Lumps and Bumps After Plastic Surgery

Lumps and Bumps
After Plastic Surgery

Video: How to Get Rid of
Lumps and Bumps after Plastic Surgery

Video: How to Get Rid of
Lumps and Bumps
after Plastic Surgery

Lumps and Bumps after Plastic Surgery are one of the most dreaded outcomes, but they are very common.  So, if you find that you are developing some lumpy areas as you heal, don’t worry
There is something you can do!
Lumps and Bumps after Plastic Surgery are one of the most dreaded outcomes,
but they are very common

So, if you find that you
are developing some
lumpy areas as you heal,
don’t worry
There is something
you can do!

First:  Remember that Healing is a Process

First:  Remember that
Healing is a Process
Not an Event

While the majority of people who have plastic surgery end up very happy with their results, no one enjoys going through the healing process.  It takes months, and when you are going through it, it seems like it will never end. 

The most important thing to keep in mind is that healing takes time.  Your plastic surgeon isn’t ignoring your concerns when you complain about your now lumpy and bumpy appearance.  He or she knows that it is part of the healing process and that it will take time to resolve.

It Can Get Better Quicker:  Here’s How

There is no getting around the fact that it takes time to heal,
but healing can happen quicker.

The two most important things to speed healing and prevent lumps and bumps are
Compression Garments and Lymphatic Massage.

It Can Get Better Quicker:
Here’s How

There is no getting around
the fact that it
takes time to heal, but
healing can happen quicker.

The two most important things
to speed healing and prevent
lumps and bumps are
Compression Garments and Lymphatic Massage.

Compression Garments

The absolute most important thing that you can do to help heal yourself faster is to wear the compression garments that your plastic surgeon sold you.  No, they aren’t very comfortable.  They make moving and bending more difficult, and you may find that sleeping in them is difficult.  WEAR THEM ANYWAY.

If you search online you will see that a few plastic surgeons say that they aren’t absolutely necessary – and, technically, they are correct.  You can heal without them, but you will heal much slower and probably be covered in lumps and bumps.  You may even develop fluid filled sacs called seromas (and you really don’t want that).

Most surgeons recommend that people wear compression garments for 6-8 weeks, but some say 3-6 months.  Who is correct?  The short answer is that there is no absolute right answer.  Much depends on the kind of surgery you had, how extensive your surgery was, the condition your body was in prior to surgery, and the surgeon’s personal preference.  Given that there is no exactly correct answer that fits everyone, the general rule is the longer you can wear your compression, the better your outcome will be.

Lymphatic Massage

The other really important thing you need to do to speed your healing is to get Lymphatic Massage, which is properly referred to as “Manual Lymphatic Drainage.”

Manual Lymphatic Drainage - Open Terminals- lymphatic drainage therapy - Completed Decongestive Therapy (CDT) Breast Health

Two quick points of clarification about “Lymphatic Massage”:  

  1. I’m using the term “Lymphatic Massage” because it is commonly called that in our culture.  Technically, it is not a massage at all although it feels very much like one.  This means that you can’t just go to any massage therapist who says they offer “Lymphatic Massage” and get what you need.  They do not have the training.

    You need a therapist who is *Certified* in Manual Lymphatic Drainage.  Do your research on the person’s credentials.  A Certified Lymphedema Therapist has this highly-specialized training.

  2.  Second, Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) does not mean pushing fluid out of your drains

    Many people – especially people who go to Miami for plastic surgery – endure a very painful procedure after surgery in which fluid is very forcefully pushed out of their bodies and into their drains.  Sometimes the holes where the liposuction cannula is inserted are reopened (!?!?!?!?) and fluid is pushed out that way.  DO NOT GO TO ANYONE WHO DOES THIS.  It is painful and completely unnecessary.  (Drainage out of the incision sites for a few days after surgery is normal, but it should not be forced.)

    Manual Lymphatic Drainage is gentle and soothing – very much like a massage (but still not a massage).  It is relaxing, and you will feel better immediately.  MLD uses your body’s natural drainage pathways to help move fluid out of swollen areas so that you can literally pee it out.

