Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) may also be helpful for individuals with lipedema by helping to improve the circulation of lymphatic fluid, reduce swelling and discomfort, and support overall well-being.
For Lipedema Care:
- MLD is a gentle “massage” technique that uses specific strokes and pressure to encourage lymphatic flow. While it may look like massage, it’s not because MLD is not deep enough pressure to effect muscles. It’s important to find a qualified MLD therapist. When looking for a therapist, ask questions about the technique.
- It can help to reduce the accumulation of lymphatic fluid and fat in the affected areas, which can lead to a reduction in swelling, pain, and discomfort.
- In addition to MLD, individuals with lipedema may also benefit from compression therapy, which involves wearing specially designed garments to support lymphatic flow and reduce swelling.
- Exercise and weight management can also be important components of lipedema management, as regular physical activity can help to improve lymphatic function and promote overall health. We typically recommend a minimum of 10-15 minutes of walking to help improve lymphatic flow. Often, we will recommend wearing compression during exercise to decrease the reaccumulation of lymphatic fluid. Each person if different, so before beginning any exercise routine, with or without compression, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider.
It is important to note that lipedema is a chronic condition and there is currently no cure. However, with proper management, it is possible to manage symptoms and improve quality of life.
After Liposuction for Lipedema:
For those living with lipedema who undergo liposuction, MLD may also be recommended as part of the recovery process after liposuction for lipedema. Liposuction can help to remove excess fat and fluid from the affected areas, but it can also cause swelling and discomfort. MLD can help to reduce swelling, promote healing, and enhance the overall results of the procedure.
- Liposuction can be an effective treatment for lipedema, as it can remove excess fat and fluid from the affected areas.
- However, liposuction can also cause swelling, bruising, and discomfort.
- MLD can help to reduce these symptoms by promoting lymphatic flow and enhancing the body’s natural healing processes.
- MLD can also help to prevent the formation of scar tissue and enhance the overall results of the procedure.
- It is important to note that MLD should only be performed by a trained therapist with expertise in lipedema care, and that it is not recommended for everyone. Your healthcare provider can help you determine if MLD is appropriate for your individual needs and circumstances.
- For clients living with lipedema:
- We recommend MLD every 2-4 weeks and daily compression to manage symptoms. There is a wide array of compression garments available. We work with our clients to find the right type of garment and fit for their individual needs.
- We may also recommend the use of a specialized pump.
- For clients who chose to undergo liposuction, we recommend the following protocol:
- Before liposuction: weekly MLD of the effected area(s) for the 4-6 weeks prior.
- Immediately before liposuction: one full body MLD 24-72 hours prior.
- Immediately after liposuction: 2-3 MLD sessions in the first approximately 6 weeks after. This depends on your doctor’s recommendation and your healing. If you develop an infection, we postpone all manual therapy until the infection has resolved.
- After “Swell Hell” we reduce MLD sessions to weekly and eventually taper off to as needed. During this transition, we will alternate MLD with other manual therapy techniques to reduce hard, fibrotic tissue as it develops.
If you are considering MLD for lipedema care or after liposuction for lipedema, it is important to work with a trained therapist with expertise in these areas. Your healthcare provider can help you determine if MLD is appropriate for your individual needs and circumstances.