Having Surgery? Here Is A Way To Speed Up Recovery
Manual lymphatic therapy, known as MLD (manual lymphatic drainage) can be an effective treatment modality and offer many benefits for those both preparing for or recovering from a surgery.
This treatment therapy can be used for many different types of surgeries, as listed (but not limited to what is shown) . . .
Reconstructive and/or Cosmetic (Breast augmentation, reduction, liposuction, facial reconstruction etc.)
Head/neck/ Ear, nose and throat
Joint replacement (knee, hip, etc.)
Why Have Lymphatic Therapy Before Surgery?
A very good question and here is why: helps to prepare the area of the body about to undergo an operation.
It does this by stimulating the lymph vessels of the lymphatic system to remove cellular waste products, bacteria, viruses, excess proteins, excess fluid and any other unwanted substances from the spaces between your cells; essentially cleaning the tissues.
The lymph vessels then move the unwanted substances to lymph nodes where it is cleaned and filtered by the immune system.
Though this process happens naturally (the lymph vessels pump lymph fluid at a resting rate of about 3-8 times per minute), receiving a lymphatic therapy (MLD) from a certified lymphatic therapist, can stimulate the pulsation of lymph vessels to contract up to about 30 times per minute thus accelerating this natural process. This optimizes the cellular environment in the area of the body being treated.
The effects of lymphatic treatment include reducing the risk of post-surgical complications such as . . .
- Excessive swelling
- Excessive bruising
and help in healthier scar tissue development.
An additional benefit of receiving lymphatic therapy prior to surgery is the deeply relaxing effect it can have on the nervous system. By helping to shift the nervous system into a more relaxed state, receiving MLD can support the entire body in adjusting to the physical and traumatic changes caused by an operation.
Three or more consecutive treatments before surgery has shown to yield the best results, but one or two treatments is still beneficial.
Lymphatic Therapy After Surgery & Speeding Up The Healing Process
And then comes the swelling after surgery . . . while some swelling is very normal and a necessary part of the inflammatory healing process, excessive or prolonged swelling can become problematic leading to . . .
- longer healing times
- increased pain
- increased risk of infection
- persistent swelling
- adversely affect scar formation causing unwanted adhesion and decreased range of motion
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) therapy has shown to have great success in treating post-surgical swelling as it can address these issues.
After surgery the lymphatic and immune systems are working overtime to repair and cleanse the tissues.
Much like prior to surgery, lymphatic therapy is an important and beneficial treatment modality as it increases localized circulation of fresh blood (containing nutrients necessary for tissue healing) and supports and stimulates the lymphatic system in flushing unwanted cellular debris and excess fluid at a faster rate.
Therefore, healing times may be accelerated, adverse scar formation minimized, decreases the risk of infection, and swelling, bruising and pain may be reduced.
This allows for our clients to participate in their individualized exercise therapy more efficiently and effectively improving functional integration back into their daily lives.
An additional benefit of having lymphatic therapy after surgery is the powerful effect it can have in calming the entire nervous system. When the body shifts into this more relaxed state, it is given a chance to activate its natural healing mechanisms.
Because lymphatic therapy is such a gentle treatment, it can be received within days of surgery. Treatment frequency after surgery will depend on the operation and the individual client. Typically, there are consecutive treatments that may be necessary in the first week or so after surgery, with treatments decreasing in frequency over the following weeks.
However, even if you’re reading this over a month after your surgery, lymphatic therapy and scar tissue therapy with kinesiotape may still be very beneficial for you!
If you have any questions or want more information not covered, please don’t hesitate to contact us.