Shannon Goins Certified Lymphedema Therapist Albuquerque
Doy la bienvenida a clientes de habla hispana

Si no habla inglés, envíeme un mensaje de texto o correo electrónico en español. No hablo español, pero puedo comunicarme con usted usando traductor de google. Muchos de mis clientes no hablan inglés.

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So What Does All of This Have to Do
with Lumps and Bumps?

So What Does All of This
Have to Do
with
Lumps and Bumps?

That’s a fair question, and it has a very simple answer.

Lumps and bumps
typically form
because of swelling that
hangs around for a while.


This is why Compression and Lymphatic Massage are so important.  In summary, Compression helps to keep the swelling from occurring throughout the day and night – but it doesn’t prevent all of it.  Lymphatic Massage moves away the fluid (swelling) that the compression couldn’t prevent.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (Lymphatic Massage) is very effective at relieving swelling postoperatively.  Here’s an article from Massage Magazine on the benefits of MLD on cosmetic surgery patients.  Here’s another article entitled The Importance of Lymphatic Drainage Massage Post Surgery written by Precision MD, a cosmetic surgery center in Sacramento, CA.

Client Testimonial

“Shannon was AWESOME and aided in me healing a lot faster than anticipated. With a lot of confusion surrounding lymphatic massages out there and what was right for me.

Shannon was very knowledgeable, informative and made me feel confident in choosing her for my post-surgical massages. I’d recommend her 1000 times over!”               –M. H., Albuquerque

How Do Lumps and Bumps Form?

We have already learned
that swelling that hangs
around for a while
causes lumps and bumps,
but what exactly is going on?

Normal Swelling

Swelling is fluid comes to an area of injury (like an incision or liposuction area).  You are familiar with this if you have ever slammed your hand in a car door. 

swollen hand

The body rushes a great deal of fluid to the area to cause a natural splint so that you can’t further damage the area by moving it.

If, for example, you had broken your finger, moving it could cause the broken bone to sever arteries or nerves causing you further injury. 

This immediate swelling is normal and protective. 

The first fluid to fill the area contains many special types of molecules that help secure the area and ward off infection. 

This is the first stage of healing – and while it is painful, it is necessary.

Swelling that Doesn’t Go Away Is What Causes Lumps and Bumps After Plastic Surgery

Where minor injuries are concerned, swelling typically goes away on its own.  However, when the body has sustained a lot of injury – like with a liposuction or tummy tuck – there is a lot of tissue damage.  Many cells die as a result of this type of injury – and that is expected.

The problem is that the body has to remove all of these dead cells.  While the body is designed to do this via the lymphatic system, the sheer volume of dead cells is enough to “stop up the drains.” 

Picture yourself standing in your bathroom with a 5 gallon bucket of sludge.  You pour this bucket of sludge all at once into your bathtub.  What happens?  Under the best circumstances, a lot of it will go down the drain, but not all of it.  It may just completely clog up and go nowhere.  This is what the dead cells do to your lymphatic system.

When the drain is clogged, new fluid coming to the tissues cannot go away on its own very easily.  This is how Lymphatic Massage helps – it unstops the drains so your swelling can go away.

lymphatic massage and manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) unstop the drain to reduce swelling

If you don’t get your lymphatic system moving, the fluid just sits there and accumulates.  The fluid is full of proteins which start binding to one another as part of the healing process.  However, it is not ideal when proteins bind together where there is a pocket of fluid because it forms lumps and bumps.

If You Already Have Lumps and Bumps.
Then What?

If You Already Have
Lumps and Bumps.

Then What?

So, you ended up with lumps and bumps after plastic surgery.
You did everything the plastic surgeon said,
but you still have lumps that are driving you crazy

Don’t panic.  It can be fixed – and it doesn’t hurt.

So, you ended up with
lumps and bumps
after plastic surgery.

You did everything
the plastic surgeon said,
but you still have lumps
that are driving you crazy

Don’t panic. 
It can be fixed – and it doesn’t hurt.

The great news is that most lumps and bumps are just where protein has built up and hardened – and that is fixable.  Even if you have worn your compression like you should, it isn’t perfect. 

