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Pre - Post Cosmetic Surgery

Lymphatic Massage

Why Lymphatic Massage is Suggested for Cosmetic Surgery:

When considering a cosmetic procedure it is imperative to educate yourself in the amount of preparatory and post surgical care required, ensuring the investment you have made results in the outcome you are hoping to achieve. In recent years, more people are making the decision to undergo reconstructive and elective procedures both in and out of state, making the process more mainstream. Manual Lymphatic Drainage is an integral part to the preparatory and post op recovery to help achieve great results. You have invested a great deal of time and money into this process, continuing with aftercare is also needed for an optimum end result!

During the invasive process of surgery from cosmetic procedures, damage occurs to the essential lymphatic pathways which help remove debris, excess fluid, and promote tissue healing. When damage to the tissue happens and the body starts to repair the are, special cells in the body rush fluid to the area to help decrease inflammation and promote healing, but due to the damage of the lymphatic channels, the reabsorption of that fluid is hindered. MLD helps to re-establish those pathways. 

Some common procedures we care for in our clinic are:

  • Liposuction 
  • Brazilian Butt Lifts 
  • Tummy Tucks 
  • 360 Contouring Lipo 
  • Mommy Makeovers 
  • Breast Augmentation/Lifts 
  • Reconstructive Surgery 
  • Post Weight lost Skin Removal
  • Gender Affirmation Surgeries
  • Facial Cosmetic Surgeries

These procedures are all benefitted by a pre and post procedure series of MLD sessions, however, as always, consult your chosen care provider for ultimate treatment plan recommendations.

Here are our Therapists on Staff trained to handle the complexities of Post Surgical Cosmetic Lymphatic Drainage: Rachel Blasko, Katy Killingbeck, Anne Schiele, and Janelle Wise. Feel free to click the the names above to review their bio page for more information and hours of availability.  

Check out Below where we address are some frequently asked questions as well as what to expect from your care at Unlocking The Body for Cosmetic Manual Lymphatic Drainage

FAQ's About Cosmetic Manual Lymphatic Massage:

What does a typical Cosmetic MLD session like?

Lymphatic drainage utilizes a light rhythmic compression and stimulation of the body's natural waste removal pathways helping rid tissue of cellular debris, toxins, excess fluid, fibrosis, anesthesia breakdown, and pathogens. The pressure is light to moderate, lymphatic massage is not a deep tissue technique, although it does affect the body in a deep manner. Your Therapist will do a complete medical history and prepare the table with necessary bolstering for your specific needs. You will disrobe to your comfort level, just like for a regular massage and possibly bring someone to help you on and off the table if needed. If you prefer to wear your undergarments, please make sure they are loose fitting and not constricting. You will then position yourself face up on the treatment table using the provided bolstering systems for comfort and to decrease pressure and increase accessibility to your procedure regions. Your Therapist will begin by opening the major lymphatic vessels in your body, then move to the more concentrated pathways specific to your procedure sites. The session is very relaxing however, may be mildly uncomfortable if you are closer to your procedure date due to tenderness.

Why should I get in for Lymphatic Drainage prior to my procedure?

Ideal treatment plan for pre surgical procedure Lymphatic Drainage would include a standard care plan consisting of 3 MLD sessions 3-4 days apart prior to your surgery date, with a minimum of 1 session if there are cost or other constraints.  This will help prepare the body to receive anesthesia and to clear out the lymphatic drainage pathways of accumulated waste, debris and toxins prior to your surgery helping to speed recovery time and improve healing and fluid removal as you move into your post procedure care.

When should I schedule my first post surgical MLD session and how long a do they last?

Fourteen days post surgery for most procedures is the recommended timeframe when you should be receiving your first MLD session at Unlocking The Body. Ideally, this care plan should have been booked prior to your surgery date. Each session is typically a one hour appointment. However, clients may be seen from 1 hour up to 2 hours depending on their specific needs. Your Therapist may also choose to incorporate different modalities into your session depending on where you are at in your treatment plan such as Massage Therapy or Cupping. 

What are some results I may see from Cosmetic MLD treatments?

