Swelling is the body’s natural way to respond to an injury or trauma.
When the body senses an injury, it responds by rushing extra lymphatic fluid containing white bloods cells to the injured area. As the excess fluid builds up around the injury, it causes the enlargement we call swelling.
When the body can’t heal itself, we can—thankfully—aid the healing process with a surgical procedure. Our body, however, reacts to the trauma of the surgery as it would to any other injury: by rushing extra lymphatic fluid and white blood cells to the area of the surgery. Thus, swelling is a natural and common reaction to most surgical procedures.
Yet although swelling is a natural response after a surgery, that doesn’t mean the body should be left to heal itself. Sometimes, the body’s natural reaction can go into overdrive and cause excessive swelling. And excessive swelling or swelling that is left untreated can have negative consequences, potentially undermining the healing process or even the long-term results of the procedure.
Minimize the risk of post-surgical swelling with manual lymphatic massage
When performed immediately after surgery, manual lymphatic drainage massage can prevent much of the build-up of fluid at the root of post-surgical swelling.
Manual lymphatic drainage is a specialized type of massage designed specifically to help restore the correct flow of fluid throughout the body. When performed as part of a post-surgical recovery routine, manual lymphatic drainage massage prevents the excessive accumulation of fluid near and around the surgery site.
In addition, by restoring the natural flow of fluid around the body, manual lymphatic massage can also decrease any post-surgical swelling that might occur, as well as help the body fight infection and aid the healing process.
Manual lymphatic drainage should not be confused with other types of massage. It is a specific—and gentle—form of hand work. Other types of massage will not address the build-up of fluids and could potentially undermine the healing process or even cause additional complications.
Other techniques to manage post-operative swelling
You should always follow your surgeon’s specific instructions when recovering from any surgical procedure.
In addition to lymphatic drainage massage, your surgeon may also suggest or even require additional methods of addressing post-surgical swelling. Depending on the type and location of the surgery, other treatment options might include:
- Elevation: if the swelling is in a limb, support that limb on a pillow or other soft surface above the level of the heart for several hours each day
- Compression: a compression garment restricts the ability of fluid to accumulate at or near the surgery site
- Ice: Use a cold or ice pack on or near the surgery site three or four times a day to help reduce swelling. Icing for too long, however, can also cause injury: Most physicians recommend icing for no more than 20 minutes at a time.
If you are undergoing a surgical procedure, talk to your physician about whether lymphatic drainage massage should be incorporated into your post-operative regime. By scheduling your massage appointment in advance of your surgery (if possible), you may be able to prevent excessive surgical swelling and speed up your road to recovery.
Contact Orlando Massage Clinic
In Home or In Office Massages by Jakki in the Greater Orlando / Central Florida area. Certified for many different massages and treatments. Specializing in Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) post surgery recovery massage.
To schedule an appointment with Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Advanced Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapist, Jakki Bosco LMT, please call (813) 298-5603. We believe nothing is more important than human touch.
Providing massage services to patients in Orlando FL, Windermere, Clermont, Winter Garden, Dr. Phillips, Kissimmee, Apopka, Winter Park, Altamonte Springs and surrounding areas.