Manual lymphatic drainage, MLD, is a gentle and powerful way to speed recovery, helping you feel and look better more quickly after your surgery.
Plastic and cosmetic surgery can be surprisingly painful. Swelling is a natural and unavoidable consequence of these procedures. And swelling can exacerbate pain, increase risk for post-surgical infections, and slow-down the recovery process.
MLD reduces swelling, removes waste products from damaged and healing tissues, and promotes improved localized circulation and nutrition. It is a loving way to get reacquainted with your body after a demanding procedure, and many plastic and cosmetic surgeons will recommend a series of manual drainage treatments to help you look and feel your best as quickly as possible after your surgery.
How soon is manual lymphatic drainage appropriate after surgery?
Ask your surgeon. Typically, because manual drainage is so gentle and effective at reducing swelling, pain and bruising, surgeons will recommend regular treatments start within 2-3 days. Some recommend a short treatment within 24 hours of surgery, followed by progressively longer sessions, usually 6-8 in the first 2-3 weeks of recovery.
What is a typical session like?
Sessions are typically 45 minutes long, performed lying down or reclining with foam and pillow supports, a sheet draping you comfortably. Manual drainage is a very gentle and soothing skin-stretching technique. Despite this, the first session or two can be quite uncomfortable as your tissues will likely be very tender and made more so by swelling and bruising. Luckily, the work is very effective, and you will almost certainly feel much better after even one treatment.
Compression-wear is typically critical to recovery.
It is important to follow these first manual drainage treatments with a well-fitting compression garment. If your surgeon has not provided you with one, or recommended one, you and I will likely have discussed this prior to your first treatment and determined your needs. Compression is typically recommended for 4-6 weeks post-surgery.
Check out www.snatched-body.com for some examples of post-surgical compression-wear.