Post Surgical Massage Benefits

Benefits of Lymphatic Massage after Surgery.

After you have plastic surgery, joint replacement surgery, or any other type of surgery you want to heal as quickly as possible. You want to feel better so you can get back to your daily routine, but you also are excited to see the results of your procedure more quickly. While rest, gentle activity, and following your post-op instructions are key, lymphatic drainage massage can accelerate your recovery period. 

What Is Lymphatic Massage?

First, let’s look at the lymphatic system and what it does to better understand how the massage works. The lymphatic system is the system of tissues, vessels, and organs that work in conjunction to maintain fluid levels in our body, support immune function, and keep blood circulating. The system carries lymph, a clear fluid that contains proteins, waste, fat cells, and metabolized cells through the body which is filtered through the lymph nodes. Waste is removed from the body as clean lymph circulates back through. When the lymphatic system isn’t moving lymph through the body properly, excess fluid in the body builds up, causing edema and creating a puffy, uncomfortable look and feel.

Lymphatic drainage massage was developed to treat Lymphedema, a condition of accumulated fluid within the body that often develops after removing lymph nodes. A trained massage therapist can manually massage the body in a way to push lymph through the body, breaking up areas of swelling and reducing excess fluid in the body.

Benefits of Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Your lymphatic system is key to healing, regenerating tissues, and removing toxins from the body. When the body has experienced stress, such as fighting off illness, healing from an infection, or experiencing emotional stress, the lymphatic system can slow down. Manual lymphatic massage helps “re-start” the system of moving lymph through the body and can provide a variety of benefits, including:

  • More efficient healing from illness, injury, or surgery

  • Supports relaxation and relieves stress

  • Reduces scar formation by boosting healing responses

  • Removes excess water and metabolic waste from the tissues in the body

  • Reduces swelling from inflammation and fluid retention

  • Reduces bruising 

  • Improves skin quality and provides a more vibrant appearance

Why Is Lymphatic Massage Important After Surgery?

One of the side effects of surgery is swelling. This is a normal inflammatory response and a part of the healing process as fluid rushes to the area to nourish it with white blood cells. Body procedures, particularly tummy tucks and liposuction, often cause additional swelling as excess fluid and fat cells will harden within a few weeks of surgery.

Lymphatic massage helps to move the fluid that’s built up and allows it to move back into the lymphatic passages where excess waste and fluid can be flushed from the body. This prevents fibrosis, which is the development of thick, fibrous scar tissue under the skin as well as reduces swelling and bruising. Many doctors highly recommend lymphatic drainage after surgery for their patients’ comfort, healing time as well as to help them get the best possible results after their procedure.