My Holes Closed After Lipo.
Can I Still Get Massages?

The Short Answer is: YES.

 

The longer answer is more complicated (See below),
but is SUPER important for you to understand
for your safety when getting post op massages.

 

“How Can That Be True?” you ask.

“But in Miami/Tijuana/the DR (fill in the blank with wherever you went),
they opened my incisions and pushed out the fluid.
How can you possibly get it out without doing that?
The holes are CLOSED.”

I understand your confusion.  
That info may even have come from your doctor. 
That information is WRONG – even if a doctor says it (and they will).

Please let me explain.

 

Why Should You Take My Word For It?

Let me quickly introduce myself so that you know my qualifications, because they are important for you to know why you should trust what I am telling you vs what you have probably seen on Instagram or TikTok and/or had done to you right after surgery.

My name is Shannon Goins-Blair.  I am a LANA Certified Lymphedema Therapist.  This is the highest level of training/qualification that exists in the discipline of lymphatics.  

The LANA exam I passed is similar in nature to that of a Board exam that a surgeon might take in that it is optional, and it shows an exceptional level of knowledge – far above that of people with similar credentials.  People take these kinds of exams because they want to prove that they know more than their peers.  These are the folks that go above and beyond to learn.  They don’t stop with the bare minimum amount of training necessary just to maintain a license.  It’s not an ego thing (although I realize it might sound that way), it’s about being able to help people distinguish which professionals are above average.

As a Certified Lymphedema Therapist, I have the qualification to work with people with severe lymphatic disease.  That is something much, much harder than working on simple post operative swelling after plastic surgery.  I do plastic surgery recovery as the vast majority of the work that I do.  I enjoy seeing people transition from a bloated mess in a bathrobe and house shoes to a person who looks and feels amazing in their own skin.  I truly love what I do.

 

Why Am I Writing This?

Although I love my job, there is a really hard part to it.  That is hearing stories of people who have been subjected to “post op care” that is unsafe, painful, and dangerous.  Many of them have come to harm – or at least have PTSD after their massages – so much so that they cry on my table when they feel the difference of what it should have been like.

My voice is no more than a drop in the ocean compared to the people doing post op care who don’t have any legitimate training, licensure, or insurance.  These folks are much more flashy in their presentation, and frankly they are better at social media than I am.  

I’m a nerd and an introvert, so I don’t try to compete with those people on social media.  What I do instead is put the info out there for people who will take the time to read and really educate themselves about what good post op care should be.  If you want to have the best, safest post-op recovery, please read on.

 

Why Did I Have Fluid Pushed Out of My Holes In the First Place?

The origin of this practice comes from the surgeons themselves.  It is not uncommon for a surgeon to push fluid out of holes the very next day after lipo because the fluid that was injected into the body right before lipo is performed becomes a bit of an irritant.  Surgeons can legally do this, and if they are the ones doing it only once the day after surgery at their office under sanitary conditions.  

This is the only time and the only circumstance under which such a practice is acceptable.  (It’s not necessary, but if your surgeon does it that one time because they don’t know how to do actual lymphatic work, I’m not going to have a hissy fit.)

What is actually happening is that surgeons (again, in the absence of knowing anything about what actual lymphatic work is) give instructions to their patients to have a massage therapist do the same thing. (!?!?!?!?!?)

This practice then got taught from one therapist to another to another – each time losing even more of the (this should really only be done by the surgeon on the first day post op – if at all).  Then it got put on YouTube, and then (even worse) an industry came along to train people who are not even licensed therapists.  “Oh, you’ve worked doing retail at Target for the last 10 years and don’t have a license? No problem. Just pay me $5,000 for a 2 day long course, and you are ‘certified.'”  (I can’t roll my eyes far enough back in my head to express my disbelief about this, but it is the God’s honest truth.)

 

Why Is This Pushing Fluids Out of Incisions Wrong?

Surgeons, as we all know, live in their own little world.  They do not know what laws govern massage therapists.

As a massage therapist with a decade of experience – and having been licensed in 4 states –  I can state without question that: PUSHING FLUIDS OUT OF INCISIONS IS COMPLETELY ILLEGAL for a massage therapist to do.

