Dr Amore is a Vascular surgeon, head of the Unit of Phlebology and Lymphology, Cardiovascular Surgery Division and director of Vascular Anomalies Center at the Central Military Hospital of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Head of lymphology unit at Favaloro Foundation, University Hospital.
He is Professor of Anatomy at Buenos Aires University and Head of Vacular Anatomy Lab.
He is a member of American College of Surgeons, Royal College of Medicine, International Society for the Study of Vascular Anomalies (ISSVA), European Society of Lymphology, Argentina Surgical Association and Argentina College of Cardiovascular Surgery (Executive Committee).
Actual President of International Society of Lymphology (ISL) (2021-2023) and past president of Bonaerense society of phlebology of lymphology.
Her main domains of interest and research are venous and lymphatic diseases Including management of vascular anomalies.
Elisabeth Webb, BAppSc(Phty)(hons), MPH
Elizabeth Webb is an accredited lymphoedema physiotherapist with a clinical and research interest in chronic oedema management. She graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Physiotherapy) with first-class honours from the University of Sydney in 2011, before completing a Master of Public Health at the University of New South Wales in 2016.
Elizabeth is currently completing a PhD through the University of Canberra, investigating the impact of compression therapy on recurrent cellulitis and the associated patient and health system costs. The results of her research are published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and she has shared the findings widely through conference presentations, webinars and publications targeting clinicians and consumers. Elizabeth also teaches physiotherapy students about lymphoedema at the University of Canberra.
She currently works in the award-winning lymphoedema service at Calvary Public Hospital Bruce in Canberra, where she has shared the role of Lymphoedema Service Coordinator and Senior Clinician since 2018.
Maree O’Connor is an Australian physiotherapist and has been working in the area of lymphoedema/lipoedema management since 1991. She has been delivering lymphoedema courses, workshops, seminars and speaking at both national and international conferences since 1994 and has a graduate certificate in health professional education. She is currently a sessional lecturer on lymphoedema for the University of Melbourne’s Master in Musculoskeletal Disorders in Women. Maree enjoys teaching and is passionate about making it an authentic learning experience.
Maree has worked in both the private and public sectors and established the first comprehensive lymphoedema clinic at the Mercy Hospital for Women, Melbourne in 1994. In 1996 she assisted in establishing the Lymphoedema Compression Garment Program. Her involvement in lymphoedema has not only been from a clinical perspective. She was part of the steering committee that established the Australasian Lymphology Association (ALA) and was their first president. Maree has been an ALA member since its inception. She has also been on numerous committees and working parties both at a state and national level.
Maree is past chairperson of the ALA Education Training Guidelines Subcommittee and of the ALA National lymphoedema Practitioners Register Committee of Management. Maree was on the executive committee for the Australian Lymphoedema Framework. She also co-chaired, for several years, the education committee for the International Lymphoedema Framework.
Maree is an advocate for evidence-based management both for lipoedema and lymphoedema
Neil Brenton Piller, BSc(hons), PhD, FACP
Neil is a Lymphologist. He was Vice-Chair and Board Member of the International Lymphoedema Framework until 2019, the International Society for Lymphology and the Australian College of Phlebology until 2020. He is an advisory committee member of ENCORE and a board member of the SA Health Compression Garment Scheme and a member of the Australasian Lymphoedema Association Research Committee.
Neil is Clinical Sciences Editor of the “Journal of Lymphoedema”, Australasian Editor of “Lymphatic Research/Biology” and an Editorial Board member of “Lymphology” and “Phlebology”. He is Director of the Lymphoedema Clinical Research Unit at Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer. He supervises PhD/MD students. He and his group are running a current trial on LYT-100 for the treatment of BCRL along with two other sites in Australia (Sydney and Gold Coast).
Neil is patron of the National Australian Lipoedema Support Group and the South Australian Lymphoedema Support group.
Neil was Scientific Committee Chair for the 2019 ILF Chicago meeting and the Scientific Committee Chair of the first Virtual Australasian Lymphology Association Conference in 2020.
