The Aftercare Academy Blog

The Aftercare Academy; where Manual Lymph Drainage and Lymphoedema therapists gain confidence and success treating postop cosmetic plastic surgery patients

Qualifications Matter: How we can ensure safety and efficacy in postop treatments

Feb 17, 2023
Advanced training for manual lymph drainage therapists working with postoperative plastic surgery patients

Manual lymph drainage (MLD) is a specialized massage technique that can help reduce swelling and inflammation in the body, by stimulating the lymphatic system. It is commonly used in the context of plastic surgery, as patients often experience swelling and bruising after their procedures. However, in order to provide safe and effective treatment, it is important for MLD therapists to have the proper qualifications and training. In this blog post, we will discuss the qualifications that manual lymph drainage therapists should have.


The first qualification that therapists that want to work with postop plastic surgery patients should have is a Manual Lymph Drainage certification. This means that they have completed a formal training program and have passed a certification exam. In the United States, the certification is offered by a number of schools: Klose Training, Norton, ACOLS and Chikly. In the United Kingdom, training is offered by the Foeldi Clinic, Klose Training and the Vodder School. The exam tests the therapist's knowledge of lymphatic anatomy and physiology, manual techniques, and the treatment of various lymphatic conditions. The training program should also include supervised practice sessions, where the therapist can develop their skills under the guidance of an experienced practitioner. 


While certification and training are important, experience is also a key qualification for MLD therapists. The therapist should have experience working with healthy patients prior to working with plastic surgery patients, and be familiar with the specific techniques and considerations for this population. 

Continuing Education

Finally, it is important for MLD therapists to engage in ongoing continuing education to stay up-to-date with the latest research and techniques. This can include attending conferences, workshops, and webinars, as well as reading the latest literature in the field. Plus, attending either online or in-person workshops to gain further knowledge on more advanced techniques and additional knowledge to enable the therapist to work safely with this delicate patient group. In addition, working with patients who have undergone liposuction, breast augmentation, or other common plastic surgery procedures will be beneficial. Using Manual Lymph Drainage on someone with a healthy lymphatic system or a lymphoedema patients is completely different from treating someone who has been through the immense trauma of a surgical procedure. So being qualified in Manual Lymph Drainage or in Lymphoedema therapy, does not mean you have sufficient knowledge to be working on a postop patient.


Manual lymph drainage can be a powerful tool for reducing swelling and inflammation after plastic surgery. However, in order to provide safe and effective treatment, it is important for MLD therapists to have the proper qualifications and training. This includes certification, formal training, experience working with plastic surgery patients, and ongoing continuing education. Patients should always seek out a qualified and experienced MLD therapist to ensure the best possible outcomes.

If you are a Manual Lymph Drainage Therapist and would like to level up your skills and knowledge to gain confidence and success working with postoperative plastic surgery patients, then book your complimentary 30 minute discovery call HERE 

Or signup for the UK and US workshop waitlist HERE


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