Besides wearing the compression garments it is also important to have manual lymphatic massage.
The duration that you will wear the garment depends on the practitioner. Each will have their own preference. My patients wear the first line garment for 2 weeks 24/7 (taking it off for washing etc), then for another 3-4 weeks about 10 hours a day. Best is to wear it during the day as at night most of the oedema (swelling) will settle so its not as effective.
MLD has only really been introduced in the post-operative period in the past 2-3 years. Many traditional, old school plastic surgeons still don't see the benefit in the treatment.
I have noticed a tremendous improvement in the speed of recovery, minimising swelling, softening of tissue, minimising bruising and general improvement in comfort.
The number of sessions that are required is variable. My feel is that one cannot have enough MLD. Obviously finances are a limiting factor.
Here is a rough guide as to the average number of session:
arms - 3
abdomen - 5-10
flanks - 5-10
outer + inner thighs - 3-5
chin/face - 3-5
In Hi Def patients this may rise to 15-20 sessions (remember that these are just guidelines and your Dr may recommend more or less)
As I said it is variable from patient to patient and also depends on your level of activity. Most patients getting back into gym and exercise usually require less sessions.
MLD therapists can be found on the www.MLDUK.ORG.UK website. Make sure they are registered or otherwise they may be using traditional massage techniques which are not appropriate. The treatment is very gentle, almost like stroking. It should not be uncomfortable - if it is then its being done incorrectly.
Try and see the therapist that the Dr recommends as they generally have a good relationship and give each other feedback on how the patients are doing. Thereby concerns are flagged up early and can be dealt with immediately. Many therapists have gotten to know me now due to the many referrals and anticipate the treatment regime I recommend. Some have even come to seek VASER treatment themselves after seeing the dramatic results and the snappy recovery of their patients.
The procedure kickstarts the lymphatic system back into action. With all the fluid that is infiltrated for the local anaesthetic the tissue becomes a bit overwhelmed with the tissue load and struggles in reducing this. Once the sustain is complete majority of the fluid has been aspirated out. However, tissue swelling soon starts and results in a little swelling. Occasionally some lumps and bumps appear too. These again respond very well to MLD.
Hope that gives you a little more insight into MLD and VASER treatments.
Have a look at this video for more clarification......
Bye for now.
Dr Dennis Wolf