Benefit of Lymphatic Massage and Myofascial Release for Liposuction Recovery
The Dream of a Perfect Body!
If your dna doesn't give you the body you want or life’s travels has caused you to collect some extra luggage, Liposuction is one of the tools used to attain this dream. Along with this procedure comes a host of healing challenges such as; swelling, irregular texture and the regeneration of nerve impulses. A massage therapist trained in Manual Lymphatic Drainage and Myofascial Release can be your best friend during this healing time.
Since 1997, I have worked with many clients during this journey. To assist in the recovery and education of patients, I want to share some of my "Discoveries in the treatment room"
L.F. was a tough hard hitting ceo of a marketing company and a regular massage client of mine in the OC. She's athletically built but with few curves. A local plastic surgeon was chosen to sculpt those curves in. I created a treatment plan for both pre and post op.
To prepare the tissue, it is essential do 2 to 3 treatments, two days apart, the week before surgery to decongest the tissue. This supports less bleeding during surgery for less bruising. Treatment post surgery begins 3 to 5 days after, quickening the recovery 10x it normal pace.
A sunny afternoon on the island, I arrive at L.F. home and set up for the treatment. After peeling off the compression garments, we get to work. She is sore swollen and bruised as is customary after the procedure. The strokes are the weight of a nickel and the rhythm of a heart beat bringing relief to the discomfort. This technique moves the fluids so quickly; I can see the bruising begin to change color. The stokes not only assist in the healing process but move other foreign substances through the system.
FYI: When deciding to have plastic surgery, wait a reasonable amount of time before having inoculation for foreign travel. Unfortunately, preparing for a trip, injections mixed with MLD can cause the body to have a strong, flu like reaction.
The treatment completes the compression garments are refitted as the swelling has greatly subsided. We work together every other day for 5 sessions and the recovery is way ahead of the curve.
Over the years, I have learned that I can't give an exact date when the recovery is complete. Each person heals differently and at their own speed. L.F. was quick to heal and be on her way.
I have also learned that sometimes there is an irregularity left behind in the tissue and myofascial release is necessary to smooth scar tissue created by the procedure, as is demonstrated in the following case story.
Case #2 C. S.
C.S. is referred by a local plastic surgeon. She is 6 weeks post op with a great deal of swelling, irregular texture and pain.
The session, which would be normally 30 to 45 minutes, stretches to 1 hour. The fluids are moving slowly. During the initial consultation, C.S. shared about her breast cancer experience and the removal of lymph nodes. Following those years, she had several surgeries with no issue of lymphedema or slow healing.
I decided to focus on the auxiliary area where nodes had been removed. This began to allow the flow to pick up speed. At some point nodes can be compromised from having to carry a larger load over time.
The scar tissue, where the speculum was inserted, was dense and hard. In this area too, the fluid moved slowly. The slowing of the stroke by half allowed the fluids to find their way past the incisions and move to open unobstructed exits. The flow then quickened.
The sessions brought great relief from the present swelling and pain but within 2 days it returned. This is normal to a point, as MLD clears the excess, but to return to such an extent puzzled me.
After a few sessions the pain cleared enough that I began Myofascial release to loosen the scar tissue. This technique smoothed the darts left by the incisions and broke up the scar tissue. The return of the swelling lessened and healing was quickening.
The expected healing time was 3 weeks post surgery. After 6 weeks, there was minimal healing. C.S. total recovery time, 10 weeks. The amount of time is individual and with the added consideration of less lymph nodes, the body will get their when it’s ready!
When under taking a body altering procedure, give your body as much time as it needs to recover and allow the new you to unfold sweetly!