As a pre and post operative package, MLD has been shown through research to decrease the post healing phase of cosmetic surgery from 9-12 months to 3-6 weeks. Why suffer if you don’t have too! Manual Lymphatic Drainage Massage is beneficial to the healing process when used both before and after your surgical procedure. MLD works to activate your fluid circulation and stimulate the functions of both the parasympathetic nervous system and the immune system.

Benefits of MLD to cosmetic and other surgery patients:

Bruising reduction: Cells transported by the lymph system are moved away 10 times faster with MLD.  Bruises heal in a fraction of the time, allowing clients to resume activitites of daily living without having to wear sunglasses or other items for months to hide bruises.

Edema reduction: MLD reroutes lymph fluid to collateral and viable pathways untouched by surgery to allow for accelerated drainage, as opposed to the slow trickle of tissue fluids in the operative site.

Pain management:  As pressure of lymph fluid decreases around nerves, pain and discomfort are relieved and require less pain medication.

Scar tissue prevention and fibrosis reduction:  Lymph fluid left to build up below incisions or sitting in interstitial space can solidify, causing the formation of scar tissue and fibrotic tissue.  These tissues are often felt as ball-like substances below the skin surface.  MLD prevents lymph fluid build up and solidification, for a seamless scar.

Infection prevention: Post surgical MLD is important when considering that stagnating lymph fluid can become infectious material and warrant artificial drain insertion-which is painful, costly, and time consuming.  

The following Pre & Post Op MLD protocol can provide you with a guideline in scheduling your services.  


By receiving MLD pre operatively, the system is at peak performance prepared to handle the swelling, bruising and scaring that would normally take place.  You should schedule and receive manual lymphatic drainage 1 week before your surgery.  You should not receive MLD the day before your procedure when you are not eating or drinking.  Having your MLD session(s) the week before prepares your body for surgery while your lymph vessels are intact.  The general recommendation is 1-3 sessions prior to your surgical procedure.


The typical side effects of post-op surgery can be significantly reduced with MLD, minimizing downtime and discomfort. Post operatively, MLD keeps the healing cells flowing to accelerate healing processes by eliminating swelling and bruising.  In turn, this leads to less pain, less down time, better scar formation and the return to daily living in a fraction of the time. During your post-op MLD session you can receiving therapy in your compression garment.  The compression garment(s) should only be removed during therapy with your Physicians permission.  This varies with each surgeon so be sure to ask or review your instructions provided prior to or after the procedure. The general recommendation is 3-6 sessions following your surgical procedure.  Depending on the type of procedure or if you have had multiple procedures your need may decrease or increase depending on how your body responds to the procedure(s) and the MLD.  With your Doctors approval you can begin to receive Manual Lymphatic Drainage 48-72 hours post-op following your Physicians follow up to make sure you are:  

  • Infection free  
  • Pain medications are managed  
  • Not suffering effects from the anesthesia  

MLD & Cosmetic/Plastic Surgery

 Manual Lymphatic Drainage can be utilized and is beneficial with a variety of surgical procedures such as:


GPS Lipo

Tummy Tuck

Fat Transplants

Breast Augmentation

Breast Reduction


MLD & Orthopedic Surgery

MLD is beneficial and effective in reducing edema, bruising and pain in all surgical procedures, including orthopedic.








The list of procedures and regions is a brief list and does not include all procedures that MLD is beneficial in the treatment of and utilized in improving recovery outcomes. If your procedure is not listed or you have more questions, please contact our office and we will be glad to discuss therapy options.

Lymphatic Drainage can make a difference in your recovery not only in the reduction and prevention of edema (swelling) but in the appearance of bruising and scars.

Preserving the benefits of your manual lymphatic drainage

  • Be sure to follow all directions provided by your Surgeon and the surgical center.  
  • Eat healthy and make sure you are drinking enough water to remain well hydrated.
  • Wear your Physician Ordered Compression Garment

Following your Pre and Post Surgical MLD series you can move to the MLD Maintenance level with the general recommendation of 1 therapy session every 3-4 months.   

You can learn more about the lymphatic system, manual lymphatic drainage therapy and other holistic therapy options we provide under the various website tabs.  Contact our office should you have more questions or to schedule your initial MLD therapy consultation and services.