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What is Plastic Surgery
Post Op Massage?

plastic surgery recovery post op training for MLD certified massage therapists

Post Op Massage is a relatively new industry that stems from manual lymphatic therapy as well as a few other modalities.

Plastic Surgery Post Op Massage is a specialized medical therapeutic massage that reduces after surgery swelling typically found after plastic surgery.  When performed by a well-trained, licensed professional, it can be an amazing experience for the recipient.  

Post Op Massage can relieve pain and discomfort and literally put a person to sleep in minutes, even though they may not have slept in days following their surgery.  It is a tremendously beneficial set of techniques that speed up the recovery process and facilitate healing.

Post Op Massage usually starts with relieving swelling, but can progress to myofascial work, fibrosis work, and scar work as a matter of course for most clients.  In some instances, other techniques such as cupping or IASTM may be needed to help make small imperfections less noticeable.  Without a doubt, this is a challenging career path that requires a lot of knowledge.

Many Names,
Much Confusion

Post Op Massage is known by a number of different names such as “lymphatic drainage massage,” “fibrosis massage,” and “post op lymphatic massage,” just to name a few.  So how can you tell what you are signing up for when you enroll in a course?

Frankly, it’s hard to know unless the instructor is very upfront with you ahead of time.  I have spoken with several therapists who have found themselves in courses where illegal skills were being taught.  They were out thousands of dollars and had nothing to show for it because what they were being taught were techniques that should only be performed by medical specialists that were completely out of the scope of a massage therapist. 

Fighting your credit card company to get a refund for these illegitimate courses is an uphill battle.  The burden of proof is on you to prove that what you were being taught was out of scope of practice, dangerous, and illegal.  It can take an untold amount of time to get the information together.  Most people get nothing back because they won’t go to that much trouble  So, the problem continues unchecked.

In this post I give a very candid overview of the post op recovery industry – the good and the bad.  While this is a wonderful, rewarding career, there are some aspects of this industry as a whole that are unethical and dangerous, and it is important to have the whole picture before you sign up to take a course here.

Since it is important for you to understand what this course will and will not teach you, I outline the course curriculum for you ahead of time.  

What to Look Out For

Message the person offering the course and ask questions like:
  • What licensure do you hold – massage therapist, nurse, etc.?
  • In what state(s) are you licensed?
  • When were you licensed?
  • Are you a Certified Lymphedema Therapist or MLD-Certified with a minimum of 40 hours of training (including hands-on)?
  • What prerequisites in training and licensure do you require?
  • Where did you receive your training? 
  • Do you have your certifications viewable online?
  • In your courses are there exams to pass or is attendance enough?

People with something to hide will generally not answer your questions directly or they may lie.  Get them to tell you the names of places they have trained and are licensed and then LOOK THEM UP!   Make sure they are in good standing.  If you can’t find their license via an online board, have them send you a picture.

Remember, these classes can be a major investment.  Be sure that you are getting training in legal procedures for your licensure and that the trainer is qualified to be teaching you in the first place.  Sadly, there are a number of people out there who are less than ethical and who are happy to take your money for classes that teach misinformation and put you at risk of harming your clients.