Lymphatic drainage is a manual technique designed to alleviate swelling caused by mechanical insufficiencies, or system overload, in the lymphatic system. This type of swelling can occur after certain kinds of medical treatment and surgery, or it may be due to an illness or health condition. Sometimes referred to as “manual lymphatic drainage,” lymphatic drainage essentially aims to stimulate the lymphatic system and move lymphatic fluid toward the lymph nodes that assist in removal of excess fluid in the body. This gentle technique is capable of providing significant pain relief for patients experiencing post-operative swelling that can cause discomfort in the extremities and other areas of the body. Lymphatic drainage can also be used as a helpful way to manage swelling during recovery from a surgical procedure where lymph nodes were removed.
Our plastic surgeons and the team here at Florida Plastic Surgery Group are proud to offer lymphatic drainage as a treatment that has proven to help manage swelling and relieve pain for many individuals.
What Are the Benefits of Lymphatic Drainage?
Lymphatic fluid is critical to removing toxins, bacteria, and waste materials from our bodies and helping our immune system protect us from harm. Just as critical is lymphatic fluid’s ability to be reabsorbed from the tissue spaces—if not, the fluid can accumulate and produce swelling, which can be very painful and cumbersome. Professional lymphatic drainage works to gently stimulate lymph vessel contraction and increase the rate of flow while sending lymph fluid into the direction of lymph nodes, which can ultimately help drain the fluid buildup in the tissues and relieve swelling. Additionally, lymphatic drainage has been known to improve circulation, enhance the recovery process after surgery, injury, or illness, boost the immune system, and even rejuvenate the appearance of the skin.
Who Are Good Candidates for Lymphatic Drainage?
Ideal candidates for lymphatic drainage include patients who are suffering from swelling induced by surgery, removal of lymph nodes, or trauma to the lymphatic system. Lymphatic drainage can assist patients experiencing swelling or pain due to the following conditions:
- Cancer (particularly breast cancer) and certain kinds of cancer treatment
- Lymphatic system trauma or infection
- Blood flow insufficiency to extremities
- Rheumatoid arthritis
This is by no means an exhaustive list. In fact, lymphatic drainage has been shown to help many individuals experiencing a range of conditions, and can also be utilized as an adjunctive therapy for patients in recovery after a surgical procedure.
Individuals who are currently suffering from blood clots, a heart condition, an infection, kidney failure, or other specific conditions may not be candidates for lymphatic drainage. A member of our team can meet with you to evaluate your concerns and help determine whether lymphatic drainage is right for your needs.
What Does the Lymphatic Drainage Procedure Involve?
During the lymphatic drainage procedure, our certified lymphedema therapist will use gentle Vodder method techniques in areas of the body experiencing swelling. Light movements will be used to stimulate and direct the flow of lymph toward the regional lymph nodes of the affected areas. Lymphatic drainage treatments are performed in one-hour sessions here at our practice.
If you would like to learn more about our lymphatic drainage treatment options, or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact Florida Plastic Surgery Group today.