by Shannon Goins, CLT, LMT, MA, #8941
Americans are getting more plastic surgery today than ever before. In 2018, over 1.8 million plastic surgeries were performed with breast augmentation and liposuction being the two most popular procedures.
Healing from plastic surgery is a taxing process. Most people are very happy with their long-term results, but it takes a while to get better – and it’s frustrating.
Speeding the Recovery Process with MLD: While there is no getting around the inevitable swelling and bruising, there are things that you can do to make them go away faster and speed the incision healing time.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a light-touch technique that significantly reduces pain and swelling and speeds the removal of waste (broken down tissues) from the body. This therapy is similar to massage in that it is done with the hands, but it is distinctively different and should be performed by someone who holds an MLD Therapist or Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT) certification, not just a massage license. Regular massage is not appropriate.
How Many Sessions? Ideally, at least one lymphatic drainage session is performed prior to surgery. This clears the “gunk” out of the lymphatic system and gets it flowing optimally so the body can drain better after surgery. It also reduces the risk of post-operative infection by allowing critical immune cells to get to the surgical site(s).
The number of sessions needed varies, but 6 and 9 session packages are commonly chosen. Most people can begin sessions within a few days of surgery. They come twice a week initially, then taper to once a week as healing progresses.
Benefits: After a single session you can expect relief. Your compression garments will be more comfortable, you will be able to move easier, and lumps (which are common) are greatly minimized or don’t happen at all. It also helps with the numb/burning sensations common after liposuction.