What many cosmetic surgery patients don’t realize is that liposuction has a tendency to produce an excessive amount of lymphatic fluid. With this fluid comes swelling first, and dissatisfied patients second. The fluid creates the illusion that nothing has changed after a liposuction procedure, or possibly that the volume of fat in the treated area actually increased. However, this is not the case. Many plastic surgeons recommend a massage after lipo in order to reduce this swelling and produce more favorable results. In this blog, we’ll discuss the benefits of a massage after lipo, as well as how to do it yourself.

At the Silhouette Plastic Surgery Institute, Dr. Daneshmand’s extensive experience in the field of plastic surgery in Orange County is of great benefit to both him and his patients. The more specialized training and experience a surgeon has, the better your results are likely to be. If you want liposuction, but you’re nervous about the potential results, feel free to schedule a consultation with Dr. D. He’ll walk you through the process and ensure that you feel comfortable before undergoing a procedure. For more information, please call 949-359-8397 or fill out our online intake form.

What Is the Lymphatic System in the Body?

The lymphatic system is a delicate tube network that runs throughout the body. It removes fluid (lymph) that has spilled into the tissues from the blood arteries and returns it to the circulation via the lymph nodes. The primary purpose of the lymphatic system includes the following.

  • Regulating fluid levels within the body
  • Reacting to bacteria
  • Handling cancer cells
  • Handling products of cells that might otherwise cause certain disorders or diseases
  • Absorbing part of the fats we eat from our intestine

Lymphocytes are white blood cells found in lymph nodes and other lymphatic organs such as the spleen and thymus. These cells may proliferate quickly and produce antibodies in response to bacteria, viruses, and a variety of other stimuli from dead or dying cells, as well as improperly behaving cells like cancer cells.

What Is a Lymphatic Drainage Massage?

Lymphatic drainage massage is a type of mild massage that promotes lymph fluid circulation throughout the body. The lymphatic system’s fluid aids in the removal of waste and pollutants from the body’s tissues. Lymph fluid can build up as a result of certain medical problems. People with lymphedema, fibromyalgia, and other illnesses, as well as those who have recently undergone some types of cosmetic surgery, can benefit from lymphatic drainage massages.

Normal Massage vs Lymphatic Massage

When many people hear the word “massage”, they have a specific image in their mind. However, a lymphatic massage after lipo is quite different from a traditional massage. Below, we compare the two types of massages.

  • Sequencing: Traditional massage therapists arrange their sessions as they see fit for their clients. However, lymphatic massages have specific sequences that the therapists must follow.
  • Pressure: Lymphatic massage therapists also use specific phases of applying pressure in specific directions and areas of the body. Generally, they follow the natural wavelike motion of the lymphatic fluid through the body.
  • Oils and lotion: Traditional massage therapy involves the use of oils or lotions to help glide the hands over the skin. Lymphatic massages are more precise, and thus do not use these.
  • Intensity: In many cases, traditional massage targets the muscle layer of the body. As a result, the pressure they use is more intense. For lymphatic massages, they only need to access the lymphatic capillaries within the skin. Therefore, they use lighter pressure.

What Are the Benefits of a Massage After Lipo?

A lymphatic massage is a specialist treatment that aids in the effective functioning of the lymphatic system. The treated region is given extra care when done after surgery to speed up healing and offer smoother outcomes. Lymphatic massage has a number of advantages, including the following.

  • Reducing swelling and preventing the collection of fluid
  • Promotion of toxin flushing
  • Prevents the formation of fibrosis and scar tissue
  • Improves blood and lymphatic fluid circulation
  • Stimulates the healing of wounds
  • Often reduces discomfort

As the body reacts to the stressful action of the insertion of cannulas and removal of fat, tissue might generate extra lymphatic fluid after a treatment like thigh liposuction or mons pubis liposuction. Even with less invasive treatments, some individuals may have tissue disturbance, resulting in edema (a build-up of extra fluid). In some situations, pockets of fibrosis might develop, resulting in scar tissue that is rigid.

A skilled massage therapist gently manipulates the skin and underlying tissues in the regions of lymph production to enhance circulation, facilitate drainage, and promote healing during lymphatic massage. The massage itself is usually mild and light, and the patient should find it soothing and comforting. A lymphatic massage is made much more enjoyable by the reduction in pain and edema that occurs soon thereafter.

When Should I Schedule a Massage After Lipo?

Patients who have had procedures such as liposuction or tummy tucks should begin with three to five massage sessions around two weeks after the operation. Because the bruises will be gone, the time is excellent because the patient will not be in too much pain.

It’s important to remember that lymphatic drainage massages aren’t suggested for individuals who have any of the conditions listed below.

  • A history of strokes or blood clots
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Current infections in the body
  • Kidney or liver problems

Expertise is essential in any treatment. Your surgeon will most likely be able to refer you to a local qualified massage therapist. Of course, before scheduling a series of lymphatic drainage massages, speak with your doctor to ensure that they would help your post-operative plan.

What Happens if You Don’t Do Lymphatic Massage After Lipo?

Plastic surgery results vary from patient to patient, so lymphatic massage is just one of many options to potentially improve those results. In fact, whether or not we recommend massage after lipo depends on the specific techniques we used. Basically, massage after lipo isn’t recommended for all patients, but it can be beneficial for some.

You may feel a hardness, water retention, swelling, hematoma, or lumpiness to the regions treated after a plastic surgery treatment. This is very typical soon after surgery. The cannula used to suck out the fat causes inflammation and damage, resulting in post-surgical lymphedema. The fluid fills the channels produced by the cannula, causing the surrounding tissue to swell.

Lymphatic massage after lipo helps to transfer the fluid by gently pushing it back into the lymph arteries, decreasing edema, fluid retention, and discomfort. Without lymphatic massage after lipo, inflammation can progress to fibrosis (permanent tissue hardening) or seroma (swelling) (pocket of serum). Many doctors recommend massage after liposuction or other plastic surgery treatments to ensure that their patients obtain the finest outcomes possible.

Can I Do a Lymphatic Massage on Myself?

Yes, it is possible to perform a lymphatic massage after lipo at home, if necessary. You may conduct a simpler version of lymphatic therapy at home once you’ve been taught the lymphatic drainage procedures. You gently manipulate the skin in a certain way with your hand. There are no oils or lotions used during the therapy. A pinch of talcum powder might assist if your skin is sticky and your hand isn’t moving easily. If your skin turns red once you’ve finished, the exercise was too difficult. We highly recommend speaking with your doctor and your massage therapist to determine the best way to perform your lymphatic massage.

Contact Silhouette Plastic Surgery Today

At Silhouette Plastic Surgery Institute, Dr. Daneshmand has a wealth of knowledge concerning the latest techniques and solutions for his patients, especially when it comes to liposuction. As a highly popular option for cosmetic surgery, it is essential that an Orange County plastic surgeon understand how to deliver the best possible results for their patients. If you’re looking for the best possible results after your procedure, consider a lymphatic massage after lipo. Contact our office if you have any questions. Call 949-359-8397 today, or fill out our online intake form.