How It Works
The therapist uses a very light technique that gently torques the skin to manually open the valves of lymphatic vessels. The body does this,slowly, on its own when our systems are healthy and functioning properly. However, when edema occurs, MLD assists the body in moving this flutd more rapidly thus decreasing the swelling.
Manual lymphatic drainage is a treatment for a condition known as lymphedema. Lymphedema (LE) is a disease where protein-rich fluid known as lymph, collects just under the skin causing swelling typically in the arms or legs. Damage to the body’s lymphatic system changes the way lymph fluid moves from arms and legs to the core of our body. Left untreated the swelling (edema) progresses, resulting in pain, decreased mobility, recurrent soft tissue infections and permanent disability.
There are two types of lymphedema:
Primary Lymphedema - congenital (you are born with it) with too few or malformed lymph nodes, vessels or valves.
Secondary Lymphedema - follow trauma to the lymph system, usually post surgery, radiation, injury, and obesity
MLD For Pre and Post Op Patients
MLD (Manual Lymphatic Drainage) is an ideal pre and post op treatment after undergoing surgery, even cosmetic surgery. MLD promotes body detoxification and works to reduce any swelling or edemas following the surgical procedure. This treatment accelerates the overall healing process and minimizes any potential scarring or long-term effects. This helps to lower the overall pain, and as an added bonus, manual lymphatic drainage is a natural way to calm and relax your body.
Pre Operation MLD
Typically two to three MLD treatments are recommended before the surgery, ideally within a week beforehand. By having these manual lymphatic drainage sessions before your surgery, you’re ensuring that you’re promoting ideal blood flow, and working to improve your body’s immune system. Manual lymphatic drainage works to detoxify any potential debris and waste which may have accumulated within the interstitial spaces of your skin. By having MLD pre-operation, you’re also facilitating quicker healing after the procedure.
Post Operation MLD
Additionally it is beneficial to have another two to three MLD treatments after your surgery, with physician’s approval. These can begin as quick as 24 hours post-surgery which helps to reduce any swelling and inflammation which may arise from the procedure. Occasionally, surgery can repress the lymphatic system’s function, leading to longer healing times. Manual lymphatic drainage is used to reroute lymph to vessels and nodes to reduce swelling, reduce pain, reduce bruising, and reduce the likelihood of post-surgery edema