Manual Lymphatic Drainage
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a specialised treatment that focuses on massaging areas of the body where lymph nodes are located. Surgeons frequently recommend it before and after surgery.
Receiving Manual Lymphatic Drainage before surgery helps in preparing the area of the body about to be operated. MLD does this by stimulating the lymph vessels of the lymphatic system to eliminate excess fluids, cellular waste products, viruses, excess proteins, bacteria, and other unwanted substances present in that part of the body to undergo an operation.
The lymph vessels then function afterward by moving these unwanted substances directly to the lymph nodes from where it is cleaned and filtered by the body’s immune system.
After surgery, a patient may experience excessive or prolonged swelling, which may lead to extended healing times, persistent swelling, continuous pain, and increased risk of infection. These side effects can significantly affect scar formation resulting in unwanted adhesions and decreased mobility.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage has proven to be successful in reducing the risk of post-surgical complications such as infection, bruising, prolonged swelling, and scarring. After surgery, MLD is essential and beneficial as it increases the circulation of fresh blood containing nutrients vital for tissue healing and stimulates the lymphatic system in eliminating unwanted cellular debris and excess fluid at a rapid rate. Thus, the time of recovery is accelerated, risk of infection is reduced as well as adverse scar formation, pain, swelling, and bruising.
Example of surgeries that benefit from Manual Lymphatic Drainage:
- Plastic or reconstructive surgery (breast reduction, augmentation, facial reconstruction, and more)
- orthopedic surgeries
- Caesarean sections
- Joint replacement
With MLD, post surgical patients will see the advantageousness of the therapy, aiding them in their recovery and to get back to their daily lives as quickly as possible. MLD is a gentle treatment for more than a regular massage; therefore, it can be received within days of surgery. The treatments must start in the first week of surgery to hasten the rate of healing.