In our practice, we like to see patients for follow up in the first two weeks after the procedure. Once they demonstrate that the healing is started, we often instruct patients to start massaging the area. There are two goals and two techniques for massaging after smartlipo that we recommend:
The factors that affect your degree of swelling are:
Lympahtic drainage massage is the sequential massage of fluid away from an area towards the lymphatic drainage system. It is useful in the treatment of lymphedema, but can also be used after liposuction. It is my opinion that lymphatic drainage massage can help after surgery, but that it is not superior to self administered massage techniques. It is my opinion that five to ten minutes of massage DAILY is superior to an extended massage session that is performed less frequently. Therefore I tell my patients that they may seek professional massages and lymphatic drainage massages if they wish, but not to neglect the basic daily self massage techniques.
First, what is lymphatic drainage massage? It’s a technique that originated in Europe for treatment of lymphedema, an abnormal accumulation of fluid that can occur after lymph nodes are removed during cancer operation surgery.
Characteristics of lymphatic drainage massage is that it is gentle (this is not a deep tissue sports massage targeting muscles, rather a soft massage), and seeks to push the fluid towards the lymph nodes.
The timeframe to getting back to soft skin and getting rid of the swelling after surgery is compression related, time related, and daily massage related. The key thing to remember is that your swelling is going to get better. On the internet, and in my own patient populations, those patients that got lymphatic drainage massage attribute this improvement to that, but they of course do not see the patients that did not get professional massages. In my experience, there is no difference, and daily massages self administered are certainly superior to weekly professional massages.
Finally, a note on swelling. The areas that are most prone to swelling are: