Plastic Surgery is such a personal and body altering decision, from choosing the right doctor, to deciding on what procedure you elect to have done. Recovery after plastic surgery is painful and takes weeks to months to see a full recovery. Choosing to put as much effort into your recovery as you did your procedure selection is important.
Just like you would plan to have a few weeks of physical therapy after an orthopedic surgery, you likewise should pre-plan your plastic surgery recovery with a Therapist educated in Lymphatic Drainage. You should also plan to receive 2-3 treatments a week for 3-5 weeks. An ideal plan, if you can make it happen, would be daily treatment for 2 weeks post op.
DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOUR SURGERY IS?
The answer for this is most likely yes. Occasionally your doctor may have an opening leaving room to move up your surgery, but this is still usually a few weeks out. The time to call and schedule your post op visits is as soon as you know your surgery date. Scheduling ahead of time will allow you to pre-book your appointments with the same therapist. This is also extremely important. This therapist will get to know you and understand the procedures you’ve been through. It will also allow your therapist the opportunity to see how your body is reacting to each treatment and adjust methods used or maintain with your current plan.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER SURGERY
- Compression garments may be given to help decrease swelling and aid in lymphatic flow.
- Maintain using compression garments for 6 to 9 months or until swelling completely decreases.
- Your doctor may have used drains to capture lymph fluid. These are typically used if you’ve had a tummy tuck or “mommy makeover”. They are typically take out a week or two post op.
- Numbness on the skin, this could last for months.
- Steri strips will be used to cover the surgical scars, leave these on as long as possible.
- Avoid smoking as it interferes with the healing process.
- You will have swelling and bruising, considering the procedures involved, this is expected.
Swelling will begin within the first 24 hours. This is why starting your lymphatic sessions the day after surgery is recommended.
WILL LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE HURT?
WHAT CAN I EXPECT AT MY TREATMENT?
If you are wearing compression garments you may choose to have whomever drove you to assist in the removal of the garments and help you on to the table. If you don’t have anyone to help you rest assured that your therapist is familiar with and ready to assist you if necessary.
Once positioned on the table the therapist will begin to slowly palpate the axillary lymph nodes, or armpit lymph nodes. Starting here opens the doors or gates of the lymphatic system to allow the flow to return to the heart and circulate through the body. Once we open the lymph nodes we will move in a very specific pattern to help aid in the lymphatic flow. Remember this is nothing like a massage so removing that notion from your mind will help prepare you for this session.
The lymphatic system is one of the only systems in the body without a pump. This why it is important to come multiple times a week for a few weeks. Coming once will only produce temporary results for about 24-48 hours. If you really want to control the swelling you will experience after surgery you will want to be consistent with your treatments.
DAILY TREATMENT AFTER BREAST AUGMENTATION, LIFT OR REDUCTION
The swelling pain you will experience after having a breast augmentation, lift or reduction will be similar to what you may have experienced when your milk comes in after having a baby. By pumping the breast or having your child nurse the pressure begins to subside almost immediately. This is the type of relief you experience as your session progresses.
Imagine feeling that swelling feeling in your chest and then having to wait a few days between lymph sessions. This is why we would highly recommend scheduling once daily for approximately 2 weeks. Your recovery will progress quicker, you will reduce the pain associated with swelling, the tissue will return to a new normal state, and you may be able to reduce the amount of prescribed pain medication as a result of the relief experienced after each session.
ARTICLE WRITTEN BY: Katrina Long
Her love for massage came at the early age of 14 when as a gymnast she received massage therapy. It was instrumental to get her get back into the gym and competing. Massage isn’t something you do to feel good or relax. Massage has always been a necessary way to repairing and fixing ailments of the body.
Katrina did her Massage Therapy apprenticeship training in Aiea, Hawaii and her Anatomy through BYU.
The purpose behind starting Summit Spa & Float was to create a staff/employee environment that would offer insurance and benefits, things rarely offered to individuals in the spa industry.
In 2008 when Sam & Katrina worked together, Katrina was a single mother with 2 children. The spa where she was working would not give her 30 hours a week to work to qualify for insurance. She had to go and get another job to be able to afford health insurance. This experience is what lead her to want to create what they have developed at Summit.
At Summit we believe that if you put the employee first and people matter. We foster a sense of importance and knowledge with continuing education and then our clients will always feel appreciated because the employee feels appreciated.
Katrina is the wife of a first responder and a mother of 4, she loves water sports, canyoneering, and beekeeping. She also served her community for 4 years as an elected official.