Manual Lymphatic Drainage for Post Surgical Care


Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD)
MLD is a very gentle manual treatment that improves the function of the lymphatic system throughout the body. In the 1930s the techniques of MLD were first introduced by Dr. Emil Vodder, PhD, MT from Denmark. MLD is becoming widely recognized in the United States as a treatment for many pathologies including post surgical swelling, post traumatic edema (e.g., sports injuries, injuries caused by falls or accidents), migraine headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. MLD is further used to promote general relaxation and for cleansing (detoxification) of the skin and superficial fascia. In lymphedema therapy, MLD can be used to reroute the lymph flow from congested areas into healthy lymph vessels, which drain into the venous circulation thereby reducing swelling.

MLD for Post Surgical Care
These techniques can be performed by anyone who has been certified in basic MLD but is best performed by someone who has received the additional training as a Certified Lymphedema Specialist (CLT).  Some physical issues that may arise following surgery and that are related to the retention of fluids (swelling) and "thickening" of tissue also known as fibrosis or fibrotic tissue, around the surgical site can best be addressed by someone with the advanced training of a CLT.  There are some conditions that signal a serious underlying problem and are a contraindication for MLD or any other manual treatment.  A CLT is trained to detect these conditions and refer you to the appropriate health care provider. Some conditions may appear to be more serious that they actually are and with the right care will decrease and resolve over time.  A CLT experienced in post surgical care or post surgery recovery can help navigate you through this period of healing and put your mind at ease.

MLD for post surgical care is performed on healthy individuals to reduce the pain and swelling that result from most types of surgery. For surgeries including, but not limited to cataract removal, orthopedic surgery for shoulder repair, hip replacement, knee replacement and everything in between, a myriad of plastic surgery procedures such as liposuction, rhinoplasty (nose job), abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), Brazilian Butt Lift (buttock augmentation), and breast reduction or augmentation recovery time and discomfort can be significantly reduced by MLD performed by a well trained therapist. MLD techniques help the body return to normal functioning more quickly by moving "extra" fluids through the body and helping to soften fibrotic or hardened tissue by stimulating the lymphatic system. Sometimes surgery interrupts or even damages normal vascular (arteries, veins, lymphatic vessels) structures which are responsible for moving fluids. MLD assists the body in moving fluids in a normal pattern and also in finding alternate pathways.
  
Since 2012 we  have experienced a notable increase in requests for MLD for post surgical care especially for liposuction, abdominoplasty, breast and buttock augmentation.  Because MLD can shorten recovery time by reducing pain and swelling more quickly than without it many more doctors are recommending this type of after surgery care. We strive to stay abreast of best practices for post surgical care and do all we can to assist you in your journey toward healing.  We are happy to your address your questions and concerns and do our best to alleviate your discomfort.

Initial appointments typically require 90 minutes which allows ample time for consultation, examination of surgical results and a full session. We will inquire about your surgery, compression garments, other MLD sessions, drains, medications, next doctor's visits and post surgical instructions.  Depending on the extent of your surgery and the results,  subsequent MLD appointments may require 30, 60 or 90 minutes as determined by your therapist. 
 
 www.RealSelf.com is a website that our plastic surgery clients have found significantly helpful and informative. If you are considering plastic surgery or have already had a procedure then you too may find this website helpful.


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