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

Prof John Boyages

Professor John Boyages is a cancer specialist with over 30 years’ experience in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.  He is the Professor of Breast Oncology at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Macquarie University and Discipline Head, Radiation Oncology.  John is also director of the Australian Lymphoedema Education Research and Treatment (ALERT) centre at Macquarie University.

Until 2011 John was the founding director of the Westmead Breast Cancer Institute and he was then appointed to Macquarie University as the inaugural head of its new Cancer Institute from 2011 to 2015. John has published over 140 research and clinical articles.

Ms Louise Koelmeyer

Ms Louise Koelmeyer is an occupational therapist with over 28 years of clinical experience in both public and private settings specializing in breast cancer rehabilitation and lymphoedema management. As Lymphoedema Program Manager & Senior Lecturer in the Australian Lymphoedema Education, Research and Treatment (ALERT) program at Macquarie University, Louise is involved in strategically managing and developing the education, research and treatment arms of the innovative multidisciplinary program.

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 early prospective surveillance model of care in early detection and management of lymphoedema and innovative advances in management.

Louise’s research interest is in achieving better outcomes in innovative early and advanced lymphoedema management through conservative and surgical treatment. Louise is one of the Australian Principal Investigators on the 5-year “PREVENT” Vanderbilt University Randomised Control Trial. 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. Louise is involved in the pre- and post-operative rehabilitation of patients following liposuction surgery.

Associate Prof 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 7 years as Assistant Professor and director of the microsurgery research centre. During that time, Dr Suami assisted with indocyanine green fluorescence lymphography 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’.

Dr Sharon Czerniec

Sharon Czerniec is a physiotherapist and lymphoedema therapist with a clinical and research focus on lymphoedema and post-cancer rehabilitation. She completed a PhD on the assessment of breast cancer-related arm lymphoedema through the University of Sydney with the support of a National Breast Cancer Foundation Doctoral Scholarship.

Sharon has worked both as a clinician at Westmead Hospital, Mt Wilga Hospital and the Sydney Melanoma Unit (now Melanoma Institute Australia) and as an academic in teaching and research at the University of Sydney and the Australian Catholic University. She has published widely on lymphoedema, with a focus on assessment using bioimpedance spectroscopy, but also on tissue changes associated with progression and the impacts of lymphoedema on function and quality of life.

Sharon joined the Macquarie University ALERT team as Research Fellow in April 2018.

Ms Andrea Mangion

Ms Andrea Mangion is a physiotherapist with over 8 years’ experience in lymphoedema, having completed a level one lymphoedema course in 2009 with physiotherapist Brenda Lee. Andrea also has experience as a clinical consultant with Smith and Nephew, educating clinicians in garment prescription.

Andrea works at Macquarie University as the ALERT Education Coordinator and prior to this worked for several years as an educator with Lymphoedema Training and Education (LTE) running level one training courses endorsed by the Australasian Lymphology Association (ALA).

Andrea has completed Certificate Four in Training and Education and is passionate about the delivery of adult education. Her key areas of interest are exercise for lymphoedema, fascial mobilisation for scar management and the assessment of lymphoedema using indocyanine green lymphography (ICG).

Dr Helen Mackie

Dr Helen Mackie is the current medical adviser to and past president of the Australasian Lymphology Association.  She provides consultations for persons with lymphoedema as the Medical Director of the Mt Wilga Lymphoedema service in Hornsby and to the diagnostic and surgical assessment clinics at MQ Health Lymphoedema. Dr Mackie has an ongoing interest in musculo-skeletal rehabilitation, pain management and general rehabilitation medicine. She is the Examiner for the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine.

Dr Thomas Lam

Dr Thomas Lam 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 (VMO) 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, Dr Lam performs life-changing medical liposuction on patients with advanced lymphoedema.

Dr Lam is an Associate Clinical Lecturer at the Western Clinical School of the University of Sydney. His research interest is breast reconstruction after mastectomy for cancer.

Dr 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). Dr Ngo gained experience in the UK, France and Taiwan in head & 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.

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.

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 with extensive experience in the rehabilitation setting helping people regain functional independence. In 2015, Robbie undertook further training in lymphoedema management, and has since worked solely in this area. Before joining MQ Health in 2017, Robbie worked as a lymphoedema therapist at Mt Wilga Private Hospital in Hornsby.

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 about their condition and working collaboratively with them to devise treatment plans that are both evidence-based and patient-focused.

Our research partners

At Macquarie University