Have you been scouring the internet for consistent post op care advise for your upcoming liposuction, bbl, tummy tuck, or other procedure? I bet you continue to sift through all of those out there who advertise specific terms: "post op care" and "body sculpting" and those who use terms such as 'nurse', 'post op therapist', 'care home', bbl or lipo recovery. They promise "snatched" results, they swear they can eliminate any sign of 'fibrosis' and can 'lance your seroma' so you don't have to travel all the way back to wherever your surgeon is to take care of it, since your primary care provider will not. Once in a while you may come across post op "gurus" who say it is the client's fault for not "doing enough research". To which, I find unnecessarily cruel and not reasonable to exclaim.
I may be the first to tell you that in all fairness, most people do not research enough before ANY surgery or new medication, therapy etc. Why? Because we should be able to trust our doctor to disclose all pertinent information honestly, TO BEGIN WITH. When it comes to plastic surgery, I find that the majority of the consumers perform exorbitant amounts of research sometimes for years prior to their procedure, unlike preventative care, etc. There are those people who fall down the rabbit whole of what is common in the industry and the cultural expectations surrounding plastic surgery, to which we find disturbing illegal practices that are boldly and proudly shared all over the gram and youtube. Lastly, there are those who stumble upon the road less traveled: seeking out qualified, skilled, certified, and insured therapists who have proper training by state and county standards for post op care: a certified MLD (Manual Lymphatic Drainage) trained Certified/Licensed Massage Therapist or a CLT (Certified Lymphedema Therapist). That's it. Those are the only two post op therapists that likely have the skills to help with the swelling and pain reducing magic up their sleeves. Why? they are specialists within a field that is a subspecialty in a bigger field. They are specialists that are trained to be able to work with delicate cancer cases.
Really think about this, if nothing else I say to you seems important, but ask yourself this: Is it really so hard to consider that the only real professional care provider who is truly qualified to work with something as SERIOUS as Cancer, is the most likely choice to be qualified to touch someone after an extreme reconstructive procedures such as a Brazilian Butt Lift?
People can die from these procedures. They're intense. The recovery is also intense. I have seen women come into my office for care with full blown PTSD from a 'post op therapist' who essentially wrung them out like a wet rag to get them "results" that technically, they should get from the surgery alone, once healed. I hope that you would be SHOCKED and DISGUSTED that the majority of those who get "post op care" don't even know the person working on them (particularly in Miami, but it is rampant everywhere) is part of a massively growing-boatfuls-by-the-minute community of illegal practitioners. Not only are clients coming to me who were abused, but literally have been bullied by these types. Yet, somehow, no one seems to realize they are not in scope of practice in all 50 states and most of they time, they get away with it. Why? because it had been accepted as the norm and no one questioned it. Then, when it was questioned, they didn't want to come forward because the issue occurred out of state or they don't want to admit they had plastic surgery. Currently, it is summer of 2021. I can count on less than the fingers of my left hand how many of these 'providers' who are losing their massage licensing and being fined thousands of dollars. Why has it grown so much so fast, especially during the Covid 19 era? Because 1) people found it easier to afford and plan their surgery due to working remotely, stimulus checks, and unemployment money. 2) A lot of women have found an opportunity to make a LOT of money... in the thousands, teaching other women who want a new career, in a short time. So they pay up to, I've seen, for example, $5,000 for a weekend 'course' learning a variety of tools and techniques....then they begin working for themselves because the demand is so high for post op care. Then, in no time, that 'generation' of practitioners realize there is more money to be made in teaching than performing these illegal or unregulated practices. The cycle continues on.
Let me break some things down for you:
A plastic surgeon is a specialist in the surgery. Some are NOT board certified. Some are. Some, to be fair, are absolutely wonderful and have great bed side manner and want you to be healthy. Some look at you like a cash cow and don't tell you things you'd want to know unless you ask. The information you get may be limited. Why? Because their job is the surgery. Not to be your guidance counselor, therapist, friend, or fairy godmother, or make you believe that "The fluff fairy will come visit you" or that you have to "feed the fat" to get results. Hence, most (not all, to be fair), are not all likely to have an actual qualified post operative therapist to refer you to.
