Post Surgical Lymphatic MassageSilver Spring, MD
In many cases, post surgical lymphatic massage can help your body heal after your procedure. This allows you to return to your everyday life and see your results as quickly as possible. When you follow your post op instructions carefully, post surgical lymphatic massage can help expedite your recovery.
Post surgical lymphatic massage is available at The Physicians Group SC in Silver Spring and the surrounding area. Do not prolong your recovery any longer. Call us today at 240-330-1815 to schedule an appointment and learn more about our services.
Understanding Post Surgical Lymphatic Massage
To understand post surgical lymphatic massage, one must first understand the lymphatic system. According to Cleveland Clinic, the lymphatic system is a "network of tissues, vessels and organs that work together to move a colorless, watery fluid called lymph back into [the] circulatory system." This system has several essential functions, including:
- Absorbing fats from the digestive tract
- Maintaining fluid levels in the body
- Protecting the body against foreign invaders
- Transporting and removing waste products and abnormal cells from the lymph
Lymphedema refers to the condition in which the soft body tissues accumulate fluid due to the lymph system being damaged or blocked. It is often indicated by swelling of the arms or legs. Lymphedema after cosmetic surgery can be treated or prevented with post surgical lymphatic massage.
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Benefits of Post Surgical Lymphatic Massage
According to MedicalNewsToday, post surgical lymphatic massage "can reduce swelling and improve circulation throughout the lymphatic system." It is often part of a larger treatment program called decongestive lymphatic therapy, or DLT. DLT may include lymphatic drainage massage, compression garments, exercise, and skin care.
A damaged lymphatic system can lead to all manner of health problems. Unfortunately, damage to the lymphatic system after surgery is not uncommon. In this case, manual lymph drainage (or post surgical lymphatic massage) can help move lymphatic fluid from the damaged areas to other areas of the body. Post surgical lymphatic massage may also help reduce water retention and bloat, though further research is needed to support these claims. However, it is essential to note that post surgical lymphatic massage is not recommended for those with the following conditions:
- Blood clots
- Circulation problems
- Congestive heart failure
- Current infection
- History of blood clots or stroke
- Kidney problems
- Liver problems
Furthermore, patients should always let their surgeon know of any preexisting medical conditions before trying a post surgical lymphatic massage. We will do everything in our power to keep our patients as safe and comfortable as possible throughout the process.
What Happens During Post Surgical Lymphatic Massage
While there are several different methods of post surgical lymphatic massage, they all typically have the following components in common:
- Begins and ends with deep diaphragmatic breathing
- Drains the affected area by moving proximal to distal
- Performed with the patient in the prone position
- Treats the unaffected lymph nodes and regions of the body first
- Uses gentle pressure
- Uses slow and rhythmical movements
There are four different post-surgical lymphatic massage approaches: Vodder, Foldi, Casley-Smith, and Leduc. The Vodder approach uses different kinds of hand motions depending on the body part being treated. The Foldi approach is based on the Vodder technique and emphasizes thrust and relaxation, while the Casley-Smith approach uses small, gentle effleurage movements with the side of the hand. Finally, the Leduc approach uses special enticing and reabsorption movements.
How to Know If Post Surgical Lymphatic Massage Is Working
As stated by MedicalNewsToday, the telltale sign of post surgical lymphatic massage is simple: The patient's swelling either reduces or stops worsening. However, patients who have lymphedema should continue using compression socks or sleeves as necessary. This will help prevent further swelling.
Patients can also help boost their lymphatic system function and remove more waste from the body by drinking plenty of water and staying physically active. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables and limiting one's intake of processed foods can also help. With post surgical lymphatic massage, one can boost their overall health while simultaneously expediting their post op recovery process.
Call Us Today
Post surgical lymphatic massage can speed up your recovery process and boost your overall health. We at The Physicians Group SC can help. Call us today at 240-330-1815 to schedule an appointment and learn more about our services.
Frequently Asked Questions
How soon after my procedure should I have post surgical lymphatic massage?
The earlier, the better. Many patients mistakenly believe that post surgical lymphatic massage will be painful and damaging. In reality, it is extremely gentle and exponentially reduces any bruising, burning or shooting pain, lumps, scars, stiffness, and swelling. As such, it is typically recommended to get the first massage in the first 24 hours following your surgery.
How often do I need post surgical lymphatic massage?
We typically recommend one session a day or every other day for the first week. One session a day every other day is usually adequate by the second week. For maintenance, we recommend one session a month for the next five months for best results.
What are the possible side effects of post surgical lymphatic massage?
Aside from decreased swelling, some patients experience increased urination and increased energy. It is also not uncommon to experience dizziness when first sitting up. Nausea and diarrhea may also occur later in the day. This is normal, as the lymphatic system is "cleaning out" the body.
Do I need a referral for post surgical lymphatic massage?
No. While many doctors may recommend post surgical lymphatic massage, a referral is not necessary. Self-referral is perfectly fine.
How does post surgical lymphatic massage help get rid of bruising?
Bruises are a buildup of the tissue's cellular debris and old red blood cells. By cleansing these extracellular tissues, post surgical lymphatic massage helps significantly reduce the healing time for bruises.
Is post surgical lymphatic massage a type of deep massage?
No. Post surgical lymphatic massage is an extraordinarily light treatment. A deep massage after your operation will make it more difficult to evacuate lymph fluid and could also negatively affect your surgery results. However, post surgical lymphatic massage may feel uncomfortable the first week after your operation since the area will be extra sensitive to touch. This is normal and will subside over time.
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