On this page you will find news about the New Zealand Lymphoedema Therapists, Lymphoedema and the treatment and management of Lymphoedema.

Lymphoedema and COVID 19

We've had some enquiries from people living with lymphoedema who are concerned about their health in relation to COVID 19.

It is understandable that you may need some information and so we're including a helpful fact sheet produced by the Lymphoedema Support Network UK and a link to their website so you can see this and more valuable information.

To view or download the fact sheet, please click here (please note it is in pdf form so you will need Adobe pdf Reader).

To visit the Lymphoedema Support Network UK site, please click here (please note this is not our New Zealand group which goes by the same name. This is a UK-based organisation).   

Lymphoedema sufferer heads to Australia for treatment
(Posted 13 December 2022)
People living with lymphoedema are choosing to travel to Australia for surgical treatment that is not available in New Zealand, and paying for it out of their own pocket. 
Many are cancer survivors who have lost lymph nodes during treatment, only to be saddled with lymphoedema, which can be disabling.
The specialist treatment in Sydney costs tens of thousands of dollars but Te Whatu Ora hasn't approved any such request for funding for four years.
Listen to the report from RNZ's Morning Report here.

ADHB offers help for triplet Mia O'Donoghue battling melanoma and lymphoedema
(Posted 7 June 2017)
This article featured in the NZ Herald in 3 June 2017. An excerpt is below - to read the full article, visit the NZ Herald online website.
photo nz heraldAuckland mum Celia O'Donoghue recounts a heart-rending story of loss, illness - and betrayal by a health system that, she says, has let both her daughter, Mia and her late husband down. (Photo courtesy of NZ Herald).

Mia, one of 13-year-old triplets, has melanoma and lymphoedema, the result of lymph nodes being removed from her groin after the cancer was found to have spread.

Since the node removal, Mia has battled with lymphoedema which causes her leg to swell. With no lymphoedema service at Starship - Mia's condition is extremely rare - O'Donoghue takes her daughter weekly to a private lymphoedema specialist, paying for treatments with the help of a charitable trust.
Read more on the NZ Herald online website.


Lymphoedema sufferer Maxine Goldie: 'My own doctor didn't know what was wrong'

The NZ Herald featured an article about lymphoedema in April 2017 which highlighted the condition and the difficulties many women face trying to get much needed treatment. Excerpts from the article by Russell Blackstock follow: see the full item and see here. 
Photo below courtesy of the NZ Herald.

M GoldieWhen Maxine Goldie (pictured) was stung on the right arm by a wasp while gardening she didn't think it was too serious - until she noticed the rapid and alarming swelling. Goldie had six months previously had a mastectomy after a breast cancer diagnosis.

"When the swelling became a real concern I immediately phoned my oncologist," she says. "He told me to go straight to A&E as I was at risk of developing something called lymphoedema."

After almost two decades in the field, 70-year-old Michele Urlich is regarded by many patients as the guru of lymphoedema treatment. The therapist is chairwoman of the Lymphoedema Support Network and runs a clinic from her house in the Auckland suburb of Mt Albert.

She says there is a real shortage of trained therapists in New Zealand - and there is not enough funding for treatment in the public health system.

"This can be a very distressing condition, especially for women, many of whom won't wear certain clothes in case it is noticeable. Or they try to cover it up."

All the DHBs in New Zealand have lymphoedema services but they are extremely overworked and there are big waiting lists, Ulrich says. "There are also a number of private practices but not everyone can afford it," she says

See the full item on the NZ Herald website here. 

Victoria Harrison talks about 'life changing' liposculpture surgery for lymphodema

Lymph Training with Joyce Bosman 1 and 2 November 2016, Auckland (venue TBA)
A two-day course on the latest applications of lymph taping with internationally recognised teacher and speaker Joyce Bosman whose taping workshops are considered the 'gold standard' in lymph tape training.   
For more information, download the pdf here and the registration form here. Places are limited so book early!

The Auckland Lymphoedema Support Network hosts Victoria Harrison at April meeting
On Monday 4 April, the Network hosted a young law graduate with`Primary Lymphoedema.' After much research Victoria decided to have liposculpture surgery at Macquarie University Hospital in Sydney.  The very successful result was `life changing` for Victoria. Victoria’s slides are available here. Upper limb liposculpture surgery for lymphoedema has recently been performed at Middlemore Hospital on a Counties Manukau DHB patient... an exciting `first` for New Zealand! 


The Lymphoedema Patient Registry

Claire Doole writes about the 10th Australasian Lymphology Association (ALA) Conference  held in Auckland 3-5 April 2014

Greater Wellington Area Lymphoedema Support Group


Study finds genetic link to Lymphoedema (April 2013)

New Lymphoedema app available for Smartphones (April 2013)

Healthy Steps (Lebed) Programme Schedules (2013)



Taking some Healthy Steps with Michele Urlich (December 2011)

NZ Lymphoedema Hui a great success (June 2011)

New Zealand Lymphoedema Hui a great success!
June 2011

This report from Denise Flett

Group exercise190x143.JPGThe 2011 New Zealand Lymphoedema Hui was a great success! Originally planned for Christchurch, the Hui was held in Dunedin. Many thanks to therapists Deb Handcock and Olivia Shirley who picked up the conference organisation after the devastating Christchurch earthquake and put together a fantastic venue and programme from Dunedin.

The conference programme had a great selection of speakers and topics including: surgical aspects of lymphoedema development and also lymphoedema surgical management, vascular compression, dietary support for lymphoedema, hydrotherapy, neuropathic post mastectomy pain, ’ Health Pathways’ in lymphoedema management, exercise programmes for lymphoedema and a model of lymphoedema self management.

Dunedin put on some great weather for the weekend and I think the group could all recommend the  Etrusco at the Savoy for a great Italian dinner for a big crowd and also Living Space for excellent central and affordable accommodation.

Many thanks to the conference sponsors:
Gold Sponsors: 3M, Haddenham Healthcare, Smith & Nephew NZ
Bronze Sponsors: Obex, Protec Solutions and Toomac Solutions Ltd