Archives for posts with tag: ALA Conference

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I wish I had taken some notes is all I can say, but I was so mesmerised by Dr Ramin Shayan of the University of Melbourne, Australia that I just sat and listened.  So I’ll have to rely on what impacted me most to pass onto you.

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Dr Ramin Shayan

First of all I have to mention Dr Shayan’s humility – he addressed the Plenary Session of the Conference on the last day and started out by saying how much more we all knew than him and he was in awe of being in a room of so many therapists with so much knowledge. Well, you could hear a pin drop – we’re used to being ignored in the medical world so having a surgeon commend us was a big thing.  He added that he’s usually stuck as the last speaker at medical conferences after many delegates had already left and those who were still there were almost asleep. Turns out that lymphoedema/lipoedema is ignored no matter what level of medical training you have.  Isn’t that a really sad indication of our healthcare system?

Dr Shayan talked about the surgery he is doing with lymphoedema and lipoedema, in particular lympho-venous stenosis – attaching a lymphatic capillary to a vein to bypass the damaged area.  They are having excellent success with this procedure.

He also specialises in liposuction and debulking for lymphoedema and lipoedema so if you are considering surgical treatment, I can full recommend him as a caring, knowledgeable surgeon who understands the lymphatic system to a microscopic detail.

Dr Shayan was also present at the second Lipoedema Conference held last weekend  in Melbourne and was interviewed by The Project for their package on lipoedema which aired this week on Channel 10.  Watch it here.

 

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Where to begin.  Well, let’s just say there is no way I’m going to cover even a fraction of what I saw/heard at the conference, there was just so much content. I’ve counted that there were 39 presentations in three days, one of those was broken into case studies with different presenters being allocated 2 minutes (in one hour there were 12 presentations)! So I’ll go for the stand-out highlights for me and I’ll do a few different posts over the next week or so to not bombard you with too much info.

I attended three workshops – we got to choose those when we registered and two of them I found fantastic.  The first was on Differential Diagnosis of Lymphoedema, presented by my favourite, Prof Neil Piller of Flinders University, and Vaughan Keeley of the Royal Derby Hospital, UK.  Was really pleased that they focussed on lipoedema and the difficulties of diagnosing some cases.

I found the presentations by Dr Hiroo Suami of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre to be very interesting and amazingly upbeat and humourous (quite difficult I reckon when showing slides of cadavers).  He has pioneered The Lymphosome Concept, a way of “visualising the lymphatic system using hydrogen peroxide and a radio-opaque medium injected into cadavers then using radiographs and three-dimensional computed tomography scans to see how and where lymphatic fluid flows, which vessels, nodes and territories it uses.  Fascinating.  He also talked about surgical treatment for lymphoedema, including creating new channels to increase the capacity to transport lymph fluid; liposuction or lymphovenous shunting, lymphatic graft and vascularised lymph node transfer.

One of the most interesting things I heard was in one of the “breakaway sessions” of four talks.  It was by another of my favourite presenters, Alex Munnoch, of Ninewells Hospital in the UK.  He noted that surgical staff who perform long surgeries often complain of leg discomfort and oedema, so they set up a small trial to see whether T.E.D. stockings (those beautiful white stockings you are given when you’ve had some surgery in hospital) have an effect on the level of oedema.  One leg was randomised (by the flipping of a coin, very scientific criteria indeed!) to wear a T.E.D. stocking and the control leg (the other side) would receive no compression at all.  Fluid levels were measured before and after the surgeries.  40 legs were studied in all with an average operating time of 9.5 hours.  Results?  T.E.D. stockings were found to reduce the increase of fluid and interestingly, when they tried the experiment using compression stockings instead of T.E.D. stockings the degree of oedema increased!  What!! That was a surprise indeed.  He conceded that such a small study was perhaps not conclusive and more study was definitely warranted.

On the first day there I also attended presentations on head and neck lymphoedema management; lymphoedema and osteopathic care; reducing oedema after lower limb cellulitis; wounds and lymphoedema; and case study presentations on things such as; TRAM flap reconstruction; layered compression garments; liposuction; bioimpedance spectroscopy; kineseotape post radiotherapy; yellow nail syndrome …. the list goes on.

My head was swimming by the end of the day, that’s for sure.

If you’d like more info on any of the topics I mentioned, please leave me a comment and I’ll add some more infomation.  To access more information about lymphoedema and it’s treatment, visit the ALA website here.

But it wasn’t all hard work – here’s a photo from the closing ceremony of two of my favourites … Prof Piller and Alex Nunnoch, good on them for getting into the spirit of things!

 

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Prof Neil Piller and Alex Munnoch, letting their hair down

I won’t have the time to write a proper blog post about the conference until I get back to Sydney next week, but I thought I’d share a few photos in the meantime. I’m posting from the iPad, so apologies for any lack of formatting and alignment.

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The Jobst Man, I thought a very clever way of showing all over compression.

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Compression from Cosmac.

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Kinesiotaping workshop

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Auckland War Memorial, conference dinner and lots of dancing – the male delegates (about twelve of them) must have felt slightly outnumbered on the dance floor!

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View from the War Memorial

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Closing Ceremony celebration

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