Neil was closing session keynote speaker at the 2020 US National Lymphoedema Network Virtual meeting and participated in the NLN 2021 awareness month with a talk on “What makes a good therapist”. He is an invited virtual speaker at the forthcoming ISL meeting in Greece and the ICC meeting in Paris
Neil and team members have a wide range of interests including determining the accuracy of applied pressure profiles during lower leg bandaging using a fibre-optic sensing tape and examining the effect of vibration on normal and lymphoedematous legs. His most recent editorials have dealt with the relationship between diet, the microbiome, gut health, lymphatics, the brain and MLD, and about “Pressure: Are we getting it right?” as well as “What about us- the Patient Perspective” in the Journal of Lymphoedema in 2020 and “Are we there yet” in the 2021 issue.
Neil is committed to improving the outcomes for lymphoedema patients by ensuring treatment strategies are targeted/sequenced. Most important are the strategies to improve outcomes by helping clinicians deliver what is optimal and which meet patient functional and personal needs with a holistic multi-disciplinary approach, based on quality information.
Sarah Ang, BSc (Physiotherapy), PGC (Lymphoedema Management), CLT-LANA, CES
Sarah is an oncology and lymphoedema physiotherapist based in Western Australia who has obtained internationally recognized qualification in oncology rehabilitation and lymphoedema.
Following her initially lymphoedema training in Australia, Sarah was certified as a lymphoedema (CLT) therapist by Guenter Klose in 2008. She further completed postgraduate certificate in lymphoedema management in 2013 at University of Glasgow before obtaining her certification from the Lymphology Association of North America (LANA).
Sarah has developed and lead multiple oncology rehabilitation and lymphoedema services in both private and public tertiary hospitals in Western Australia. She has also presented at international and local oncology and lympoedema conferences and workshops. To share the skills and knowledge Sarah gains from her international colleagues, she is actively involved in the teaching and up-skilling of health professionals locally and harnesses collaborations amongst her colleagues.
Christian Ure, MD, PhD
Head of Department, Specialist in Internal Medicine and Angiology
Medical Director of Lymph Clinic Wolfsberg, Austria.
Executive board member of the Society of German Speaking Lymphologists (GDL), Secretary general and working group leader at the AWMF lymphedema guideline. He is a certified clinical investigator and member of the editorial board of the journal Z.f. Gefäßmedizin and LymphForsch, he is co-author in several textbooks of lymphology and has authored and co-authored peer-reviewed articles on this topic. He also is a member of the Expert working group of Lipedema Guidelines Germany.
Peter Mallinger, MD, PhD
Peter Mallinger grew up in Wolfsberg where he went to primary and secondary school. Later he attended Stiftsgymnasium St. Paul and finished high school at BORG Wolfsberg.
After earning his medical degree, he started training as a general practitioner at Clinic St. Veit/Glan and, after 1 year, he then moved to the hospital in Wolfsberg where he completed his training. After that, he started his surgical training in 2008 at the Trauma Hospital in Klagenfurt and moved to Braunschweig (Germany) to the Marienstift Clinic for Hand Surgery and Hand Malformation in Braunschweig (GER).
In 2010, he moved to Potsdam (GER) to finish his training for plastic surgery and in that same year, Dr. Mojtaba Ghods, head of the clinic, started a cooperation with the Seeklinik Zechlin, a large special clinic for lymphatic diseases in the Berlin/Brandenburg area. This was the point when Peter Mallinger came into contact with lipoedema patients more frequently and from that time on he was in charge of the surgical treatment and management of lipoedema patients. They also carried out clinical studies and started to publish their results in a retrospective analysis.
His training as a plastic surgeon was completed in 2013 and in 2014 he started to work as a hand surgeon at the same clinic where his additional specialization in hand surgery was completed.
In 2015 he got the chance to move back home to the Clinic for Plastic surgery in Klagenfurt (Prim. M. Rab). Living in Wolfsberg, at the largest lymph clinic in Austria, he immediately started a cooperation with the head physician Christian Ure.
Further to taking care of the surgical treatment of lymphatic patients, they successfully established an algorithm to treat lipoedema patients together. He went on to become a member of the European Lipoedema Forum in 2019 and has since been tirelessly working with and learning from his patients to improve and develop patient management.
Nele Devoogdt, PhD, PT
Nele Devoogdt is physical therapist and professor at the department of Rehabilitation Sciences of KU Leuven and is doing research in the topic of clinical evaluation, prevention and treatment of lymphoedema and other cancer-related morbidities. Recently, she set up a research line in the domain of lipoedema too.
