When you think about it, surgery is your first step towards healing. It marks the moment joints are replaced, cancers are removed, and improvements and repairs are made. The downside? Normal, but short-term, swelling and pain that interferes with daily living and inhibits recovery.
When is the best time to get MLD? Before and immediately after surgery. A short series of 2-3 therapy sessions a week or so before your scheduled operation prepares soft tissues and stimulates lymphatic activity -- like getting the team motivated for the big game. After surgery, therapy supports the performance of your lymphatic system as it runs full tilt to repair and heal.
Surgery and traumatic injuries sometimes cause permanent damage to an area of your lymphatic system (glands, nodes, vessels), leading to chronic swelling called lymphedema. For example, lymphedema develops in about 20% of breast cancer cases involving lymph node dissection or removal. The damage may not show itself for months or longer, but eventually does with persistent or yo-yo swelling.
MLD therapy goals include:
We liaise with your GP, surgeon and other healthcare team members. As appropriate, we provide house calls and in-hospital visits too.
Consider MLD therapy when you're getting surgery for:
Orthopedics - total replacement or repair of hip, knee, ankle, wrist, shoulder and other joints, ACL repair, rotator cuff repair
Trauma - including complicated fractures, fasciotomies and deep lacerations resulting from home or work accidents
Cancers - related to diagnostic, preventative and treatment procedures
Oral and Maxillofacial - related to reconstruction, head and neck cancer, and trauma
MLD therapy can be provided immediately post op, as you're able to attend sessions. We also treat people in the weeks and months following surgery.
Waiting lists for certain surgeries can be very long and in the meantime, you could be dealing with pain, swelling and having a hard time getting around. MLD therapy reduces those symptoms. While we won't 'fix' the problem yet-to-be operated on, therapy provides a good level of relief to keep you moving and make your wait seem shorter.