Peri-operative Therapy for Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Procedures


As Seen In MASSAGE Magazine July 2013

Cosmetic plastic surgery is an industry in need of skilled therapists to help people cope with their surgical recovery. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 14.6 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures were performed in the United States in 2012. In addition, 5.6 million reconstructive plastic surgery procedures were performed last year. These surgeries are typically divided into three main categories: face, breast and body.

It is crucial for a massage therapist wanting to align themselves with the cosmetic surgery industry to have extensive understanding of anatomy, physiology, surgical terminology, possible complications, incision sites, types of procedures and the ever-changing industry trends. In general, massage therapists are discouraged, during their basic massage therapy training, to go near a surgery site for fear of causing harm. Clients are encouraged by their physicians to massage their surgical sites to increase circulation, increase range of motion and mobility, and reduce swelling and bruising. In most cases, clients are not willing or comfortable working on their own surgical sites. With proper training, knowledge, experience and confidence, it is intuitive and appropriate for massage therapists to help people recover from surgical procedures.

As massage therapy is increasingly recognized in the medical community, a new rehabilitation application has been created for this ancient venerable art. A Denver, CO based massage therapy business, Soulstice, Ltd, has developed an advanced course to provide the foundation for a new practice specialty, Peri-operative Therapy.

Choosing to provide Peri-operative Therapy is more than simply adding another massage technique to your technique ‘tool belt’. It is a stand-alone specialty, raising the bar of the massage industry by integrating with the medical community as an ancillary provider in surgical rehabilitation.

Although the concepts of Peri-operative Therapy are beneficial for all clients who are experiencing any physical trauma, this specialty course specifically focuses within the cosmetic and reconstructive surgery industry. Soulstice recommends that participating therapists have the basic knowledge of lymph drainage, and significant experience in medical and treatment-based massage therapy.

Participants obtain skills necessary to understand varying cosmetic and reconstructive surgical procedures and related techniques, monitor for surgical complications, educate and support clients throughout their recovery process and interface with surgical clients to develop the skills needed to interface with the medical/surgical community.

Soulstice, Ltd. is approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, (NCBTMB) as a continuing education provider. The Fundamentals of Peri-Operative Massage Therapy course will provide the participating student with 20 CE's. The upcoming schedule of classes is available on their website at


American Society of Plastic Surgeons 02-19-13