Conference Workshops

Delegates will be able to participate in 3 one-hour workshops (one on each day of the conference). The Committee has worked hard to bring you an exciting mix of workshop content. Because the number of participants in some workshops is limited, and to assist with the room allocation, delegates will be asked to nominate their workshop preferences when they register. Every effort will be made to place delegates in their 3 preferred workshops, but this cannot be guaranteed. The most popular workshops will be repeated.

Workshop 1

Medical ignorance and lymphology: Unquestioned answers and unanswered/unasked questions

Presenter: Professor Marlys Witte, University of Arizona, USA

After a brief introduction to the concept of medical and other ignorance and its ramifications (with audience participation), we will move to the terrain of lymphology and “Knowns that they Question” and finally “Burning Questions” (things participants want to know more about) regarding lymphology generally and lymphedema in particular. Participants will be encouraged to think beyond “lymphedematology” and to frame their thoughts as questions. The workshop will conclude with a brief “report out” as we gather and archive these questions with our mobile “curiosity app” for subsequent analysis.

Workshop 2

Identifying and responding to depression and anxiety

Presenter: Assoc/Professor Jane Turner, University of Queensland, QLD

This session provides an overview of the risk factors for the development of depression and anxiety, and treatment modalities used. Clinical examples will be used to illustrate presentations likely to be encountered by health professionals treating patients with lymphoedema. The workshop will focus on practical strategies to explore mood and facilitate appropriate referral.

Workshop 3

Guarded hope and new frontiers in lymphoedema

Dr Mat Francois, University of Queensland , QLD Assoc/Professor Natasha Harvey, University of South Australia, SA
Dr Tara Karnezis, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, VIC
Dr Ramin Shayan, University of Melbourne, VIC

Aim of the workshop: To bring together experts in the field of fundamental lymphatic vessel biology research with clinicians to assess current and future challenges in understanding and treating lymphatic vascular pathologies.

Overview: This workshop is designed to give an overview about how recent advances in developmental genetics and pre-clinical model systems promise to pave the way to new clinical practice. Several aspects of basic science will be covered ranging from gene discovery approaches to genomics methods that facilitate the study of lymphatic vessel growth and development in health and disease. To complement fundamental research, close interaction with clinicians will be crucial to enable the definition of research priority areas that need to be further explored in order to discover novel molecular and cellular therapies for patients. The workshop will take the following structure:

  • Clinical hurdles in lymphedema treatment strategies (R Shayan)
  • Building lymphatic vessels: insight from developmental biology (N Harvey and M Francois)
  • Exploring lymphatic vessels in settings of pathology and preclinical model systems (T Karnezis)
  • Forward thinking: using new knowledge to inform development of new therapeutics and predictive outcome (All)

Workshop 4

Lymphatic filariasis and its management - a model for all the complex causes of lymphoedema.

Presenter: Professor Terence Ryan, Oxford University, UK


  • What is lymphatic filariasis?
  • Elimination strategies
  • Management of background factors such as genetic susceptibility, venous overload and skin barrier breakdown
  • Morbidity control - promotion of lymphatic flow using all available technologies (focusing on low cost interventions and tricks of the trade from many lands) and avoiding therapies that are too difficult or uncomfortable because they will account for treatment failure
  • Psychosocial support - the importance of the provision of counselling. Questionnaires on quality of life are usefull but which one?

Workshop 5

Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue (SAT) Disorders: Similarities and Differences

Presenter: Dr Karen Herbst, University of Arizona, USA

There are a number of disorders in which SAT develops in unusual distributions on the body and is resistant to reduction after intensive caloric restriction, exercise and even bariatric surgery. Some of these SAT disorders are rare, including Madelung’s Disease in which SAT occurs in excess on the upper body, Acquired Partial Lipodystrophy where SAT is lost from the upper body, Familial Partial Lipodystrophy where SAT increases on the abdomen and is lost from the extremities, and Familial Multiple Lipomatosis where fat occurs in large nodules on the limbs, abdomen, flanks and thighs. Lipedema SAT occurs on the legs and arms primarily in women and is thought to be a common but painful SAT disorder. Dercum’s Disease, also a painful SAT disorder occurring in more women than men, results in lipedema-like or large nodules of SAT all over the body and may be more common than rare. This workshop will compare and contrast SAT disorders to improve recognition and therefore access to treatment modalities.

Workshop 6

Surgical management for lymphoedema: developing partnerships with local lymphoedema practitioners to achieve positive long term outcomes

Presenter: Louise Koelmeyer, Macquarie University Lymphoedema Program, NSW

Lymphoedema is a condition that may impact domains of quality of life including physical, functional, emotional and social. Traditionally lymphoedema practitioners have been trained in assessing and managing lymphoedema by conservative means only and surgical options were previously disregarded or considered not appropriate. However, with the advent of surgical options being increasingly more available in Australia and world-wide, these therapists need to learn a new skill set.

In this workshop the post-surgical management strategies for lymphoedema will be discussed, with emphasis on how the local lymphoedema practitioner is a vital link between the patient and the surgeon. The workshop will briefly outline the various surgical techniques offered in Australia to manage lymphoedema and discuss how to assess for surgery eligibility. Specific measuring techniques for post liposuction outcomes and compression garments will be demonstrated and discussed and the differences in measuring from conservative management will be shared and practised. The workshop will also explore options to enhance best practice outcomes using technology and communication including skype, telephone and web-based electronic medical record systems. Surgical options for lymphoedema may not be appropriate for everyone however it is important that practitioners are able to offer evidenced based information for those who may be interested. This workshop will be interactive and assist lymphoedema practitioners to feel confident in providing information about surgical options to appropriate patients and assisting those who choose to proceed with surgery to partner them with long term management.

Workshop 7

National Lymphoedema Frameworks: achievements, aspirations and challenges

Assoc Professor Margaret Sneddon, University of Glasgow, Director of International Lymphoedema Framework (UK)
Anna Kennedy, Director of International Lymphoedema Framework (Canada)

This interactive workshop will provide an opportunity for National Lymphoedema Frameworks (NLFs) world-wide to showcase highlights of the work undertaken, including what has been achieved and plans for further development and initiatives. Sharing information on the various challenges that NLFs have faced and strategies adopted for addressing these should provide encouragement for others, particularly new and developing NLFs and those considering starting an NLF.