Following any invasive surgery, most patients are likely to experience swelling and inflammation. However, some patients may experience swelling due to an excess of lymphatic fluid collecting in the body. This swelling is called lymphedema. Many cosmetic procedures, such as breast augmentation, liposuction or a tummy tuck, can lead to this excess fluid build-up in the body. This fluid swelling can be very uncomfortable. When lymphatic circulation slows down with swelling, the cells of the body may regenerate more slowly, and cause patients to heal more slowly, or not as well overall. That is why CG Cosmetics recommends our patients explore the option of post surgical massage to help if this becomes an issue.
It may sound counter-intuitive for patients to consider massage following surgery. When you are experiencing discomfort, soreness and swelling, the idea of someone touching your healing skin sounds painful and makes many patients hesitate, but under the care of a trained doctor and a trained therapist, post surgical massage is gentle and comfortable for most patients. Lymphatic massage can break up the swelling and leave you feeling relaxed.
CG Cosmetic Surgery can also perform post surgical massage as physical therapy to break up any typical swelling and inflammation (not caused by lymphatic fluid). This massage may use slightly deeper tissue massage, around any affected joints and tissue with significant swelling or inflammation.
What to Expect During Post Surgical Massage:
When having post surgical massage for lymphatic drainage, patients should always visit a trained physical therapist, who has experience in post surgical massage. Lymphatic drainage is accomplished with very gentle massage, using stroking motions focused in the central lymphatic system. The lymph nodes will be massaged, to help encourage the body to restore normal functioning of the lymph nodes and flush any toxins out of the system.
Drainage of the lymph nodes using massage should never be painful for patients. The massage will include light massage and stroking of the lymph nodes, which may seem similar to pumping, to encourage a flushing of the system, and should feel comfortable and relaxing to patients. The technique is non-invasive and gentle.
While all areas of the lymphatic system will be addressed during lymphatic drainage massage, the post surgical massage will focus primarily on areas with excess fluid build up, particularly near any healing areas. The massage will help to encourage healing, relax your body, and help to break up and clear out fluid that may be accumulating in the lymphatic system.
Following liposuction, lymphatic fluid may require slightly more intense, even pressure to help clear out from the healing area. After facial surgery, patients will likely have a more pumping type motion used in their massage to help eliminate excess fluid, followed by ultrasound heat in these areas. Massage therapies for patients beyond lymphatic drainage include massage techniques designed to encourage proper blood flow using gentle pressure and heat from ultrasound waves. Your doctor and therapist will design a post-surgical massage plan that suits your needs and helps you to heal safely following your procedure.
Who should Consider Post Surgical Massage:
While any patient who experiences lymphedema following surgery must undergo a follow-up by their doctor to ensure healing, any patient who wants to improve their healing and reduce swelling can consider post surgical massage. Post surgical massage is very safe and non-invasive, so it is a good option for many patients.
Therapists should wait to provide massage therapy until all bleeding has stopped, and should not begin any lymphatic drainage massage for 6 to 7 days after surgery. Patients should also avoid massage if they are running a fever or have any other signs of infection. Once treatment for the infection has reduced the fever, the doctor can indicate when massage therapy can begin again.
Patients with hypotension, active infections, cardiac problems, hyperthyroidism or malignant tumors should not consider lymphatic drainage. All patients should consult with their surgeon before going to post surgical massage, and get specific orders from the doctor for the therapist to ensure safe results.
How does Post Surgical Massage Affect Recovery Time?
Following your procedure, post surgical massage will help your system to recover from your procedure more quickly. Some patients have found that massage can even cut their recovery time in half following their procedures. Patients will likely also experience a decrease in swelling, fluid retention and discomfort with the use of post surgical massage. Bruising will also dissipate faster with massage therapy, often in as little as 3 or 4 days.
Massage will stimulate your immune system, help with blood flow, and encourage healthy healing and increased tissue regeneration. Tissues recover sooner, and the patient will find that their pain is greatly reduced by post surgical massage. Using post surgical massage to help flush out excess lymphatic fluid will also increase the release of endorphins and help to relax patients to aid both in improved healing, and in feeling better and being more able to be active.
Patients may also have less scarring after the procedure if massage is used, due to increased blood flow. With less scar tissue, many patients will find that their results are more natural, healthier and have less risk of numbness and stiffness. Post surgical massage has been shown to help reduce skin dryness, tissue retraction, and pain. Patients using post surgical massage are typically happier with the results of their procedure sooner and have better results overall.
Are There Any Risks To Post Surgical Massage?
Assuming patients consult with their doctors before choosing post surgical massage and visit only trained, certified massage therapists for their post surgical massage, there should not be risks from the massage. Patients should follow their doctor's instructions on when to start the massage visits, as beginning too soon could contribute to infections or bleeding.
At CG Cosmetics, all of our surgeons are board certified, with extensive experience. With experienced surgeons and therapists, the risks associated with plastic surgery and post surgical massage are greatly reduced. Patients can trust our doctors to help them with their recovery and help them find the best aftercare options following their procedure.
How Much Will Post Surgical Massage Cost?
Patients may find that their insurance company will pay in part or entirely for Lymphatic Drainage Massage Therapy, even if it is done after cosmetic surgery. Of course, this varies widely, depending on your health plan, but patients may want to check with their plan first.
Post surgical massage cost will vary widely depending where you go to have your massage done. Some physical therapy offices have post surgical massage options, and your surgeon may also be able to recommend a therapist they have worked with in the past.
Patients should consider all of their options for post surgical massage and find a therapist they feel comfortable with, preferably in a location that is convenient for the patient after surgery. In researching options, patients will find that the price varies greatly from location to location. It is crucial that patients choose a licensed therapist, preferably one who has experience with lymphatic drainage for their post surgical massage.
Financing Your Post Surgical Costs
Patients may find that they want to consider financing enough for their procedure to pay for recovery costs such as post surgical massage as well. At CG Cosmetic Surgery, we work with many third party financing companies that our customers can use to help pay for their procedure. Using financing can help patients to get their procedure sooner, and may be useful for patients who want to get more than one procedure done at a time, to minimize recovery time and increase healing.
Using our medical procedure financing, patients will enjoy low monthly payments, no annual fees, and low interest. With financing, patients can have their procedures done now and move on with their recovery and looking and feeling better, sooner!