Benefits of Post-Surgery Lymphatic Massage

Post-surgery lymphatic massage stimulates the natural movement of lymph to remove waste toxins from the body. Excessive edema and swelling after surgery are normal but can cause pain, swelling and scar tissue formation. By promoting the body's natural healing process, it can reduce inflammation and discomfort after sports injuries, improve circulation, and alleviate lymphedema and swelling.


lymphatic massage post-surgery shoulder

In This Article

Swelling and pain, while completely normal, can be quite uncomfortable and lead to the development of scar tissue that can reduce our range of motion and mobility as the body heals from surgery. The lymphatic system’s crucial role in filtering bodily fluids makes it one of the most important systems when it comes to immunity and healing.

‘Stuck’ lymph fluid can trigger severe swelling and pain, which lymphatic drainage therapy makes better by the removal of these harmful substances. Because of its ability to directly move excessive post-surgical edema while using the most gentle of touch, post-surgery lymphatic massage is frequently regarded as a complementary therapy and surgical recovery process.

Post-Op Lymphatic Drainage for Odema, Fibrosis and Scarring

Surgeons often recommend lymphatic massage therapy after surgical interventions due to its effectiveness in improving patient outcomes. 

Excess lymph fluid buildup and swelling are common occurrences during post-operative rehabilitation as patients are unable to engage in physical activities that promote lymphatic fluid elimination. Manual lymphatic drainage can help alleviate this swelling, but patients still need to adhere to the recommended recovery time after surgery.

Injuries, such as those caused by surgery, trigger the body’s natural healing process. This process can lead to inflammation or edema, impeding the healing process and potentially leading to complications such as fibrosis or infection.

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Maintaining the delicate balance of fluid in tissues requires the interplay between the circulatory and lymphatic systems. Arteries deliver nutrient-rich blood to tissues that eliminate toxins from the body. An imbalance in this system can lead to side effects such as water retention, hematoma and bruises.

Excessive fluid accumulation or localized pockets of fluid can also lead to fibrosis, which slows down healing, increases the risk of infection, and causes uneven healing.  The specialized approach of lymphatic massages can help stimulate lymph nodes, redirect lymphatic fluid, and increase the rhythmic contractions of lymph vessels, which can all potentially lower the risk of fibrosis, a condition where excessive scar tissue formation impedes the proper functioning of affected tissues.

Lymphatic drainage post-surgery can also improve healing and reduce scar tissue formation. Excessive scarring can occur due to inflammation and fibrosis, causing discomfort, pain, and limited range of motion. By improving lymphatic flow and reducing inflammation, lymphatic drainage massage can alleviate these symptoms and promote faster healing.

Lymphatic Massage in Your Recovery

When undergoing surgery, it’s important to be prepared for the short and medium-term side effects that follow. 

The body’s response to trauma can cause symptoms such as pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, swelling, numbness, bruising, bleeding, and water retention. While these side effects are normal and part of the healing process, manual lymphatic drainage can help alleviate them and promote faster recovery. 

The lymphatic system is a critical component of maintaining metabolic and tissue fluid balance. Lymphatic vessels are responsible for transporting tissue fluid, exudate plasma proteins, and cells from the body’s tissues back to the circulatory system. Lymphatic massage, as a complementary therapeutic approach, can significantly aid in post-surgical recovery, particularly following shoulder or knee surgeries, by promoting injury repair.

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Are you recovering from surgery and looking for a way to speed up your healing process? This gentle and non-invasive technique can help improve circulation, reduce swelling, and promote overall healing.

When combined with complementary technologies, such as shockwave therapy or INDIBA® radiofrequency, soft tissue mobilization can effectively reduce myofascial adhesions to break up scar tissue. Patients who undergo surgery should consider post-surgery lymphatic massage as a complementary therapy to help minimize scarring and improve overall recovery outcomes.

If you’re interested in learning more about lymphatic drainage therapy and how it can benefit your recovery, contact HelloPhysio today.

The information and content provided here is solely for educational purposes and should not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified healthcare provider. If you have any health-related questions or concerns, it’s important to consult directly with our team or your healthcare provider.

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