After liposuction, your plastic surgeon may recommend you schedule a follow-up appointment to undergo manual lymphatic drainage, which has been known to assist in the recovery process. Although liposuction is meant to remove pesky fat from various areas of the body, it’s still an invasive procedure that disrupts a variety of physiological functions. 

Despite being undesirable, fat is an active and living tissue that stores lipids and energy, contains many blood and lymphatic vessels, and provides hormonal regulation. Once removed, those vessels can become damaged, and cells and connective tissue are destroyed. This can lead to an accumulation of excess fluid buildup and the formation of hardened areas of scar tissue (fibrosis). Lymphatic drainage utilizes a particular sequence of massage strokes to trigger fluid flow through the lymphatic system, providing a host of benefits, including: 

Decreasing Risk of Infection & Complications

Liposuction can cause a number of side effects and potential complications such as infection, scarring, and prolonged swelling. The process of fibrosis thickens tissue and causes noticeable scarring and hardness. Although it can diminish over time, these massages can accelerate its removal. Prolonged swelling or pockets filled with fluid can slow down recovery and compromise results. Lymphatic drainage releases this, decreasing inflammation. Because the lymphatic system also plays a vital role in immune cell transport, this treatment can improve the overall immune response, reducing the risk of infection.

Minimizing Recovery Time

Manual lymphatic drainage can speed up the healing process by enhancing circulation and the flow of fluid in lymphatic vessels, reducing swelling. The massage can also release any trapped blood cells, diminishing bruising. By minimizing inflammation and bruising, patients should be able to visibly see the results of liposuction quicker.

Reducing Pain

Because lymphatic drainage is more gentle than your typical massage, it can decrease pain and sensitivity both during and after. 

Optimizing Results

Overall, lymphatic drainage can help you achieve your desired results. By reducing risk of infection and complications such as scarring and fluid buildup, patients will achieve the slimmed down appearance they set out for. 

This supplemental treatment is proven to work in conjunction with the supplied compression garment and additional recovery instructions. Performed in one-hour sessions, the number of appointments depends on a variety of factors from responsiveness to treatment to amount of swelling.

The procedure is also not optimal for every patient. A good candidate for lymphatic drainage is one with excessive swelling or fluid build-up that is difficult to reduce. These complications are more likely to occur in patients who are unable to wear compression garments or didn’t use them effectively. Manual lymphatic drainage may also be an option for patients who don’t follow their surgeon’s detailed recovery instructions. Other patients, for whom the procedure may not be a necessity, may want to undergo the supplemental procedure for peace of mind. It can simply reduce pain and further ensure there are no complications or risk of infection. 

Dr. Anthony Buglino has undergone the necessary training and certification to perform manual lymphatic drainage after liposuction. To find out if lymphatic drainage is right for your recovery journey, call (516) 864-0700 or schedule an appointment online.

Topics: Liposuction