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Post Elective Surgery FAQs


post cosmetic surgery FAQs & support

If you’ve had liposuction, BBL, abdominoplasty a face lift etc., you will need some recovery support.  I am a manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) therapist (Klose) with specialized training in this area. 

What is my goal?

If you’ve had a procedure, you want to decrease hardness & tightness. You want to increase softness, range of motion & ease of motion and regain sensation, specifically after lipo.  If you’ve had abdominoplasty, you want the scar to heal with mobility and no lumps bumps and also regain normal coloring. 

Where do I start?

You want to start your sessions about 4-5 days after your procedure to guide the swelling (contains fibrin hence fibrosis (you don’t want fibrosis)) into the body’s lymphatic system to eliminate the fibrin and the excess swelling through this waste recycling system. 

This is a good time to talk about incisional drainage…  see ** below at the end. 

How do I recover most optimally?

  1. follow instructions from your plastic surgeon
  2. wear you compression garment (Faja) with textured foams (more on that below)
  3. get manual lymphatic drainage (MLD)

How often do I need MLD post op?

You want to have MLD treatment once/wk for 4 to 10 weeks.  Here is a guideline: 

  • 4 to 6 sessions for lipo
  • 8 sessions for lipo + BBL
  • 4 sessions for face lift 
  • 8 to 10 sessions for tummy tuck

When should I set up my MLD sessions?

When you set up your plastic surgery treatment.  This is when to find the lymphatic therapist you want to use and set up your MLD treatments with them.  

We are usually booked about 2 months out and if you call when you get home after surgery, you will be hard pressed to set up regular consistent treatments. 

Plan on starting 5 days post op and coming once per week for 4 to 10 weeks depending on what procedure you had done (see above). 

How do I use foams and compression garments (faja)?

You will need to wear a custom fitted compression garment or one that fits well enough with the use of textured recovery compression foams placed underneath. 

As you shrink, the foams will expand to take up the gaps and prevent lines/indents from the extra fabric. 

The textured compression foams and faja are expressly important to your healing and you must wear them to help your body absorb the extra swelling. They are used to:

  • smooth out lumps and bumps (decrease fibrosis), 
  • aid your body’s natural lymphatic drainage and absorb the swelling,
  • increase blood flow to aid healing process of both soft tissue and nerves
  • stimulate the nerve endings, reduce hardness and regain sensation
  • provide smoothing contouring and healing to all incisions 
    • this includes lipo incisions – on the surface the lipo incisions look small but the under layers include severed nerve endings, which can sometimes take up to a year to heal completely.
      • you many want to cut smaller pieces from precut foams to spot treat lipo incisions and dog ears.

Use “lymphpads” textured foams to prevent fibrosis after abdominoplasty under your compression garment

Use “mobiderm” foams to treat anywhere (arms, flank, back, legs) under your compression garment after lipo

You can find these at BandagesPlus.com

A note about ab boards and back boards

If you’ve had a tummy tuck, do not use an ab board unless your surgeon has cleared you for this. You need to be cleared of blood clot risk and you want to make sure it’s fitted well enough to not create a tourniquet area or seroma. 

If you’re back is in stress from being unable to lie flat on your back after a BBL, get a heating waist pad with vibration massage for use on the low back:

  • ValleyWind Heating Waist Belt wrap (Amazon) 

Decrease hardness, tightness and increase softness and range of motion and ease of motion while regaining sensation.

**Please note I do not do incisional drainage.  This is not lymphatic massage but a technique of pushing and moving the fluid out of the incision sites.  Not all plastic surgeons recommend this. Some of them do. It’s not something that appears to be recommended by the plastic surgeons on the East Coast.  Your body will eventually absorb this fluid and you will excrete it in your urine – this is why you are urinating so much post op.  However, if your surgeon is emphatic you need this and you cannot travel to their offices (because for instance you had a BBL and their offices are more than an hour away and you are now back home), please contact the Cosmetic Surgery Center at UMass and they will refer you to a PT that does this.  

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