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Posted by: Lynette Trailor, 31 Aug 2006 10:21PM
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Post operative embolism and massage/reflexology

Can anybody help? I have a client who had orthopaedic surgery on 11th May. On the 14th May she had a post operative embolism, for which she was prescribed warfarin. She has asked whether she can have a massage or reflexology. Reading everything I can find about embolism it seems that once you have had an embolism you are prone to keep having them, thereby making massage/reflexology unadvisable. My client feels that post-operative embolisms are treated differently and thinks that she will be OK. I have been qualified in reflexology and massage for the past two years, but this is the first client I have come across with this condition. Has anybody got any suggestions?


Frances Charles Luckit
11 Sep 2006 10:30PM

I am a massage therapist and also a nurse who runs a warfarin clinic, treating patients with DVT and embolism. An embolism is an embolism, no matter how caused, and is a dangerous, potentially life threatening condition. It is always a sequal to a Deep Vein Thrombosis, whether this was diagnosed or not. DVT is a total contraindication to massage, however, if the client has been treated with warfarin for long enough, the clot may have been broken down / reabsorbed (for want of a better word). The bottom line is you/she must seek advice from the doctor treating your client, before considering massage.
Frances Charles Luckit
11 Sep 2006 10:33PM

Sorry, forgot to say that usual length of warfarin treatment for pulmonary embolism is 6 months to one year. Reflexology might be ok, but not massage.
Lynette Trailor
11 Sep 2006 11:17PM

Thanks for your help. It confirmed what I thought. I have already informed the client that I think it unadvisable for her to have either a massage or reflexology.
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