Besides that, Nele is coordinator of the center for lymphedema of the University Hospitals of Leuven (in Belgium). There she performs coordinative tasks and clinical evaluations and guides treatments of patients with lymphoedema and lipoedema. On a regular basis, she gives and organizes courses in the topic of lymphology and oncology in Belgium and the Netherlands.
Nele is founder of Oedema, an interuniversity group that organizes courses for physical therapists in the domain of oedema (www.oedema.be). She is member of the advisory board of the International Compression Club. Recently, she cofounded CarEdOn, a research group that aims to improve Care in Oedema and Oncology (www.caredon.org).
Sarah Thomis, MD
Sarah Thomis finished training as a general and vascular surgeon at the University of Leuven in 2011. She followed additional training in the Netherlands and at Duke University, North Carolina, US. She is the responsible physician of the Lymphovenous Center of the University Hospitals Leuven.
She is specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of phlebological and lymphological diseases. Besides clinical activities, she is also active as a researcher in the domain of phlebology and lymphology and has authored numerous publications.
She is a member of organizations such as European Venous Forum, Belgian Society of Vascular Surgery and BeLymph. She is on the advisory board of the International Compression Club and is the treasurer of the Benelux Society of Phlebology. She is a member of the Technical Board for diagnostic and therapeutic aids of the INAMI.
Anna Towers, MD, CM
Dr Anna Towers is a palliative and supportive care physician based at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. Since 1994 she has had a subspecialty interest in cancer rehabilitation and lymphedema - involving clinical, research, teaching and administrative roles.
She is Associate Professor in the Departments of Oncology and Family Medicine with a clinical post at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC).
She certified in lymphedema management and since 1995 she is Director of the Lymphedema Program at the MUHC. Along with Dr. David Keast, she is Founding Co-Chair of the Canadian Lymphedema Framework, a charitable body that since 2009 aims to improve the management of lymphedema and related disorders in Canada. She has been involved with the International Lymphoedema Framework in developing international standards of care. Since 1999 she has been Scientific Advisor to the Lymphedema Association of Quebec.
She has chaired many successful national and international conferences. Her research work has included projects on lymphedema and related arm morbidity following breast cancer, randomized controlled trials and case series on therapeutic interventions for lymphedema, and collaborations to assess tissue composition in these patients.
She supervises medical trainees as well as MSc and PhD students in lymphedema-related research. She has published book chapters and many scientific articles in her subspecialty and has received awards of excellence from lymphedema associations as well as several salary awards for her research.
David H. Keast, MSc, DipEd, MD, CCFP, FCFP (LM)
Dr. Keast is the Medical Director of the Chronic Wound and Lymphedema Consultation Clinic at the Parkwood Institute in London Canada. He is Clinical Adjunct Professor of Family Medicine, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University (London). Dr. Keast is an Associate Scientist, Lawson Health Research Institute, Parkwood Institute Research. He is Co-director of the Canadian Lymphedema Framework, Secretary Board of Directors of the International Lymphedema Framework and President of the World Alliance for Wound and Lymphedema Care.
Tonny Karlsmark, MD, PhD
Tonny Karlsmark is consultant and associated professor in Dermato-venereology working at Bispebjerg Hospital, University of Copenhagen. As former head of the department for 15 years, he has experience as well as a diploma in National Health Service Management. He has held Honorary positions such as chairman of the Danish Dermatological Society 2003-2005 and chairman of the Danish Lymphoedema Framework (DLF) from 2010.
His main research areas include wound healing and treatment of chronic oedema. In 1990 he defended his thesis about “Electrically induced dermal changes” – a morphologic study of porcine skin after transfer of low-moderate amount of electrically energy.
He has published more than 110 articles in international journals and acts as advisor for more than 10 Ph.D. degrees and made opposition (acting as critic) for 1 doctoral thesis and 9 Ph.D. degrees.
Christine Moffatt, CBE FRCN PhD MA RGN DN
Christine is Professor of Clinical Nursing Research at the University of Nottingham School of Nursing, Midwifery and Physiotherapy and holds other visiting chairs at the University of Glasgow and Cardiff University Medical School Wound Healing Institute. She is also nurse consultant at the Royal Derby Foundation NHS Trust Lymphoedema service in which she leads a research team as well as undertaking a clinical consultancy role.
