Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) massage (Vodder Method is from Austria) is a “Must” for before and after your plastic surgery procedure. Any time you have a trauma such as a surgery to the body, the body’s response is to bring fluid to the area to help heal the tissue, and cause increased swelling. Lymph fluid is the liquid of the blood. If you ever have burned yourself, and had a blister, the yellow fluid in the blister is your lymph. The lymphatic system of your body is located in the fat tissue under your skin and has its own set of lymphatic vessels. MLD massage is very light, so as not to crush the lymphatic vessels. The ultimate goal is to move your swelling from the lymphatic system back in to your blood stream, so you eventually void the extra fluid out.
The purpose of this special massage is to “open the drains” of the lymphatic system to decrease the swelling, thin and speed up the flow of the lymph, and to help heal the wounds. It also helps in softening the scars and the cannula (suction tube) tracks under the skin during liposuction. Clients like the massage because it makes them feel less swollen, decreases the pain, increases their comfort level and helps them heal faster! I have seen some clients gain over 15 lbs. of fluid after a tummy tuck and the lymph drained to her legs and feet, and they could not wear shoes. Lymph fluid is dictated where it goes, …by gravity. Everything goes downwards! If you sit a lot after liposuction of the abdomen or tummy tuck, don’t be afraid if you see temporarily swollen genitals. I recommend that all plastic surgery clients get 1-2 MLD sessions before surgery to open the drainage sites of the lymphatic system to decrease swelling post operatively. I find people heal faster if they have pre operative MLD sessions. Depending on the type of plastic surgery procedure, it is recommended to have at least 3-10 sessions post operatively to keep moving and draining the lymph swelling. Clients usually swell the most within the first 2 weeks post operatively and begin to taper swelling in 4-6 weeks. Wearing the post operative compression garment is essential to prevent further swelling and to help re-attach your skin to your body especially after liposuction in determining your final shape. Your lymphatic therapist also will help you, in giving you emotional support, that you are healing appropriately. MLD massage will help you have the best surgical experience and results!