Consider Manual Lymphatic Drainage for Your Post-Surgical Healing Plan
You’ve invested in the surgery, you’ve listened to every word your surgical team said, and you’re excited for the results of the procedure! When planning your surgery, one area that may not be on your radar to tend to is your lymphatic system. Post-Surgical Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) Treatments are influential to your healing, pain management, and the aesthetic results of the surgery. We believe so strongly in the benefits of Manual Lymphatic Drainage post-surgery, that our NP-founder, Jennifer Hruz, along with one of our RNs, Esmeralda Choate (who has 6 years experience in ICU, surgery, and Cath lab, as well as advanced certifications in post-op MLD) have put together a protocol aimed at supporting both the surgeon’s and the patient/client’s goals. We’re thrilled with the results.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage Post-Surgical Tummy Tuck, Breast Reduction & Breast Lift
We want to share with you the experience of a patient who came in on Day 7 post-surgery: tummy tuck, breast reduction, and breast lift. When she visited VIVA Wellness for her first appointment, she could barely move or lift her arms. You’ll notice in the before photo, she had so much extra water just sitting all over her abdomen and legs and was double her size in just swelling, when she walked in she could barely walk and could not stand up straight—she was walking at an angle. Having a deep understanding of the healing process each person goes through after surgery, Esmeralda was able to assess the state of healing, locally and across her whole body, and begin the protocol.
After the first session, she could MOVE! The debilitating pain from the surgery was lifted. (In fact, the MLD procedure itself is never painful, it is relieving pain.) A lot of that swelling was removed and for once since her surgery, she finally was able to feel some comfort when she would lie down. When she returned to VIVA Wellness two days later for her Manual Lymphatic Drainage second appointment, the decrease in swelling was like night and day. We were able to tackle even more of the swelling and move more which would allow her to stand taller and have more comfort.
Session 1 to 3 Before & After
These before & after photos were taken at the first session and then again after the third hour-long session. This dramatic improvement was over a period of less than a week. Here you can see she is visibly able to lay better and flatter, fully able to lift her arms up, and the bruising and swelling are gone.
Continuing Manual Lymphatic Drainage Protocol for Healing Following Surgery
As we continued her treatment every other day into the third and fourth sessions, things were in solid motion with the pain and swelling greatly reduced. However, we did encounter a small setback when five days passed between the fourth and fifth sessions. When our client came in for her fifth session she was once again very uncomfortable. Esmeralda could tell by the way she was walking and moving they had lots of work to do that week. She recommended, and the client agreed, to schedule three sessions that week and they were quickly back on track. From that point on, Esmeralda firmly recommended that no more than three days pass between sessions so the client could experience continued improvement without regression.
After maintaining that session frequency of one session every 2-3 days, by day 20, the progress was significant. Esmeralda was confident in the client’s progress healing enough that she could work on the harder areas and administer a deeper lymphatic drainage technique. This was exciting and important because she had noticed that since day one the incision area on her abdomen had abnormal hardening. On day 20, it was finally time to work on those areas with specific techniques that help move the hardness.
This week the client is finishing up her initial MLD package and actually will be going back to work next week. She had such a great experience she has decided to book an additional package of MLD sessions and will be coming weekly for a little bit longer to keep on track with her current progress.
The Healing Process Can Differ Slightly for Each Client
Esmeralda’s experience as an ICU and surgical RN means VIVA Wellness MLD clients can expect the best results, she will not allow setbacks to hinder your healing process. Esmeralda also gives clients homework and will teach you how to continue the movement of lymph every day. Once you complete your post-op MLD protocol, you will have been taught the tools to monitor your own continued progress and healing incisions. She also stresses that if you have questions she’s an email away and cares deeply about the success of your post-surgery healing and MLD journey.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage Treatment Really Does Improve Healing Post-Surgery Make it Part of Your Healing Plan.
As you can see Postoperative Manual Lymphatic Drainage will allow patients to have optimal healing, feeling supported and hopeful in the often very frustrating period of the post-op window. MLD is shown to decrease swelling and potentially prevent complications especially when it comes to fibrosis, infection, excess fluid buildup, and for some, forming keloids.
We’re confident and excited that both clients and surgical teams find that Postoperative Manual Lymphatic Drainage Treatments at VIVA Wellness are an integral part of the healing process based on the extensive list of benefits to the body.
Here are a few ways that the treatment benefits the postoperative body:
- Eliminates swelling in the immediate area
- Decreases scar tissue significantly
- Reduces pain!
Not including lymphatic drainage treatment may facilitate:
- Immune system suppression
- Pain & discomfort: increased and/or continual
- Swelling: increased and/or continual
- Hardness in the trauma area/surgical location
- Water retention, fluid buildup
If you’re a patient pre-surgery, get in touch with us to make a plan for your post-surgical healing with MLD. Read more about our Post-Surgical Lymphatic Drainage Treatment services, Pre-Surgery Planning for Lymphatic Drainage Treatment, or our Post-Surgical Lymphatic Drainage Treatment FAQs or information
If you’re post-surgery and struggling with your experience, reach out for an assessment and consultation.
If you’re a surgeon or medical provider who knows your patients can benefit from this treatment, which in turn only benefits you and your team, we’d love to support you. Contact us today to discuss how we can help. You may also be interested in our Lymphatic Drainage Treatment Information for Surgeons page.