Christine is currently the Chair person and Director of the International Lymphoedema Framework. She has been involved in wound healing research and practice for 25 years and Lymphoedema for 10 years. She has undertaken extensive research in this field using mixed research methods including running national and international clinical trials.
Her areas of research include compression therapy; service development and evaluation; psychosocial impact of disease; chronic wounds and lymphoedema. She has presented and published internationally.
She was awarded a CBE in the 2006 New Year’s Honours List and made a life fellow of the Royal College of Nursing that same year. She has received several life time achievement awards in recognition of her work, the most recent being presented by the World Union of Wound Healing Societies in June 2008. In December 2008 she received a Nursing Times Diamond 20 Award as one of the 20 most influential nurses in the last 60 years.
Denise has had an interest in the field of lymphology since 1984 when working in a local hospice, she realised that the distressing symptom of lymphoedema was widely ignored. By 1998 she had secured funding for the first purpose built lymphoedema clinic in the UK - over seeing treatment for patients suffering from lymphoedema of any pathology, and lipoedema.
She now works independently in the Northwest of the UK, setting up Kendal Lymphology Centre in 2005 where she has won numerous awards for her service and dedication to her work.
She is passionate about education and has presented widely; participated in various research trials and had numerous articles published. She is an active member of various groups including the Children’s Lymphoedema Special Interest Group (CLSIG); Lymphoedema Support Network (is a Trustee and Nurse Advisor); ILF and the BLS.
Being the co-chair of the UK Best Practice Guidelines for the Management of Lipoedema, she is privileged to have been one of the founder members of the International Lipoedema Association.
Justine Whitaker MSc
Justine is a Registered Nurse with 27 years experience working clinically in the field of lymphology, and studying to Masters level, and is established both in the UK and Internationally. She is author to many publications in both journals and book texts. In 2007 Justine won the Royal College of Nursing - ‘Nurse of the Year’ and the Innovation in Cancer award, sponsored by the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. This was for the invention; development and bringing to the international market of the ‘Whitaker Pouch’ a compression garment for Scrotal Oedema
Justine was appointed Senior Lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston in December 2007. In January 2008 she became Director and Nurse Consultant, when she set up her own company - Northern Lymphology Ltd to deliver individual care packages to both lymphoedema and lipoedema patients. In both these roles Justine works both clinically, is research active and lectures Internationally.
Working at times closely with industry, Justine is often involved in new product development discussions and evaluation of new initiatives which aim to enhance the patient experience.
She also sits on the Editorial Board of a number of Journals, and is a member of the Scientific Committee of the British Lymphology Society.
During the Pandemic crisis Justine returned to the NHS hospital to work in the Covid-19 unit, then in the vaccine clinics. She also supports the local NHS Lymphoedema service doing shifts as required.
When not ‘nursing’ Justine enjoys sailing with her husband and children, Mountain Biking, sewing, gardening and more recently pottery. Taking time to balance work and play is very important to Justine and when the balance is right, it makes her smile.
Kristiana Gordon, CLT FRCP MD(Res)
Dr Kristiana Gordon is a Consultant Physician and Associate Professor in Dermatology & Lymphovascular Medicine. She is Clinical Lead of the Lymphoedema Service at St George’s Hospital in London, where her team cares for thousands of patients with lymphoedema and lipoedema. She is also a Foeldi-certified lymphoedema therapist.
Dr Gordon has completed a doctorate in the genetics of primary lymphoedema and imaging of the lymphatic system. She continues to pursue her research interests within the rapidly developing field of lymphovascular medicine and lipoedema. She has been involved in several studies looking for a genetic cause of lipoedema. Her team’s recent research findings have been published and they continue to research this exciting aspect of lipoedema.
Dr Gordon is the patron of LipoedemaUK, and champions for women with lipoedema to receive an early diagnosis and management to reduce unnecessary suffering. She is involved with medical education and NHS / NICE consultations to raise awareness of lipoedema amongst the medical communities.
Rebecca Elwell, MSc
Rebecca is the Macmillan Lymphoedema Advanced Nurse Practitioner at the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust. She established the service for all patients with oedema regardless of cause and lipoedema in 2003. She completed an Msc in Lymphoedema in 2012 and is a Leduc and Casley-Smith trained therapist. The service now has a paediatric lymphoedema clinic held in Staffordshire Children’s Hospital, a community based service and a breast cancer related lymphoedema prevention programme.