Massage Therapists are ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN TO WORK WITH BODILY FLUIDS OR ON ANY WOUND OF ANY KIND.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. Flat out.  This is true in all states in the United States.  See this article about the Dirty Little Secrets About the Plastic Surgery Recovery Industry to find out more about this dangerous and illegal practice.

If someone tells you that it’s ok because they have had “Post Op Certification” give the local massage board a call and ask them how legal it is.  It. Is. NOT.  The End.

 

Why Should You Care?

Fair question.  Incisional Drainage (as it is properly called) is not good on any level.
 
You should care because :
 
  • Massage therapists who reopen incisions are performing medicine without a license
  • Incisional Drainage done after 1 day post op is harmful to the tissues – especially when done with a heavy hand
  • It re-traumatizes the body (and you – they hurt and you will probably be begging them to stop)
  • It can cause a potentially deadly infection called sepsis
  • There is a better, safer, and gentler alternative.
 
 

What Is The Alternative?

The alternative is actual lymphatic work.
 
This is probably also quite confusing, because you are probably saying to yourself right now, “I thought I did get lymphatic massage.”
 
Without getting technical, the fastest way to know that you did not get lymphatic work done is if they pushed fluid out of you.  There is nothing lymphatic about that at all.  That was incisional drainage.
 
A second way to know it wasn’t true lymphatic work is if it was deep, painful work.  Lymphatic massage is light and only stretches the skin in a gentle way.  With the exception of working in the armpits and groin, there is almost no pressure at all.
 
 

But, Will Real Lymphatic Work Actually Be Effective?

As improbable as it sounds, yes.  The major lymph vessels that are used in real lymphatic work live just under the skin.  When the skin is stretched it causes the lymphatic vessels to open and allow swelling/fluid from the surrounding area to enter the vessels. (See this great video explaining exactly how the lymphatic system works.)
 
Once the fluid (and waste) from the area are inside the lymphatic system, the rhythmic motion, along with movement in a very specific direction that follow the lymphatic pathways propels the fluid up to the end point of the lymphatic system where it reaches the terminals (at the collar bones).  The lymphatic system then empties into the cardiovascular system (bloodstream) where the kidneys pull out the fluid, and you pee it out.
 
While it sounds too easy, too light, and too simplistic, it really works.  (Need proof?  Check my reviews on my booking website and Google.)
 
Lymphatic Massage, properly called “Manual Lymphatic Drainage” (not to be confused with the aforementioned Incisional Drainage), is the gold standard for the treatment and maintenance of a permanent swelling condition known as lymphedema.  This swelling is far worse than post op swelling, and real lymphatic work (Manual Lymphatic Drainage) can shrink an arm or a leg that is 3-4 times its normal size.  If it works for them, real lymphatic work will help you, too.
 
 

Why Isn’t Everyone Doing Post Op Trained Like That?

That question is worth its weight in gold.
In short, they SHOULD be trained like that.  Usually, they aren’t.
 
If it were within my power, everyone doing post op work would have advanced training in lymphatic therapy.
 
Fake Practitioners
The facts at hand are that there are many people willing to work outside of the laws of licensure – which include carrying liability insurance in case someone comes to harm on a therapist’s table.
 
These people don’t have actual training in anatomy and physiology.  In practical terms, that means they have no idea what is happening under your skin.  They don’t know how the body heals itself after injury and what is good and bad for it – nor do they know what can cause harm.
 
Clues that your practitioner may not be licensed include them calling themselves “body sculptors or contourists.”  While legitimate therapists may use these terms, they will also generally display a license such as LMT (licensed massage therapist), plus a number.  Here is an article specifically about the dark side of the plastic surgery recovery industry.
 
Licensed, But Under-Trained Practitioners
Next up, we have people who really are licensed massage therapists.  They should be safe, right?
 
Well, they don’t teach lymphatic work in general massage school – and if they do “teach it,” they don’t teach it well.  I can attest to this personally, having been taught “lymphatic work” at my massage school when I was a student.  All I can say is, not even remotely close.  Nice folks, but the info was just wrong.
 
