Macquarie University Hospital awards ‘Father of liposuction for lymphoedema’

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MUH team does liposuction surgery on two cancer survivors during week-long forum to discuss best practices for patient care

The clinical and research lymphoedema team from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Macquarie University Hospital recently welcomed and felicitated Associate Professor Håkan Brorson, founder and global leader of liposuction for lymphoedema surgery.

Dr Brorson attended a week-long forum at the hospital where more than 200 health professionals and consumers congregated to facilitate discussion and collaboration on current best practices for patient treatment and care.

A lymphoedaema patient before and 12 months after treatment

A lymphoedaema patient before and 12 months after treatment

At the closing of the forum, Mr Brorson and the medical lead of Macquarie’s advanced lymphoedema clinic, Dr Helen Mackie, were given life-time achievement awards by the Faculty on their outstanding contributions to lymphoedema.

Mr Brorson is a senior consultant plastic surgeon at the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Skåne University Hospital, Sweden. He has trained several teams around the world to treat lymphoedema with liposuction.

Lymphoedema is an abnormal collection of fluid beneath the skin, causing swelling, most commonly in the arm or leg, and can be triggered after the removal of lymph nodes. Breast or cervical cancer patients can be at risk of the condition.

Macquarie University Hospital is the only facility in the Southern Hemisphere to offer lipsosuction for eligible lymphoedema patients, and 25% of the clinic’s patients have had to travel interstate for treatment.

“It was an intense week of activities, but linking in with the ‘Father of Liposuction for Lymphoedema’ was an enormous honour,” said Professor John Boyages, Associate Dean, International and Engagement and Lymphoedema Program Director. “Mr Brorson was extremely impressed with our program, resulting in the initiation of a future research collaboration.”

During the week, the team completed liposuction surgery on two cancer survivors, one of which involved the removal of 10.5 litres of fat from a patient’s leg. “This was the largest leg operated on by the team, and the second largest leg operated on by Associate Professor Brorson in his 21 years of completing the surgery,” explained Professor Boyages.

The forum also welcomed two plastic surgeons and a lymphoedema practitioner from New Zealand who were sponsored by the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation.

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