Most of you have never heard of it nor are they aware it was even a thing. Doing Lymphatic drainage takes special training. It can help with things like wrinkles, detoxification, allergies, sinus problems, snoring and much more. It is rather light work and very relaxing and helpful to the body.
But working on pre & post-surgery, lymphedema and autoimmune problems takes even more advanced training. Even more training is required to work on things like lymphedema pre- and post-surgical work like:
Tummy Tuck or Liposuction
Wrist or Elbow
Lower or Upper Limb Lymphedema
Post venous surgery.
First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on your surgery!
Generally, there should be up to 3 pre surgery sessions then up to 10 post surgery sessions.
Lymph work or Lymphatic massages post-cosmetic surgery is a specialized field of training. I have been Certified since 2010 in helping post- surgical work heal it best!
You are going to be tender after your surgery and I AM HERE TO HELP YOU HEAL!
First, lymph drainage massages are gentle.
Second, it will probably take 10 sessions twice a week to reduce swelling, pain and speed your healing. I use microcurrent to improve your healing, and Kinesiotape to help keep the drainage flowing in between sessions. Lymph work can be done with ports in or out. The sooner we can get your body to pick up the work of dealing with excess fluid naturally the quicker the ports come out. The great thing about an experienced therapist doing your after-care work is that we know what complications to watch for. Good lymphatic work makes complications VERY unlikely!
One the incision is closed, the scar work can commence. Making sure it is not restricting on movement or posture is more important that you can imagine. Just because the incision is closed doesn’t mean everything is done. At this stage I again use Kinesiotape, essential oils, Microcurrent, cupping and continued lymphatic work to soften, and smooth your incision site to be the best it can be.
The Therapist will work “close to” but never on “Personal areas” unless specific areas have been included in surgery and requested of the therapist in writing at the suggestion of your physician.
Drainage works all the fluid below the belly button to the “inguinal nodes. Often the thigh will also be worked to keep all potential blockages free and flowing naturally.
With reconstruction the process is similar. The drainage works from breast tissue towards the nodes (shown by the green arrows, RED shows typical scar placement. Typical Lymph drainage will require working on the side chest wall, sub clavicular (under collar bone but above breast tissue) and sternal areas (between breast tissue over chest bone) but not on the breast tissue itself. Protecting your propriety while helping you heal is a big concern for therapists doing this work.
Scar work in this instance requires written authorization from the patient. Work may be stopped and authorized and rescinded at any time. Your comfort and healing is my main concern.
Shoulder, Elbow and/or wrist replacement drains to the same Axillary (armpit) and clavicular (collar bone) nodes.
Part of doing proper work here is making sure the tissue tension stays low and working soft tissue is done as needed so everything flows at it best!
It has been my experience that there is always a chance of lymphedema with any surgery. Whether it happens right away or later. So proper care by a trained and experienced professional is far and away your best chance of a successful procedure!
If you are looking this up odds, are you have already gotten a Dx (diagnosis). Whether it is from CHF (Congestive Heart Failure), or from surgical intervention lymph drainage is now “MAINTENANCE” for your lymphedema. You do not want to let this get out of control. Bandaging or wraps may help you reduce the immediate swelling, but “pitting” control is a big concern as well. Pitting is generally a sign of excessive protein accumulation due to the lack of proper drainage and can cause internal scarring that only makes things worse.
Manual drainage, microcurrent, kinseiotape, breathwork, cupping and proper attention to inflammatory processes are going to be a part of your life. It takes special training with constant updating of skills to work on “the compromised lymph system”.
I was trained in Miami in 2010 in the “Chikly” school. And have done many updates to my skills and approaches since then including adding “Vodder” approach. Those names mean nothing to you, but they are the two main schools in Lymph drainage available today!
It is rare for a Physical Therapist to have this certification, and almost unicorn level of rare for a Massage Therapist to have it.
I am here to help you get to a point where you only intermittently need my help for you to maintain your lymphedema. But it is maintenance.
To my knowledge there is no cure, no surgery, no pill for lymphedema, only manual therapy approaches.
I paint a dismal picture, but it is important for you to know 2 things.
One, this is life changing. Maintenance is a fact of life. The sooner you get on board with that the better off you will be.
Two, I am here to help!
Any questions? ASK away!
Joint Replacement Surgery
Joint replacement surgery is not the affair it used to be. It is still a very significant surgery. Edema is still an issue even with all the advances. Presurgical lymph work helps to clear the tissue, reducing the potential of infection at the incision site. Post-surgical lymph work reduces edema and helps keep the fluid pressure down and moving. You would do this from week one through week 5. Mobilization, Microcurrent and Kinesiotaping help to keep you healing at a good rate to support your healing process.
Once you have completed your primary Physical therapy goals of ADL (Activities of Daily Living) your real rehab starts. Clearing the tissue of congestion, mobilizing the scar and getting the most out of your mobility is as important as the postural concerns and re-learning how to walk, move and trust your new joint. This is also where I can help you.
It is never too late to mobilize a joint, but the longer you wait, the longer it takes!
I am here to help you heal!