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Lymphatic Drainage Massage after Plastic Surgery

What You Need to Know about Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Lymphatic drainage massage is a massage technique performed to stimulate the lymphatic system and help with the natural flow of lymph fluid throughout the body. In recent years, this type of massage has gained popularity as a complementary therapy for individuals who have undergone plastic surgery. Lymphatic drainage massage plays a crucial role in supporting the body’s healing process by reducing swelling, discomfort, and the risk of complications.

What is Lymphatic Drainage Massage?

Lymphatic drainage massage is a type of therapy that focuses on stimulating the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of vessels and nodes responsible for maintaining fluid balance in the body, transporting lymph fluid, and filtering out toxins, waste products, and other harmful substances. By applying light, rhythmic pressure to specific points along the lymphatic pathways, a therapist can encourage the flow of lymph and support the body’s detoxification process.

During a massage session, a trained therapist uses their hands to apply gentle, rhythmic pressure and sweeping movements along the body’s lymphatic pathways. These techniques help to manually move the lymph fluid through the lymphatic vessels and nodes, promoting the removal of excess fluids, cellular waste, and toxins from the body. The stimulation of the lymphatic system also supports immune function, as the lymph nodes play a critical role in producing and activating infection-fighting white blood cells.

The Importance of Lymphatic Drainage Massage after Plastic Surgery

Lymphatic drainage massage is a recommended component of post-operative care. The surgical process can disrupt the lymphatic system, leading to an accumulation of fluid and causing swelling, discomfort, and prolonged healing time. Lymphatic massage helps to manage these symptoms by promoting the flow of lymph and reducing inflammation. Additionally, it can minimise the risk of complications such as infection, seromas, and fibrosis by supporting the body’s immune system and encouraging proper tissue repair.

This type of massage can be beneficial after various plastic surgery procedures, including but not limited to:

  • Liposuction (lipoplasty)
  • Abdominoplasty

Potential Risks and Contraindications

While lymphatic drainage massage involves applying light, rhythmic pressure to specific points along the lymphatic pathways, there are certain risks and contraindications to be aware of. The recommendation is to always consult with your surgeon and a qualified massage therapist before undergoing lymphatic drainage massage after plastic surgery. Some potential risks and contraindications include:

  • Infection or open wounds: Lymphatic drainage massage should not be performed on areas with active infection or open wounds, as it may worsen the condition or spread infection.
  • Blood clots or deep vein thrombosis (DVT): Patients with a history of blood clots or DVT should consult their surgeon before receiving lymphatic drainage massage, as it may dislodge clots and cause complications.
  • Recent surgery: Lymphatic drainage massage should not be performed too soon after surgery, as it may interfere with the healing process. It is important to follow your surgeon’s guidance on when to begin massage therapy.
  • Certain medical conditions: Patients with congestive heart failure, kidney disease, or other medical conditions affecting fluid balance should consult their healthcare provider before undergoing lymphatic drainage massage.

When to Start Lymphatic Drainage Massage after Plastic Surgery

The optimal time to start lymphatic drainage massage after plastic surgery varies depending on the type of procedure, the individual’s healing process, and the surgeon’s recommendations. Lymphatic drainage massage can be performed within the first month post-surgery, once the initial swelling has started to subside, and the incisions have begun to heal.

Factors Affecting the Start Time

Several factors can influence the ideal time to begin lymphatic drainage massage after plastic surgery, including:

  • Type of surgery: Some procedures may require a longer waiting period before starting lymphatic drainage massage due to the complexity of the surgery or the extent of tissue manipulation.
  • Healing process: Each person’s healing process is unique, and some individuals may need more time for their incisions to heal and swelling to subside before beginning massage therapy.
  • Surgeon’s recommendations: Your surgeon’s recommendations are essential, as they have a thorough understanding of your specific procedure and can provide guidance on when to begin lymphatic drainage massage.

Consultation with your Surgeon or Therapist

Before starting lymphatic drainage massage, it is crucial to consult with your surgeon and a qualified massage therapist. Your surgeon will be able to provide personalised guidance on when to begin lymphatic drainage massage based on your specific procedure and healing progress.

In addition, a qualified massage therapist will be able to assess your individual needs and develop a customised treatment plan to help support your recovery. Be sure to communicate openly with both your surgeon and therapist to ensure a safe and effective lymphatic drainage massage experience.

