MQ Health - Macquarie University

Lymphoedema Clinic

Providing the highest quality patient care and treatment for those at risk of or living with lymphoedema.

Our Team

Louise Koelmeyer

Louise Koelmeyer is the Director of the Australian Lymphoedema Education, Research and Treatment (ALERT) program at Macquarie University and is involved in strategically managing and developing the education, research and treatment arms of the innovative multidisciplinary program. Louise is an occupational and lymphoedema therapist, educator and researcher with over 29  years of experience in both public and private settings specialising in breast cancer rehabilitation and lymphoedema management.

Louise develops and presents education workshops and advanced skill-based modules on all aspects of assessment and management of lymphoedema locally, nationally and internationally. Her particular area of interest is on the prospective surveillance and early intervention model of care for the early detection and management of lymphoedema as well as innovative advances in conservative and surgical management.

Louise is the Australian Principal Investigator for the 5-year “PREVENT” Vanderbilt University Randomised Control Trial. Louise is enrolled in PhD studies at Macquarie University investigating home monitoring for the early detection and management of lymphoedema after breast cancer.

Louise’s clinical interests and expertise are in developing a therapeutic relationship with individuals and personalising treatment programs that support the individual’s needs and goals to achieve positive outcomes.

Hiroo Suami

Dr Hiroo Suami is Associate Professor in lymphology in ALERT in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Before coming to Macquarie University in October 2015, he worked in the Department of Plastic Surgery at the MD Anderson Cancer Centre in Houston, Texas for seven years as Assistant Professor and Director of the Microsurgery Research Centre. During that time, Hiroo assisted with indocyanine green fluorescence lymphography (ICG) in over 200 surgical lymphoedema cases and he is now using the same technique with patients at Macquarie University.

Hiroo is a reconstructive plastic surgeon and world authority on the morphological research of the lymphatic system. Through his research, he has developed a new method to visualise the lymphatic system in animals and humans. This is a world-first procedure which enables the lymphatic system to be mapped into defined territories called ‘lymphosomes’.

Helen Mackie

Dr Helen Mackie is the Medical Lead of the ALERT program and provides consultations and diagnosis for people with lymphoedema and related complex conditions. She is also Medical Director of the Mt Wilga Private Rehabilitation Hospital Lymphoedema Program in Hornsby. She is a past President and Medical Adviser to the Australasian Lymphology Association, and past Chair of the National Lymphedema Practitioner Register. She is a member of the Ramsay Health HREC and examiner for the Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. She has an ongoing special interest in assisting those with the late effects of poliomyelitis.

Thomas Lam

Dr Thomas Lam is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Macquarie University and an Associate Clinical Lecturer at the Western Clinical School of the University of Sydney. His research interest is breast reconstruction after mastectomy for cancer.

Thomas practises as a plastic and reconstructive surgeon and is also qualified as a general surgeon. He has a special interest in skin cancer surgery and breast surgery, including implants, reduction and reconstruction, as well as other cosmetic surgery. He is a Visiting Medical Officer at the Westmead, Auburn and Bankstown public hospitals as well as the Westmead, Macquarie University and Holroyd private hospitals. In the surgical assessment clinic at MQ Health Lymphoedema, Thomas performs life-changing medical liposuction on patients with advanced lymphoedema.

Quan Ngo

Dr Quan Ngo is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon specialising in head and neck oncology, facial trauma and reconstruction, and microsurgery (including facial reanimation and lymph node transfers). Quan gained experience in the UK, France and Taiwan in head and neck and microsurgery before taking up appointments at Macquarie University Hospital and Liverpool Hospital. He is currently one of the few plastic surgeons in Australia offering the microsurgical procedures lymph node transfer (LNT) and lymphovenous anastomosis (LVA) at the surgical assessment clinic at MQ Health Lymphoedema.

Katrina Gaitatzis

Katrina Gaitatzis is the Acting Research Coordinator for ALERT. She has been working in lymphoedema research since 2011, and her role at Macquarie University involves managing, supporting and conducting research within the ALERT program. She is also the Australian Study Coordinator on the “PREVENT” Vanderbilt University Randomised Control Trial.

Katrina has a BSc in Health and Exercise from the University of New South Wales and a BA (Honours) in Psychology from the University of New England.

She is also a qualified exercise physiologist and brings a passion for implementing evidence-based research towards improving quality of life for lymphoedema patients.

Belinda Thompson

Dr Belinda Thompson is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow for ALERT. Her role involves conducting and supporting research into methods for early detection, diagnosis and intervention for lymphoedema. Belinda has been involved in research since 2012 and has completed a PhD in Exercise and Sport Science at the University of Newcastle. Before commencing at Macquarie University, Belinda’s area of research was the effect of female hormones on body composition and training responses.