Therapists often try to get by with spending as little money as possible to get their training.  Who doesn’t like to save a buck, right?  This is not where one should pinch pennies.
 
As a result of trying to find the cheapest and easiest training to get “certified” in lymphatic work, many (most) therapists will take a 2 hour online continuing ed course that doesn’t even scratch the surface – and usually contains wrong information!
 

How Do I Know If My Therapist Will Do Real Lymphatic Work?

Great question!  There are several things you can do.
 
1) First check their licensure with the State Board website of your state.  If you can’t find them, walk away. They aren’t legally licensed and this presents a danger to you and your health.
 
2) Next, examine their website for their lymphatic training credentials.  Do they have 40 hours or more of *in person* training? Did they do a 2 hour continuing education course *online* and never learned the appropriate pressure, etc.?  Are they listed as a graduate of an accredited school such as KLOSE, Norton, or Vodder – or are they a full Certified Lymphedema Therapist (even better), or a Lymphology Association of North America (LANA) Certified Lymphedema Therapist (best)?  No? Walk away. You probably are not getting real lymphatic work.
 
Seems like a lot of work, right?  How much time did you put into researching your surgeon?  Your recovery therapist is a very important part of your journey.  This is the person who will likely be giving you more advice than your surgeon had time to do.  Treat choosing your therapist like you would your surgeon. Check licensure, schooling, and make sure they aren’t just a fly-by-night business set up by someone who wanted to make a quick buck.  They are everywhere.  Buyer beware!
 
 

 

Feel Better Today

With a

Lymphatic Detox Massage
or
Get Relief for Your Swelling

 

Plastic Surgery?

Recover Faster with

Post Op Lymphatic Massage

from a licensed professional who specializes in post op massage
To help get rid of those lumps

 

Having Trouble Making Your Appointment?

How to Use the Online Booking System

 
Shannon Goins-Blair LANA Certified Lymphedema Therapist and Functional Medicine Coach
 
Shannon Goins-Blair, CLT-LANA
Certified Lymphedema Therapist
Board Certified LMT
Certified Alternative Wellness Practitioner
and
Certified Integrative Health Practitioner, L2

Terapeuta linfática certificada
LMT certificado por la junta

Recuperarse más rápido.
Sentirse mejor hoy.

Doy la bienvenida a los clientes que hablan español.

Si habla usted español, por favor envíeme un mensaje de texto al 505-554-5185 o correo electrónico en español.

No hablo mucho español, pero estoy aprendiendo.

Puedo comunicarme contigo usando el traductor de google. Muchos de mis clientes no hablan inglés y no tengo problemas para comunicarme con ellos.

 

Am I the Right Therapist for You?

 
Pain & Swelling Solutions
2620 San Mateo Blvd NE, Suite E   
Albuquerque

Map & Directions
Haga clic aquí para ver el mapa y las direcciones


Feel Better Today

With a

Lymphatic Detox Massage
or
Get Relief for Your Swelling

 

 

Plastic Surgery?

Recover Faster with

Post Op Lymphatic Massage

from a licensed professional who specializes in post op massage
To help get rid of those lumps

 

 

Shannon Goins-Blair LANA Certified Lymphedema Therapist and Functional Medicine Coach
Shannon Goins-Blair, CLT-LANA
Certified Lymphedema Therapist
Board Certified LMT
Certified Alternative Wellness Practitioner
and
Certified Integrative Health Practitioner, L2

Terapeuta linfática certificada
LMT certificado por la junta

Having Trouble Making Your Appointment?

How to Use the Online Booking System

 

Am I the Right Therapist for You?

 
 

Recuperarse más rápido.
Sentirse mejor hoy.

Doy la bienvenida a los clientes
que hablan español.

Si no habla inglés, envíeme un mensaje de texto al 505-554-5185 o correo electrónico en español.

¡No hablo mucho español, pero estoy aprendiendo!

Puedo comunicarme contigo usando el traductor de google. Muchos de mis clientes no hablan inglés y no tengo problemas para comunicarme con ellos.

Pain & Swelling Solutions
2620 San Mateo Blvd NE, Suite E   
Albuquerque

Map & Directions
Haga clic aquí para ver el mapa y las direcciones