Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) massage can reduce swelling and is especially beneficial to patients after surgery.

Procedure Information

What is a Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage?

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) Massage is a specialized massage technique designed to stimulate the natural drainage of the lymph, which carries waste products away from the tissues back toward the heart. The lymphatic system plays a vital role in the body’s immune system and helps in the removal of toxins. MLD massage uses gentle, rhythmic circular movements to encourage the movement of lymph fluids around the body. It is particularly beneficial for reducing swelling, relieving pain, and improving the functioning of the immune system.

Who does this procedure suit?

Due to the light, rhythmic application of touch in MLD massage, it can be used effectively to relieve headaches, migraines, sinusitis, bruises, sprains, arthritis, and many other conditions. It’s also beneficial for those with:

  • Lymphedema, which is swelling due to the accumulation of lymph fluid.
  • Conditions associated with poor lymphatic circulation, including fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Detoxification needs or those undergoing a cleanse.
  • Stress and anxiety, as it promotes relaxation.

What results can I expect?

Patients undergoing MLD can expect a reduction in swelling and an improvement in circulation. Many also report a significant decrease in pain levels and an enhanced feeling of relaxation and wellbeing. The effectiveness of the massage in stimulating the immune system can lead to improved overall health and faster recovery from illnesses and surgeries.

What’s the first step to take?

The initial consultation will involve a detailed discussion about your medical history, current health issues, and the specific reasons for seeking MLD. The therapist will explain the procedure, what to expect during the massage, and how it can be beneficial for your condition. This session is an excellent opportunity to address any concerns or questions you might have about the therapy.

How do I prepare for this procedure?

Preparing for an MLD session is relatively simple, but there are a few guidelines to ensure the best results:

  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing to the session.
  • Avoid eating a heavy meal immediately before your appointment.
  • Stay hydrated, but don’t drink excessively right before the massage to avoid the need for frequent bathroom breaks.
  • Discuss any current medications or supplements with your therapist, as some may influence lymphatic circulation.

What happens on the day of my procedure?

On the day of your MLD session, the therapist will guide you through the process to ensure comfort and effectiveness. The steps include:

  • A brief discussion about your current health and any changes since the last session.
  • Instructions on how to position yourself on the massage table.
  • A gentle, hands-on assessment to locate areas of congestion.

What should I expect during the procedure?

During an MLD session, expect a gentle, soothing experience. The therapist will use light pressure with slow, rhythmic strokes to promote lymph flow. The procedure is painless and deeply relaxing, often causing patients to fall asleep. Depending on the area being treated, a session can last from 30 to 90 minutes. Unlike traditional massages, no oils or lotions are used, as direct contact with the skin is necessary to effectively stimulate lymphatic flow.

What should I expect after the procedure?

After an MLD session, patients often experience immediate relief from swelling and discomfort. The following are common post-procedure experiences:

  • A need to urinate more frequently, as the body is processing and eliminating increased lymph fluid.
  • A feeling of relaxation and lightness.
  • Some may experience a temporary increase in symptoms, such as swelling or fatigue, as the body adjusts to the increased lymph flow. This is usually short-lived and should subside within a day or two.

A follow-up appointment may be scheduled to assess progress and determine the need for further sessions. The therapist might also recommend exercises or self-massage techniques to complement the therapy.

What are the risks and complications with this procedure?

MLD is considered a safe and non-invasive therapy with minimal risks. However, it is not suitable for everyone, and certain conditions may contraindicate its use, such as:

  • Acute infections or inflammation.
  • Heart failure or serious circulatory problems.
  • Blood clots or risk of thrombosis.

It’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider before starting MLD if you have any of these conditions. Always ensure that your therapist is trained and certified in manual lymphatic drainage techniques to minimise any risks associated with the procedure.

Please call our office if you experience any concerning symptoms following your MLD session, such as severe swelling, pain, or signs of infection. Our team is here to support you through your treatment and recovery journey, ensuring the best possible outcomes from your MLD therapy.

To discover how MLD therapy can benefit you and to schedule your consultation, please reach out to Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery at 03 9508 9508.

Our surgeons who perform this procedure

Meet our expert surgeons, delivering exceptional skill and expertise in the field of plastic surgery for transformative aesthetic and reconstructive procedures.

Andrew Greensmith

Specialist Plastic and Aesthetic Surgeon (M.B.CH.B, F.R.A.C.S.)
Andrew Greensmith is a highly trained plastic and reconstructive surgeon with expertise in cleft lip and palate, craniofacial surgery, aesthetic surgery, rhinoplasty, ear reconstruction, and general paediatric plastic surgery.

Graeme Southwick OAM

Specialist Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon (MB BS FRACS FACS)
Assoc Prof Graeme Southwick is an accomplished plastic surgeon, holding multiple fellowships and memberships in prestigious medical associations, with extensive experience in teaching, research, and private practice.

Board-certified plastic surgeons.

You can minimise your risks by selecting a surgeon experienced in liposuction procedures. All our surgeons at Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery have extensive training and experience in these procedures, so we offer our patients the highest level of safety and efficacy possible.

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