  • Decrease in bruising
  • Prevention of fibrosis
  • Prevention of Seromas
  • Decrease in tightness from fluid retention
  • Decrease in pain from fluid retention
  • Increase blood flow and waste exchange speeding healing time 
  • Prevention of puckering at incisions
  • How long does it take to work?

    During the session clients may feel nothing except the Therapist’s hands on their body, or they may feel things are moving inside their body. Movement of fluid, a decrease in skin or fascial tightness, or an increase in a parasympathetic signified by gurgling of your digestive system may all be observed, as well as a fullness in your bladder or the need to urinate immediately or soon after the end of your session. Following the session some clients feel a deep sense of relaxation while others may find immediate relief of a fullness or puckering of their incision area, increased urination can also continue for several hours post treatment as well. Results and experiences vary just as your unique healing journey is to others, remember, these pathways were damaged during your procedure and will require some time to heal. 

    How many MLD sessions post procedure will I need?

    Response to MLD varies for each individual and procedure received. Your response is uniquely your own and can't be compared to anyone else's — even those cases that may appear to be similar to your own. The number of sessions needed varies widely — from one to two per week over the course of several weeks. Your Practitioner will discuss your specific plan with you at the end of your first session. As a general rule, we recommend a commitment of 3 sessions when establishing care to give your body time to respond to the treatments and to start to see results. Ideal treatment plans post cosmetic procedures are 1-2 times a week for 6-12 weeks for optimum results while healing occurs. Minimum care plans post surgical procedure would be 1 time per week for 6 sessions.

    I found a cheaper place, why should I go to Unlocking The Body?

    For post cosmetic care most Massage School training simply isn't enough for the complexities of surgical procedures. Many variables make this a modality one where it pays to see someone with a significant amount of training above initial schooling. Rest assured at Unlocking The Body, you are receiving care from a highly skilled Therapist who has had supplemental training above and beyond the basic training received in Massage School for Manual Lymphatic Drainage. Our Therapists adhere to the Vodder method of MLD, which is a medically based Lymphatic Drainage application, and have a minimum of 40 additional hours of training in specific post surgical MLD on top of other advanced MLD training. 250 hours in general Lymphatic work are required to be considered a certified Lymphatic Drainage Therapist by the governing bodies who provide certification. Anne Schiele is our Lymphatic Drainage Instructor in house who provides all of our mentorship and training for our Therapist.

    If you are shopping around, be sure to ask your potential Therapist what training they have in addition to their Massage School training in Manual Lymphatic Drainage, as well as Post Cosmetic Lymphatic Drainage.

    A Few More Things...

    In order to receive the most successful and productive care at our facility a few please review these informational points and requirements for treatment:
    • Client is able to transition on and off the treatment table alone or with the help of a caregiver brought to the appointment by the client.
    • If drains are still present this must be disclosed at time of booking - this is not a limit to care, just something we need to be aware of.
    • If Client is on pain medications they must have a caregiver provide transportation to and from the appointment.
    • If Client requires compression garments to be worn a caregiver must be present to provide help putting on or taking off. 
    • We will not be manually pushing fluid through incisions or opening incisions to let fluid release. While this may have been done at your surgery center, this is not something in a Manual Therapists scope of practice in Washington State.
    • In our clinic, if you have a BBL, we will place you semi-reclined with a bolstering system in the face up position, with your rear floated from the table. It will still have a bit of broad pressure. Depending on the preference of your surgeon, you may have been told to avoid this, however, rest assured this pressure is minimal and it puts you in the best position to receive care for your post surgical lymphatic drainage. 
    • We do not provide Manual Lymphatic Drainage in a standing or "on all fours" position. 
    • We do not provide MLD in less than 60 minute sessions. This is a slow moving and intentional type of work, 30 minute sessions do not allow for enough time to let the body process the treatment.
    • You will be required to place a deposit of $110 (cost of one session) upon booking your initial appointment in our clinic. This will be rolled to future appointments and used on your last session of the treatment plan, leaving a zero balance.

    For More Information About The Benefits of Post Surgical MLD

    Check Out This Link to An Article in Massage Magazine

    Here is a great video from Fisher Plastic Surgery about sitting post BBL surgery and when it is ok.

    *Talk to your Surgeon for more information

    Call: 253-970-8256 or Text: 253-234-5250 for More Information or To Schedule