Benefits of Pre- and Post-Surgical Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) Massage

Pre- and Post-Surgical MLD Massage

Lymphatic drainage massage is a specific type of massage body work that gently yet effectively eliminates the build-up of toxins and fluids caused by blockages in the flow of lymphatic fluids throughout the lymphatic system. Because the lymphatic system is easily disrupted by many surgical procedures, your surgeon may recommend manual lymphatic massage as an important part of your treatment plan, potentially before and after your surgical procedure.   When it comes to preparing for and recovering from surgery, manual lymphatic drainage massage offes numerous benefits, including but certainly not limited to:  

  • Relieving discomfort and pain;  
  • Stimulating the immune system and the body natural ability to speed healing; 
  • Reducing post-surgical swelling and bruising; 
  • Minimizing the development of post-surgical scar tissue; 
  • Relaxing the sympathetic nervous system to promote calm and reduce stress; 

If you are planning for a surgical procedure, speak to your physician and your doctor to find out whether a series of manual lymphatic drainage massage treatments with a licensed massage therapist might be right for you. 

What Types of Surgical Procedures Might Benefit from Manual Lymphatic Drainage 

Lymphatic drainage massage can aid in the preparation for and recovery from a large variety of different surgical procedures such as: 

  • Orthopaedic and joint replacement 
  • Surgeries of the head, face, throat, ear, nose and throat:  
  • Dental surgery 
  • Facial reconstruction 
  • Facelift 
  • Rhinoplasty (“nose job”) 
  • Ophthalmological (eyes) 
  • Blepharoplasty  
  • Gynecological and Abdominal procedures 
  • Caesarean sections 
  • Liposuction 
  • Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck)  
  • Mastectomy 
  • Breast augmentation or reduction  
  • Post-trauma 

Manual Lymphatic Drainage Before Surgery 

By cleaning your body of toxins and excess fluid and stimulating the healthy functioning of the lymphatic and immune systems, lymphatic drainage massage can help prepare your body for a successful surgery.   Manual lymphatic drainage naturally and gently stimulates the lymphatic system to help it pre-emptively remove bacteria and viruses, excess fluids, toxins, and other cellular waste that naturally builds up in the body over time.  This pre-emptive cleaning can help reduce the risk of infection, swelling, bruising, and other post-surgical complications, as well as potentially reduce the development of post-surgical scar tissue.   And the restorative benefits of this gentle massage technique in preparing your mind for surgery should not be discounted: relaxing your nervous system and reducing stress in advance can enable the body to better adjust to the physical and potentially traumatic changes caused by the surgical procedure. 

Manual Lymphatic Drainage After Surgery 

Put simply, the goal of lymphatic drainage massage after surgery is to address many common post-surgical complications and promote the body’s self-healing capabilities.  Swelling and bruising are two of the most common and unwelcome side effects of many surgical procedures. While swelling is part of the body’s natural defense system, excessive and prolonged swelling can potentially lead to increased discomfort, greater risk of infection, areas of permanent hardening known as fibrosis, and the creation of excessive scar tissue. In the case of some cosmetic procedures such as liposuction, excessive swelling—if not treated effectively—can in fact undermine the final results of the procedure.  Thus, lymphatic drainage massage is especially beneficial after surgery because it stimulates the proper flow of lymphatic fluids to:  

  • Reduce post-surgical swelling 
  • Increase blood circulation in affected tissues 
  • Minimizes the formation of unwanted scar tissue 
  • Stimulates the body’s immune system to speed healing times 

And as with lymphatic drainage massage before surgery, calming and relaxing the nervous system and reducing post-surgical mental stress can enable the body to focus on physical healing.  

The Right Gentle Touch to Help You Heal Faster  

Manual lymphatic drainage is a specialized massage technique that works by gently manipulating the sensitive tissues around the lymphatic system. It does not utilize any heat or deep massage techniques, which can, in fact, be counterproductive in a pre- or post-surgical setting. Therefore, it is important that you receive lymphatic drainage massage only from a licensed therapist who is specially trained in this technique and that you follow all pre- and post-surgical instructions from your medical team. Always discuss this and other supplemental treatment options with your medical team in advance to ensure a smooth, safe, and successful surgical procedure and return to health.  

Contact Tampa Massage Clinic

Tampa Massage Clinic provides on-location massage services in the Greater Tampa, Florida area. To schedule an appointment with Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Advanced Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapist, Jakki Bosco LMT, please call (813) 298-5603. We believe nothing is more important than human touch.

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