How to get rid of swelling following surgery.

How to get rid of swelling following surgery.

May 4, 2023

Kaeo Physical Therapy’s Approach to Managing the Swelling after Surgery and its Importance.

Significant swelling after an operation is to be expected. Successful management of this swelling will reduce the time you spend away from work and leisure, as well as your pain and discomfort. Physical therapy (PT) plays a key role in postoperative management and can significantly contribute to improved outcomes for patients that include:

– increased comfort

– early ambulation

– decreased hospital stay

– better wound drainage and dressing changes

Physical therapists (PTs) play a central role in facilitating these procedures due to their detailed knowledge of anatomy, biomechanics, medicine, and rehabilitation science. Physical therapy treatment recommendations should reflect sound evidence; however, clinical experience and patient preference are also important considerations. Physical therapists should individualize treatment plans to optimize the patient’s outcomes.

The following is a summary of key points Physical Therapists should consider when managing swelling after surgery:

– Assess the patient’s preoperative status and surgical procedure to develop an appropriate treatment plan.

– Educate patients on the expected postoperative course, including swelling and its management.

– Instruct patients in early ambulation and the use of assistive devices as needed.

– Promote good wound care and drainage techniques.

– Instruct patients on the use of ice and compression as needed.

– Evaluate progress regularly and necessary modifications to the treatment plan.

Edema management is important in orthopedic, general surgery as well as plastic surgery. TED Hose (the white socks you wake up in after surgery) work well for the first few days after surgery but is not a long-term option for swelling in the legs. At Kaeo Physical Therapy, we will assess your need for compression socks long-term and recommend options including custom measured socks with the appropriate amount of compression to maximize benefit and comfort. Most compression socks are good for 3-6 months after the first usage depending on wear and tear on the socks. It is recommended to have 2-3 pairs of socks to allow for proper washing of the socks to maximize their lifespan and reduce infection risk.

“MLD, a gentle manual lymphatic therapy technique, is a potent way to activate the lymphatic system, especially when the transport capacity of the lymph vessel is reduced because of prior surgery and/or radiation therapy. However, if carried out as an isolated treatment for lymphedema, the results are very temporary, and lasting evacuation of lymph fluid from a congested limb is not possible. Many MLD practitioners have been trained only in basic MLD and are not qualified to treat lymphedema at all. However, MLD alone may be used with much success in many conditions unrelated to lymphedema”, according to the Norton School of Lymphatic studies. Dr. Hillebrand received his training through their Complete Decongestive Therapy certification program in 2017. Dr. Hillebrand has used this knowledge on a variety of issues for swelling following an injury, orthopedic surgery, and even plastic surgery.

MLD following plastic surgery, like a tummy tuck or breast augmentation, can reduce pain, swelling, and improve healing rates on incisions allowing for better outcomes. He has also successfully treated women following breast cancer surgery who have pain with shoulder movement or lymphedema in the arm.

He also can use it treatment several other common issues following surgery.

Dr. Hillebrand is also able to measure you and discuss custom garments to address your long-term edema management needs.

For more information on swelling management following surgery or injury or for scheduling an appointment, please call our office at (317) 854-6433 or email us at .

You can also visit our website at .

Dr. Anthony Hillebrand, DPT

Kaeo Physical Therapy

39 N US HWY 31

Whiteland, IN 46184

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