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Post Surgery Lymphatic Massage / MLD

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Why should you invest in lymphatic massage pre and post surgery?

Lymphatic massage which is also known as manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) can relieve the tight, heavy feeling of swelling after a facelift, tummy tuck, liposuction, breast reconstruction, BBL or even orthopaedic surgery. In fact any sort of surgery can do help by having a lymphatic treatment.

The short message is; with lymphatic massage / MLD as part of your tool kit, this will help reduce your swelling and shorten your post surgical recovery time and get you back to normal, sooner

Want to know more about the benefits of Lymphatic Massage / MLD?

This article from Macom who are a compression garment supplier in the UK, really articulates the benefits of post surgical lymphatic massage / drainage. They talk about the growing trend in the UK to have hands-on lymphatic treatments as part of patients recovery plan.

What do you need to plan for?

If you can, please book in for two or three treatments, prior to your surgery as this will help your body and lymphatic system to be prepared for the post surgical recovery lymphatic massage treatments plus this will help you to be more relaxed


1. Plan and book in your lymphatic massage treatments as soon as possible after your surgery to reap the benefits
2. Budget for one to two x 60 minute treatments a week for around four to six weeks as a general guideline
3. Follow all your surgeon’s post surgical care instructions and wear your compression / faja!
4. Plan for your support and recovery process

  • See Kathleen Lisson CLT guidelines onPlastic Surgery Recovery Shopping List
  • Refer this pre-surgery preparatory exercise programme courtesy of Kathleen Lisson, CLT

    Outcomes of the Lymphatic Treatments

  • Many clients feel less tight and heavy with the swelling reduction due to the lymphatic stimulation
  • Clients also feel less stressed and more relaxed after their treatment due to the relaxation response of the lymphatic sequences.  One client recently said “I didn’t expect it to be so relaxing!”
  • With the lymphatic  treatments, we are reducing the risk of fibrosis (thickening) around the scar and affected surgery area
  • You will have a smooth, even resultAnaesthetics are evacuated from the system more quickly
  • The inflammatory phase of recovery is sped up
  • Wound healing is accelerated
  • Scar tissue is laid down evenly
  • Patients can return to their daily lives much sooner
  • Notes:
    1. Once healed we can also look at MSTR Treatments to further reduced the scarring and softening the affected area, if needed.

    2. You may want to look at post-surgical recovery exercises, once approval given by your Surgeon / Specialist. Kathleen Lisson CLT has put together some a 6 Minute Post Surgical Work Out

    What IS a post surgical lymphatic treatment?

    A Lymphatic Massage / Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is very gentle and rhythmical sequence. There is no “squeezing” out of the lymph. It is a hands-on treatment and you will be placed in a supported position on the massage couch so you can relax and enjoy the treatment.

  • Your treatment starts with boosting full body lymphatic flow through an abdominal and neck massage
  • Gentle massage strokes are used in the swollen area to encourage lymphatic flow and reduce swelling
  • Strokes re-route lymphatic flow away from lymph nodes and vessels affected by the surgery
  • Often the stomach is treated as this will help clear out that post surgical constipation
  • If you can’t lie on your back you may be put in a supported side-lying position or popped on to a chair for some of your treatment
  • Note: No oil or lotion is used and hands are with a light pressure in the direction of the lymphatic flow

    Home Treatments

    If you are physically to make it in to see me as often post surgery you are just not able to travel, then provided you are on the North Shore / Ponsonby / Grey Lynn / Westmere catchment or within 15kms of my Clinic, then I can arrange to come to your home for treatments.

    • Think about this as part of your post care plan as you will need to contact me to confirm.
      Please note the additional travel fee of $25 on top of the 60 minute treatment cost

      Credit for page content to Kathleen Lisson CLT, CMT. To read her book on Plastic Surgery Recovery, order via this link or listen to this podcast for tips and tricks for recovery.