedure. Doctor cleaned and removed more necrotic tissue, they did extra liposuction to the patient in order to make smaller the abdomen and they could close with stitches the wound again.