Hello, my name is Kathleen Lisson. I am an oncology massage therapist (S4OM Preferred Practitioner) and a Certified Lymphedema Therapist practicing in San Diego, CA. 

I am passionate about helping people after surgery and have seen the positive difference that manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) massage along with proper compression to the donor site can make in clients who have fat transfer to the breasts after a breast reconstruction. 

I put together this class for my fellow lymphatic massage and oncology massage therapists to share a few facts about what our clients will face in recovering from these surgeries and how massage can be a part of their healing journey and ongoing self-care. 

We will look at both research articles and clinical pearls.

How can massage help after surgery? 

  • Reducing edema in the donor site will help many clients recover faster after liposuction. 
  • Some clients can also experience pain and limited range of motion in their body after surgery. 
  • Other clients may be completely healed after several years and just want a relaxing massage by a therapist who is familiar with their cancer treatment and history.  

If you have proper hands-on training in oncology massage and manual lymphatic drainage, you can make a difference for these clients.

massage after reconstructive surgery
Kathleen Lisson, CLT

Hello, my name is Kathleen Lisson

Kathleen Lisson is board certified in therapeutic massage and bodywork and is a Certified Lymphedema Therapist. She owns Solace Massage and Mindfulness, has taught classes at IPSB Massage College in San Diego, and is a NCBTMB Approved Provider. She is the author of Plastic Surgery Recovery Handbook and Swollen, Bloated and Puffy: A Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapist’s Guide to Reducing Swelling in the Face and Body. Kathleen holds a Bachelors of Applied Science degree in Massage Therapy, and is an NHI (Natural Healing Institute of Naturopathy) Certified Master Aromatherapist, an MMI (McLean Meditation Institute) Certified Meditation Teacher, and an ACE-certified Personal Trainer. She is certified to present Peggy Huddleston’s “Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster” workshop and is a S4OM Preferred Practitioner.

She was a speaker at the 2018 and 2019 Fat Disorders Resource Society conferences, a keynote speaker at the 2019 MLD UK conference and completed the Lymphedema Therapy Advanced and Review class at the Földi Clinic in Hinterzarten, Germany.

Approved for 4 CEU from NCBTMB. Take the class, pass the quiz and I will send your certificate via email.

Select a pricing plan and sign up

Learning Objectives

What will we learn in class? 

First we'll go through an overview of what happens to clients BEFORE they come to us for help. You'll be able to:

  • describe different surgical procedures for breast reconstruction after breast cancer surgery
  • describe different surgical procedures for skin reconstruction after skin cancer surgery
  • describe different surgical procedures for the treatment of lymphedema


Then we'll look at what is happening in our client's minds and bodies after surgery and how our massage will affect them. You'll be able to:

  • describe the physical and emotional experiences of clients undergoing reconstructive surgery after cancer
  • explain contraindications to post-surgery massage


Then we'll really get into the heart of the course. I give you the resources you need to help your clients after reconstructive surgery. You will be able to:

  • list and describe several types of massage that can be used to help with recovery after reconstructive and lymphatic surgery procedures
  • describe several indications for scar massage after reconstructive surgery


Learning Outcome:


Therapists will demonstrate how to select massage modalities to help clients after reconstruction surgery.