The Breast Massage after Implant and Explant plastic surgery class will focus on evidence-based practices for using manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) and other types of massage to help clients reduce pain and swelling after surgery involving breast implants. We will focus on a few different types of surgery, including:


  • Breast implant surgery for cosmetic reasons


  • Breast implant surgery for gender affirmation


  • Implant-based reconstruction after mastectomy


  • Removal of breast implants (explant) for cosmetic and health reasons, including total capsulectomy for breast implant illness





Around 300,000 people have breast implant surgery each year in the United States. People have a variety of reasons that motivate them to get breast implant related surgery to change the appearance of their breasts.



  • People can have a breast lift after aging, weight loss, pregnancy and/or breastfeeding has changed the appearance of their breasts.



  • Breast implant surgery may also be a part of gender affirmation surgery or breast cancer reconstruction.



  • Breast implants do not last forever, and every year many people choose to have their breast implants removed and replaced with new implants in the same size, a different size or no implants at all.

Surgeons have been incorporating MLD into postoperative care for breast implant surgery for over a dozen years. The ‘Cosmetic Bootcamp Primer: Comprehensive Aesthetic Management’ states that “manual lymphatic drainage and capsule massage are employed to accelerate resolution of tissue edema.”


A few words about Capsular Contracture


In class, I will discuss the different theories behind what may cause capsular contracture. Since the treatment protocol for capsular contracture includes methods like ultrasound, cold laser and pharmaceuticals, which are out of the scope of practice of a massage therapist, I will not demonstrate a treatment protocol for capsular contracture. We will look at the types of medications (and their side effects) that clients may be taking to prevent and treat capsular contracture.



Let's take a look at what we will learn in class:

Research on MLD


We will look at research on the effects of MLD that you can share with clients and plastic surgeons.


“MLD therapy reduces inflammation by lowering the release of inflammatory factors, such as prostaglandins, bradykinin and histamine. It also decreases the production of inflammatory cells, such as neutrophils, macrophages, and lymphocytes”

(Antoniak et al., 2022).



Protocols & Paperwork

Using the protocols provided, you should be able to design a sample session for a client recovering from breast surgery based on your current knowledge and skills.


The Paperwork section of class includes downloadable copies of:

  • Breast massage permission form
  • Massage Therapy Care Plan to send to the plastic surgeon



Feel Confident in your Skills
  • Discussing complications and experiences of patients after breast surgery
  • Explaining contraindications to post-surgery breast massage
  • Describing the stages of wound healing and matching the massage intervention to the client’s current stage of wound healing
  • Describing massage modalities that can reduce swelling and other side effects of surgery















Link to purchase this class

is below the course curriculum



  Class Introduction
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Breast Implant Surgery?
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Breast Augmentation - Cosmetic
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Breast Reconstruction after Cancer
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Gender Affirming Surgery
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Massage after Breast Implant Surgery
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Breast Implant removal without replacement of implants
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Implant removal related breast surgery
Available in days
days after you enroll
  How can massage help after explant?
Available in days
days after you enroll
  How can we optimize our massage therapy office to help these clients?
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Conclusion
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Quiz
Available in days
days after you enroll
  More Resources
Available in days
days after you enroll
I acknowledge that this is not an introductory class and that MLD is not taught in this class. I confirm that I have taken an in-person MLD class and I am confident in my MLD skills for the breast. I acknowledge that I must check with my state and local jurisdictions on the legality of performing breast massage on clients and always work within my scope of practice.


About Your Instructor

Kathleen Helen Lisson uses her lymphedema therapy, massage, mindfulness and health coaching skills to help people recover from surgery and optimize self-care in the midst of chronic illness.

She holds a Bachelors of Applied Science degree in Massage Therapy, is board certified in therapeutic massage and bodywork and is a lymphedema therapist. 

She has spoken at conferences and symposia for the American Venous and Lymphatic Society (AVLS), Fat Disorders Resource Society (FDRS), International Society of Lymphology (ISL), Lymphedema Association of Manitoba, Lymphatic Education and Resource Network (LE&RN), MLD UK, National Lymphedema Network (NLN) and Society for Oncology Massage (S4OM).

She is a NCBTMB approved continuing education provider and the author of Plastic Surgery Recovery Handbook and Stress Reduction for Lymphedema.





Learning Objectives: 

  • Describe popular plastic surgery procedures involving breast implants
  • Discuss complications and experiences of patients after breast surgery
  • Explain contraindications to post-surgery breast massage
  • List and describe the stages of wound healing
  • Describe massage modalities that can reduce swelling and other side effects of surgery


Course outcome:

After completing the class, students will be able to design a sample session for a client recovering from breast surgery based on their current knowledge and skills.


LEARNING OUTCOME: Students will demonstrate familiarity with breast implant related plastic surgery procedures, including their side effects and how massage can benefit client recovery.

This class qualified for 8.5 CE. I am a NCBTMB approved CE provider.