A Post Operative Therapist on the internet (or on every street corner in Miami, it seems) is OFTEN seen as being someone who has tons of machines, toys, bells, and whistles, with a fascinating and dynamic instagram page, and are worshipped like 'waist snatching gurus'.
However, the TRULY qualified therapist is someone who has:
1) A state certification/license as a Massage Therapist
2) Who is also trained in MLD or is a CLT Certificate
3) BONUS: if they specifically work with plastic surgery more often than not
You can ask them where they were trained. You can ask them all kinds of questions. They SHOULD be able to educate you even if you didn't ask for specific details. I personally, prefer a Klose trained therapist, because that is what I have been exposed to and most of my colleagues just so happen to be. However, there are several VERY trusted registries you can look up and then compare those therapists to online reviews, their social media, websites, etc and deduce who may be right for you and within travel distance, and HOPEFULLY have availability to fit you in their schedule. (Tip, book in advance):
KLOSE Certified Therapists https://klosetraining.com/therapist-directory/
Dr. Vodder School International https://www.vodderschool.com/
Lymphology Association of North America (LANA) https://www.clt-lana.org/search/therapists/
Academy of Lymphatic Studies (ACOLS) https://www.acols.com/find-therapist/
*In California (until 2023) the scope of practice for massage therapists does not require specifics under their training to be considered qualified statewide, it is up to individual counties and insurance to cover what their scope is, to that, it is also limited in information. To this, I say use your best judgement on your research of individual therapists, what they advertise, the type of content they create, and the reviews you see online, or any referrals from other trusted sources.
A Non Qualified Person to Perform Post Op Care may advertise:
TOYS AND MACHINES: such as cavitation machines, ultrasonic therapy, radiofrequency, laser lipo, wood therapy, bodysculpting.
SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT and BRANDING: Sometimes a red flag can be that they use over feminized fashion logos or have a business name "body by" so and so, say they do lymphatic drainage or post op massages but their social media content shows them excreting body fluids and blood out through incisions or through needles. Sometimes these are makeup artists, aestheticians, lash technicians, and teeth whitening/tooth gem techs to get into this work as well.
CREATE HYSTERIA If someone advertises that without their skills and offerings you will develop sero
OTHER: Sometimes something to watch out for is they also advertise taping for skin retraction and lymphatic drainage in general, but these terms are used incorrectly to mean something completely different from their actual valid methodologies for other situations.
The same amount of time you spend searching for the perfect surgeon for you, I can't recommend enough that you spend that same amount of effort researching care providers in your area, asking for referrals from trusted resources (which can at times also be questionable. You may not want to just go to any willy nilly bodysculpting person your cousin, who also had surgery, raves about. Maybe look for other more reliable sources for referrals.) You must also INTERVIEW these therapists. Just because a CMT or LMT has training in these areas does NOT mean they even have experience in the first place with plastic surgery.
So what you're looking for is a true professional who has a niche WITHIN a niche.
This may be difficult, but trust your best judgement that you can. Look at their website, look at their reviews, their social media content, INTERVIEW them, follow them in other forums and see what they speak about and how they conduct themselves. Use the links aforementioned in this blog, that will be a great start. Unfortunately, it IS up to you to do enough research to KNOW what traits and terms are red flags and which are the target to hit. The best advice I can give you is to just spend as much time learning about what the lymphatic system is, how it works, and read articles and blogs about that system from a medical perspective. Talk to someone who works with swelling types of conditions. Call your doctor if they know of lymphatic based facilities locally for Lymphedema and Oncology. Before you know it, and quicker than I made it sound, you should be fully capable of finding the right person for the job.