Don’t Get a Lymphatic Massage
After Plastic Surgery
(Without Reading this First!)
As a therapist who specializes in lymphatic massage after plastic surgery I hear incredible tales of people who have gotten “lymphatic massage” done out of town a few days after surgery that made them not want to come and see me once they returned home.
The reason, they told me was that what they had experienced after their surgery was so incredibly painful that they were afraid to do it again.
I couldn’t imagine what on earth caused a lymphatic massage to be painful. So, I asked questions about what their “lymphatic massages” were like.
The stories I heard made *me* hurt!
What I have learned is that there are a number of people who claim that they are doing “lymphatic massage,” when in actual fact, what they are doing has nothing at all to do with the lymphatic system. Let me explain.
True Lymphatic Massage Should Never Be Painful
Lymphatic Massage is the term used in popular culture for a technique called “Manual Lymphatic Drainage”, or MLD for short. It is a special technique for moving the fluid that causes swelling.
MLD is very gentle and does not require heavy pressure. The depth of pressure is about the same as the weight of two nickels stacked on your skin.
The sensation of true Lymphatic Massage is pleasant, relaxing, and usually puts people to sleep – EVEN after surgery when people are in a lot of pain.
True Lymphatic Massage Requires Advanced Training
Although it feels like a massage, MLD is not a massage. This means that a massage therapist with standard training is not qualified to do this work.
Before you sign up for a series of lymphatic massages before and after your plastic surgery, be certain to check the credentials of the person who will be doing the work. (This includes the “therapists” that may come as part of your plastic surgery package or with your recovery house stay if you are getting your surgery out-of-town!!!)
All-Too-Common Horror Stories I Have Heard
I live in an area where people very commonly choose to go out of town (or out of the country) for their plastic surgery. As such, I have worked on people who have had surgery in places as far away as Colombia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, California, Colorado, Texas, Minnesota, and Miami, Florida.
The horror stories come from all over, but the ones that I can almost count on are the ones that come out of Miami. I think I’ve heard of one legitimate lymphatic massage being given there.
The horror stories all go something like this:
My Client: “I’m so afraid to have this massage because I barely made it through the first set of them I did after surgery.”
Me: “Really? It should have been a good experience. What happened?
My Client: “Oh, it was SOOOO painful when they pushed the fluid out of the drains!! I screamed the whole time. All of the other girls around me were screaming. It was awful. I wouldn’t have done it if I would have known it was going to be that bad. My surgeon said I needed to find someone to do them when I got back home. So, now I’m here and I’m scared.”
Me: “?!??!!?!? You said they were ‘pushing fluid out of your drains?'”
My Client: “Well, yes. Isn’t that what you are about to do – or something like it? Girls that didn’t have drains had their incisions cut open and they pushed the fluid out of that. My drains are out, so that’s what I thought I was coming to have done.”
Me: “?!?!?!?!??!!!!!!! WHAT?? NO! ABSOLUTELY NOT!”
My Client: “What do you mean?”
Me: “That’s NOT lymphatic massage. That’s not lymphatic ANYTHING. That is torture and completely unnecessary.
There is nothing like that to worry about here. I have proper training. Let’s spend a few minutes talking about your lymphatic system and what I do to help you get better.”
Make Sure You Find
A Qualified Professional
You can avoid this nightmare scenario by doing your research on the person you have chosen to do your lymphatic massage.
There is much talk on Plastic Surgery forums about the importance of getting a lymphatic massage after surgery, but almost no one talks about the qualifications of who is doing the massage. It makes a world of difference in your experience, so be sure to do your research before booking your appointment.