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Are There Different Types of Post-op Lymphatic Massage?

Is there a difference between post-op recovery house lymphatic drainage and Vodder manual lymphatic drainage? The answer is YES!

Many people travel out of state to Miami, the Dominican Republic, Columbia or other areas to receive cosmetic surgery. Typically after their procedures, they will either stay at a recovery house, in which case a massage therapist will come to the house to drain you, or there may be drainage available at the clinic where your surgery was performed. The type of drainage generally performed at these places consists of the therapist using firm pressure on the flanks, abdominal and low back area, to push fluid into the drains that are inserted after surgery. If you do not have drains in place, the incisions from the liposuction, if not open, may be re-pierced to allow the fluid to freely flow out onto a pad. This instantly reduces swelling so your faja or compression garment can be immediately donned. This is pretty much standard protocol following a tummy tuck, liposuction, BBL or a complete mommy makeover. This is usually done once a day, sometimes twice a day at recovery houses to keep your swelling down and keep you more comfortable in your compression garments.

So, it's time for you to leave the recovery house, you've gotten that last drainage session in, squeezed into your stage 1 faja and you get on the plane in hopes of scheduling more drainage sessions upon your return home. You make it through your flight with your faja, foams and compression socks, but when you get off the plane you never anticipated the swelling that was accumulated during the trip! You are now scrambling to find a lymphatic massage therapist to get all that fluid off of you. To your surprise, you can't find the type of lymphatic massage that was available at the recovery house! This is where the difference in recovery house drainage and Vodder manual lymphatic drainage comes in.

A certified Vodder MLD therapist will begin to help restore your body's natural lymphatic drainage system by gently manually pumping the lymph towards your internal lymphatic drains and you will eliminate the excess fluid through your bladder...or to put it not so delicately, you will pee it out, rather than it being expressed through external drains. MLD speeds your lymphatic system up to 10 times faster than the normal flow. The effects last longer as it re-routes the trapped fluid around developing and existing scar tissue/fibrosis. This is long term drainage. It is usually recommended that you have 2-3 sessions a week for 2-4 weeks depending on the type of procedures you've had and how much damage to your lymphatic system was sustained. Unfortunately there is no way around this damage to the tiny lymphatic vessels and capillaries. Any surgical procedure will yield the same result and cause swelling.

A recent study by Doctors Casas and DePoli, related to the healing of post-op patients revealed the following: Groups that received MLD as part of their post-op recovery experienced decreased swelling, bruising, scar minimization, pain management and shortened recovery time. "Typically we see patients recover in 9-10 months post surgery. With MLD, patients healed in under 3 months - significantly shortening the post-operative recovery process."

In addition to MLD, gentle vacuum cupping therapy is sometimes incorporated and is useful in post-op care as it helps pull deeper, stagnant fluids to the surface and promotes fresh, oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood and lymph. Since the toxins have been pulled to the surface they are more efficiently pushed out through the manual lymphatic drainage massage thus speeding up the healing process. Following liposuction, a layer of scar tissue develops between the skin and muscle which can create excess scar tissue and might feel like small, hard lumpy areas and "strips". The gentle suction from the cups rapidly facilitates rigid soft tissue release by stretching it up from underlying structures, loosening the developing excess fibrosis and leaving you with a beautiful, smooth contour and sculpted finish.

When you are searching for post-op lymphatic massage, it is beneficial to try to find a certified Vodder MLD therapist in your area. Go ahead and get on their schedule prior to your surgery so you will already have them ready to go and you won't have to spend several days waiting for an available appointment, meanwhile experiencing more swelling! So...get those MLD sessions scheduled ASAP! Remember, you have invested a lot of money and time into getting these procedures. You want to ensure that you are receiving the highest quality of post-op after care so you may achieve the results you will love and be happy with.

As you will see in the photos below, you will notice the swelling doesn't just take place in the surgical areas, it is all over the entire body. This is typical when your lymphatic system is compromised. All of these patients have experienced these results from MLD and vacuum cupping therapy within 10 days after they started their treatments. Some of them are still in the middle of their sessions and will continue to experience even greater loss of fluid. The last photo is of a post-op septoplasty patient who was treated with 1 MLD session 24 hours post surgery.

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