Belinda has also completed Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology (Rehabilitation) and is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist with more than six years of experience providing exercise interventions in a clinical setting. Belinda combines her research experience and clinical skills to provide evidence to support best practice to improve outcomes in patients with lymphoedema.

Asha Heydon-White

Asha Heydon-White is a physiotherapist specialising in oncology and lymphoedema. Asha undertook lymphoedema training in the United Kingdom prior to returning to Australia to work at Macquarie University. She has a special interest in rehabilitation after breast cancer, including shoulder rehabilitation and management of the myofascial system.

Asha is the therapy team leader at MQ Health Lymphoedema and is involved in the surgical, diagnostic and conservative treatment clinics.

Asha is enrolled in a Master of Research at Macquarie University investigating lymphatic drainage pathways for breast oedema using  indocyanine green fluorescence lymphography (ICG).

Kim Toyer

Kim Toyer is a physiotherapist with over 25 years’ experience in varied roles from rehabilitation, oncology and continence therapies. Training as a lymphoedema therapist in 2008 brought an exciting opportunity to use her previous skills in helping people recover from cancer treatment as well as managing their lymphoedema.

Kim’s passion is helping people to feel whole after cancer treatment, or when they’re dealing with a chronic health condition, by focusing on exercise and healthy lifestyle. She joined MQ Health Lymphoedema team in early 2018.

Fiona Tisdall Blake

Fiona Tisdall Blake is a physiotherapist with experience in a broad range of clinical settings, including private practice, occupational health and hospital settings in Australia and the United Kingdom.

A qualified lymphoedema therapist, Fiona brings extensive experience in orthopaedic, neurological and spinal surgery rehabilitation to her management of lymphoedema.

Fiona is a member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) and the Australasian Lymphology Association (ALA).

Robbie Blackwell

Robbie Blackwell is an occupational therapist and lymphoedema therapist.  Before joining the ALERT team in 2017, Robbie was a lymphoedema therapist at Mt Wilga Hospital in Hornsby.  For several years prior to this, she worked as an occupational therapist in a private rehabilitation setting.  Robbie has been acting in the role of ICG clinic coordinator for the past 12 months, aiming to maximise outcomes of patients attending for ICG lymphography. She continues to see a range of lymphoedema and lipedema patients through her role in the MQ Health lymphoedema conservative clinic.

Robbie is a member of the committee of the Lymphoedema Support Group of NSW and through this role helps to educate and advocate for people living with lymphoedema.

Robbie believes in empowering patients with knowledge regarding their condition and working collaboratively with them to devise treatment plans that are both evidence-based and patient-focused.

Courtney Clapham

Courtney Clapham is a physiotherapist with comprehensive experience in a range of hospital settings, including intensive care, surgical recovery, orthopaedics and oncology. Her increasing interest in the field of oncology and survivorship care led her to undertake lymphoedema training in 2017.

Prior to joining the MQ Heath Lymphoedema team in early 2019, Courtney was working on the Central Coast with a focus on breast cancer recovery.

Courtney enjoys working with patients to help them achieve their goals, providing them with the tools and education to help them take control of their lymphoedema.

John Boyages

Honorary Professor John Boyages is a cancer specialist with over 30 years’ experience in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.  Until 2011 John was the Founding Director of the Westmead Breast Cancer Institute. He was then appointed to Macquarie University as the inaugural head of its new Cancer Institute.

From 2011 to October 2019, John was the Professor of Breast Oncology at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Macquarie University, the Discipline Head of Radiation Oncology and the Founding Director of the Australian Lymphoedema Education Research and Treatment (ALERT) program at Macquarie University. Over the course of his career, John has published over 150 research and clinical articles.

Andrea Mangion

Andrea Mangion is currently an honorary lecturer at Macquarie University and for three years worked as the ALERT Education Coordinator. Andrea has worked in her own lymphoedema private practice, in the private hospital setting at Mt Wilga Private Rehabilitation Hospital (Australia’s largest inpatient program for lymphoedema) as the team leader of the lymphoedema service for several years and has worked in the corporate business sector for Garnet Medical and for Smith and Nephew.

Andrea has been an Australasian Lymphology Association (ALA) endorsed trainer for over seven years and has completed the Certificate Four in Training and Education. Her key areas of interest are in developing adult education through innovations in eLearning.

Andrea is experienced in using eLearning course creation software, such as iSpring and Articulate Storyline, for the creation of engaging eLearning content.

Our research partners

At Macquarie University