Not all areas are compressed well, especially the sides of women just above the hips.  This is one reason that many surgeons will recommend foam padding in addition to a compression garment such as a faja (pronounced Fa-Ha).  The padding helps distribute the pressure to areas where the compression doesn’t do a great job.

 

How to Fix the Lumps and Bumps
after Plastic Surgery

Once lumps and bumps have formed they have to be broken up – gently.  When combined with Manual Lymphatic Drainage (Lymphatic Massage) deeper work focused on the lumps and bumps can help to clear them up. 

The “deeper” type of work used to clear up lumps and bumps after plastic surgery is nothing to worry about.  It is usually not felt very much due to the numbness after surgery.  It is not actually very deep (not even as deep as the muscle).  Compared to lymphatic massage which is very light, it is much deeper, but compared to a typical normal pressure spa massage, it is much lighter.

This deeper work gently breaks up the lumps.  The residue from the lumps is then picked up and carried away by the lymphatic system aided by Lymphatic Massage which is done at the same time.

While it does take several sessions to make lumps go away, generally you notice a difference after just a single session.  They are usually softer to the touch and don’t feel like they poke you so much under your compression.  After the session your body continues its “clean-up” process, and once you’ve completed a handful of sessions you will realize one day that they are simply gone.

The great news is that most lumps and bumps are just where protein has built up and hardened – and that is fixable.  Even if you have worn your compression like you should, it isn’t perfect. 

Not all areas are compressed well, especially the sides of women just above the hips.  This is one reason that many surgeons will recommend foam padding in addition to a compression garment such as a faja (pronounced Fa-Ha).  The padding helps distribute the pressure to areas where the compression doesn’t do a great job.

 

How to Fix the
Lumps and Bumps
after Plastic Surgery

Once lumps and bumps have formed they have to be broken up – gently.  When combined with Manual Lymphatic Drainage (Lymphatic Massage) deeper work focused on the lumps and bumps can help to clear them up. 

The “deeper” type of work used to clear up lumps and bumps after plastic surgery is nothing to worry about.  It is usually not felt very much due to the numbness after surgery.  It is not actually very deep (not even as deep as the muscle).  Compared to lymphatic massage which is very light, it is much deeper, but compared to a typical normal pressure spa massage, it is much lighter.

This deeper work gently breaks up the lumps.  The residue from the lumps is then picked up and carried away by the lymphatic system aided by Lymphatic Massage which is done at the same time.

While it does take several sessions to make lumps go away, generally you notice a difference after just a single session.  They are usually softer to the touch and don’t feel like they poke you so much under your compression.  After the session your body continues its “clean-up” process, and once you’ve completed a handful of sessions you will realize one day that they are simply gone.

Recover Faster.  Feel Better Today.

Book Your Appointment Now Online

505-554-5185

Question?
Send me an email or a text.

Shannon Goins Certified Lymphedema Therapist Albuquerque

Put Yourself on the Recovery Fast Track 

If you are planning on having cosmetic surgery,
check out this article on how to prep for cosmetic surgery.
If you are suffering from pain and swelling
following cosmetic surgery, I can help.
give me a call and make your appointment today.  

Put Yourself on the Recovery Fast Track 

If you are planning
on having plastic surgery,
check out this article on
how to prep for cosmetic surgery.

If you are suffering from
lumps and bumps
following cosmetic surgery,
I can help.

Give me a call and
make your appointment today.  

More Info

I spend a lot of time educating my clients about the healing process that they will go through, but there are always questions that come up that they forgot to ask. Surgeons also forget to tell their patients a lot of information.

I highly recommend this book to help you get through your recovery.  It was written by another Certified Lymphedema Therapist who specializes in Plastic Surgery Recovery.  It has a lot of very good advice and will answer questions you didn’t even know you should ask.

Happy Latina Woman after plastic surgery

Heal Faster.  Heal Better. 

Recover from Plastic Surgery
Faster with Lymphatic Massage.

Make an appointment with
Pain & Swelling Solutions
and feel better today!