Lymphatic Massage ‘Squeeze Lady’ Gets License Suspended for This Dangerous Practice

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Miami is one of the top cities for plastic surgery procedures, with countless breast augmentations, Brazilian Butt Lifts and Mommy Makeovers being performed every day. With so many people undergoing body surgery, it’s no wonder one lymphatic massage specialist was able to build a thriving business that catered to newly-operated-on patients.

This week, the Miami Herald reported that Yazna Corao—who goes by the moniker the “Squeeze Lady”—had her license revoked and later suspended by the State of Florida Board of Massage Therapy for using improper methods, including draining fluids from post-operative wounds. The complaint against Corao stemmed from videos she posted on her own website and Instagram page showing her draining liquids from the open wounds of clients while performing her massages.

According to Vero Beach, FL plastic surgeon Alan Durkin, MD, lymphatic massage is a beneficial practice that can help ease swelling after a body surgery and is relatively safe when performed properly. “Lymphatic massage is an important component of recovery following aesthetic surgery of the face, breast and body,” he explains. “It provides an opportunity to reduce the amount of excess fluid within the tissues and allows for prompt healing following intervention.”

The Florida Department of Health administrative complaint against Corao states that, “Massage is defined as the manipulation of the soft tissues of the human body with the hand, foot, arm or elbow. Massage does not include exuding fluids from open wounds.”

The complaint goes on to state that appropriately performed lymphatic massage uses sequences of gentle strokes to stimulate the flow of fluid through the lymphatic system. Dr. Durkin says gentle massage is helpful, but the treatment should stop there. Draining or eliminating fluid is very dangerous for post-operative patients and could lead to infection or worse. “While this modality is important in reducing post-operative swelling, or edema, it is not designed to directly remove fluid from the patient’s body. Rather, the goal is to redistribute fluid within tissues that are ‘hung up’ due to inflammation,” he shares.

Incisional drainage, which involves pushing fluid out of post-surgical wounds, should only be performed under the supervision of a doctor or nurse. “The concept of fluid removal is far outside the scope of lymphatic massage, or any type of massage outside of a medical or surgical facility,” adds Dr. Durkin.

Corao’s license has been suspended for six months and the “Squeeze Lady” will have to pay fees and investigative costs totaling upwards of $8,500. If this case has highlighted anything, it’s that surgical patients should research their post-procedure care as well as their actual surgery, even if it’s with a licensed professional. 

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