The Role of Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage in Plastic Surgery Patients

Massage Hands (Shutterfly) Photo

Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage. What is it exactly? Many are unfamiliar with this form of massage, and it is one of my favorite types of specialty work – especially for clients who have just had surgery. Through this piece, my desire is to unveil its health benefits in hopes that you will fall in love with it just as much as I have.


As implied by its name, Manual Lymph Drainage Massage works in conjunction with the lymphatic system. This is a system of vessels that removes proteins, excess fluid, viruses, and bacteria. Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage aids in the waste removal at a cellular level and helps with bringing nutrients and oxygen to the cells. Do you see how this treatments is so valuable for someone who has just had an operation? Between the anesthesia, swelling, bruising, and tightness,this massage will encourage the lymph to move 8-10 times faster than it would on its own.


Before working on a client who is receiving MLD, I am often asked if it is painful. In short, the answer is no.  When people hear the word “massage”, they often think of deep tissue work. Most of my lymphatic clients have just had plastic surgery, the last thing they imagine that they want to have, is a massage on their swollen, sensitive and often bruised bodies. So if you are reading this and planning on having a surgery, I have good news…you will love it. It’s pain free and offers tremendous healing benefits and believe it or not, it is actually quite relaxing.


Since the majority of the lymph system sits right below the skin, the pressure used in this special massage technique is extremely light. By using this light pressure in a rhythmic, circular motion, I can stimulate the lymphatic system to work more efficiently and help it move the fluids back to the heart. As a result, swelling is reduced, toxins are released, and the body has an opportunity to heal more quickly. I love providing these massages to my post surgery clients because they see and feel a difference usually before they have even left the spa, and that makes my heart glad!

How to Minimize your Surgical Scar

One of the most frequently asked questions in our practice is, “what will my scars look like?” And “what can I do to improve my scar?”  And now we have an answer from Stanford University’s Plastic Surgeons, Geoffrey Gurtner and Michael Longaker.  The most recent major advance in scar therapy is called “Embrace Advanced Scar Therapy.

Embrace scar therapy is a new revolutionary product that uses patented Active Stress-Shielding technology to relieve tension on the scar to reduce the formation of scar tissue.

The device works by unloading the tension across a scar which can contribute to “over zealous” scar formation (know as hypertrophic scaring). For it to work, it needs to be applied once the incision is healed (approximately 2 weeks after surgery), and used continuously during the active component of scar healing (6 to 8 weeks).   Embrace is applied to the healed incision, approximately 2 weeks after surgery.  Each piece of Embrace will stay in place for 7-10 days and then need to be reapplied.  The treatment lasts 8 weeks.  Click on the link to see how it works.

Being a new product, we do realize the added expense to your surgery. We recommend Embrace for anyone who forms Kelioid or hypertrophic scaring and for procedures such as abdominoplasty, brachioplasty or any procedure where a scar is a concern.

For more information on the revolutionary product, click on the link here or feel free to contact us at Freed Plastic Surgery.