Tips for Enhancing Lymphatic Drainage Massage Results

1. Lifestyle changes that support lymphatic health

To get the most out of lymphatic drainage massage after plastic surgery, consider adopting certain lifestyle changes that support lymphatic health:

  • Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help maintain proper lymphatic flow and support the body’s natural detoxification process.
  • Eat a balanced diet: Consuming a nutrient-rich diet, including fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats, can promote tissue repair and overall health.
  • Exercise regularly: Gentle exercises, such as walking, yoga, or swimming, can help stimulate the lymphatic system and improve circulation.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Excess body fat can put added strain on the lymphatic system, so maintaining a healthy weight can help support lymphatic function.

2. Home massage techniques

In addition to professional lymphatic drainage massage, you can also practice simple self-massage techniques at home to support lymphatic health and recovery:

  • Gentle skin brushing: Using a soft-bristle brush, gently brush your skin in long, sweeping motions, always directing the strokes toward your heart.
  • Circular massage: Using your fingertips, apply light pressure and make small, circular movements along the lymphatic pathways.
  • Compression and release: Gently press and release the skin along the lymphatic pathways to encourage lymphatic flow.

3. Complementary therapies

Consider incorporating other complementary therapies into your post-operative care routine:

  • Compression garments: Wearing compression garments as recommended by your surgeon can help reduce swelling, improve circulation, and support the lymphatic system.
  • Elevation: Elevating the affected area can help reduce swelling and promote proper lymphatic drainage.
  • Cold and heat therapy: Alternating cold and heat therapy can help alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and improve blood flow to the surgical site.
  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture may help improve lymphatic flow, reduce pain, and promote relaxation during the recovery process.

FAQs about Lymphatic Drainage Massage

How soon after plastic surgery can I receive a lymphatic drainage massage?

The ideal time to start lymphatic drainage massage after plastic surgery varies. Always consult with your surgeon for personalised recommendations based on your specific procedure and healing progress.

How often should I get a lymphatic drainage massage after plastic surgery?

The frequency of lymphatic drainage massage sessions may vary depending on your therapist’s recommendations. In the initial stages of recovery, you may benefit from more frequent sessions, such as 2-3 times per week. As you heal, the frequency may be reduced to once per week or less.

Is lymphatic drainage massage painful?

Lymphatic drainage massage uses light, rhythmic pressure to stimulate the lymphatic system. If you experience any pain during the massage, communicate with your therapist so they can adjust their techniques accordingly.

Can I perform a lymphatic drainage massage on myself at home?

While professional lymphatic drainage massage is recommended for optimal results, you can practice simple self-massage techniques at home to support your lymphatic system. Consult with your massage therapist or surgeon for guidance on appropriate techniques and when to begin self-massage during your recovery.

Are there any side effects or risks associated with lymphatic drainage massage after plastic surgery?

Lymphatic drainage massage has potential risks and contraindications, such as infection, blood clots, or recent surgery. Make sure to discuss this issue with your surgeon before undergoing lymphatic drainage massage to ensure it is appropriate for your specific situation and recovery stage.

Further Reading about Body Contouring Procedures with Dr Turner

Medical References about Lymphatic Drainage Massage

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Next Steps

Always Do Your Research

  • Enquire to find out more about your surgery.
  • Please read our website to learn more about your intended procedure.

Do you need a Medical Referral to see Dr Turner?

  • A medical referral is helpful but NOT essential for purely cosmetic consultations.
  • Please obtain a referral from your GP or Specialist if you want a consultation for an MBS item number surgery.
  • Please note that your Medicare Rebates will NOT be claimable without a valid recent Medical Referral.

Making The Most of Your Consultation

  • Please arrive early for your in-person consultation.
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options.
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly examine all the documents provided.

Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

How to Book Your Consultation

  • You can book your initial consultation by paying the $350 cosmetic consultation fee in advance – when you make your appointment.

Book a Phone Call for More Info

To find out more information about surgery you can book a FREE 15-minute phone conversation with our Friendly Patient Care team via Calendly- Book Consultant 1 or Book Consultant 2.

Contact us or call 1300 437 758 to arrange your surgeon consultation in Sydney.

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