MLD & Cosmetic Surgery
Undergoing cosmetic or reconstructive surgery is one of the biggest life decisions a person will make. They will spend hours researching plastic surgeons, gathering data on the different procedures and analyzing the costs. They will travel wherever they need to be to have their surgery performed, often making important sacrifices to their personal and professional lives.
Yet, once the surgery is finished, people suddenly realize that they did not dedicate nearly enough attention to the recovery stage of the process. They can find themselves dealing with discomfort, or sometimes, some pain, struggling with support garments, and having difficulty sleeping or performing basic tasks. Often, once away from their surgeon and the support staff at the hospital, they find themselves without encouragement – and begin to feel abandoned and isolated – perhaps even overcome with second thoughts. Compounding the problem is the persistent swelling, tender bruises, and the appearance of scar tissue that can seem to sabotage the benefits of the surgery.
Lets face it: Cosmetic surgeries like face-lifts, cosmetic eyelid surgery, breast augmentations and reductions, liposuction or liposculpture and tummy tucks are performed so often these days, that we sometimes forget that the same healing has to take place as with non-cosmetic surgeries.
Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) both before and after cosmetic surgery can solve a lot of these problems. No wonder then that more and more plastic surgeons are now encouraging their patients to try this effective treatment.
Why is Pre-Operative Manual Lymphatic Drainage important?
Doctors and aestheticians find that pre-operative MLD treatments help not only with the relaxation of their patients, but also help to get the lymphatic system in peak condition, in order to overcome the imminent trauma of surgery in the best possible way: to help reduce swelling and bruising, to keep the lymph system operating at optimal levels to accelerate the upcoming healing process, to encourage better scar formation and ultimately reveal the new you in less time.
Why is Post-Operative Manual Lymphatic Drainage important?
The lymphatic system is naturally compromised following the trauma of surgery, with fluids tending to accumulate, leading to swelling, mobility problems and general discomfort.
Manual Lymph Drainage is used to decongest swollen and tender soft tissues after these surgical procedures, and helps speed up the natural healing process in the following way:
During any type of cosmetic surgery, blood vessels are cut and there is damage to some of the lymph vessels – producing an inflammation and build up of fluid in the surrounding tissues. The red blood cells and other waste materials that result from the surgery need to be removed from the body as soon as possible, so that both bruising and swelling are kept to a minimum.
Using MLD, we can help remove the red blood cells from the connective tissue before they have a chance to become organised into haematomas (bruises). If MLD begins soon after surgery, say within 48 hours post-surgery, bruises can be drained via the lymph system. As MLD is very light, the bruises can be worked on without causing pain.
Thus, during the earliest part of the treatment we work to assist the major lymphatic structures in moving the stockpile of accumulated fluid that has overwhelmed the normal flow of lymph. Then, gradually, in further treatments we bring attention to the areas that are specific to the patient’s needs, including areas that are still tender, painful, swollen and/or oedematous.
In addition, pain is alleviated as MLD removes the excess fluid which compresses nerves and thus produces pain. In addition, MLD lessens the itching felt as healing takes place along the scar-lines.
There is thus no doubt that the timely inclusion of MLD as part of the healing process plays a major part in the journey to full recovery. The longer it takes for tissues to decongest, the more time and opportunity there is for scar tissue to literally settle in and take hold. Scar tissue limits movement and can be the source of unwanted/unnatural appearances.