In 2013 she opened the UKs only Red Legs clinic for patients with leg redness from a cause other than acute cellulitis. This has led to increased awareness of red legs and reduced hospital admissions. The Red legs pathway has been adopted by the British Lymphology Society (BLS) and endorsed by the National Legs Matter campaign.
She is a proud trustee of the BLS and their annual conference organizer (an event which attracts over 400 delegates). Rebecca has authored, developed and published the Society’s first 2 position papers for the application of compression in the absence of ABPI which has been used to underpin the lower limb recommendations of the National Wound Care Strategy and the management of lymphoedema in the presence of Deep Vein Thrombosis. She is also a member of the BLS’ Scientific Committee and the Children with Lymphoedema Special Interest group (BLSCLSIG) as well as being on the editorial board of the Journal of Lymphoedema and the British Journal of Community Nursing’s Chronic Oedema supplement.
Rebecca has won a number of awards including Chronic Oedema Nurse of the Year and BLS awards for innovation and raising awareness of lymphoedema amongst health care professionals.
Rebecca was an author of the International Consensus Document – Lipoedema: a paradigm shift and consensus (2020), contributed to the BLS Lipoedema Factsheet (2021), and author of the article “Use of upper-limb compression garments in the management of lipoedema” (2020).
Vaughan Keely, PhD, FRCP
Vaughan Keeley is a Consultant Physician specialising in lymphoedema / lymphatic diseases in the East Midlands of the UK. He leads the lymphoedema service in Derby, Nottingham and Mansfield, which he initially opened in Derby in 1990. The service sees people with all types of lymphoedema / chronic oedema in adults and children. It also sees patients with lipoedema including those from out of its routine catchment area.
The Derby service is one of two national centres in the UK specialising in paediatic and primary Lymphoedema (PPL). Until Brexit, it was a full member of the EU vascular rare diseases network (VASCERN) and a member of the PPL working group.
In 2020, the service was designated as a “Comprehensive Centre of Excellence for Lymphatic Diseases” by LE&RN (the Lymphatic Education and Research Network).
Vaughan is a medical advisor to the UK lipoedema patient group, (Lipoedema UK) and the lymphoedema patient group (Lymphoedema Support Network, LSN). He was a previous Board member of the International Lymphoedema Framework (ILF).
His research interests include quality of life assessment tools in lymphoedema and lipoedema. He developed and validated the LYMQOL quality of life tool for lymphoedema.
The Derby research team has collaborated with colleagues at St George’s Hospital, London in a Lipoedema Genetics study (St George’s /Derby Lipoedema Consortium).
He is an Honorary Professor at the University of Nottingham Medical School.
Pia Ostergaard, PhD
Pia Ostergaard is a Professor of Human Genetics at St George’s, University of London. She is the research lead of the Lymphovascular Clinical Academic Research Group, which includes clinicians from various specialities, molecular biologists, geneticists, imaging specialists, and bioinformaticians.
Building on more than 15 years of experience the group provide the full translational circle from bench to bedside. The group has demonstrated that stringent phenotyping can be helpful in gene identification, which has led to the identification of several genes for Primary Lymphoedema.
Recently the group has been involved in a study looking for the genetic cause of lipoedema and the team’s most recent findings have been published. The group is continuing the research to decipher the genetic background of lipoedema.
Stephane Vignes; MD
After training as an internist, obtaining a master's degree in anti-infectious drug evaluation and working in a Department of Immunology and Hematology, Stephane Vignes have been the Head of the Department of Lymphology in Cognacq-Jay Hospital in Paris since 2001. The department is exclusively dedicated to lymphedema (primary, secondary) management and also receives patients with lipedema or complex lymphatic diseases. He is member of the ISL and vice-president of the Société Française de Lymphologie (SFL). Dr. Vignes was responsible for establishing the French recommendations for primary lymphedema management in 2020 and developed, together with his multidisciplinary team, an education program to improve patients' autonomy and compliance.
Isabelle Quéré, M.D., PhD. is a Professor of Vascular Medicine at Montpellier University in France, member of the board of directors of the Montpellier School of Medicine, in charge of the joint development of international post graduate education curriculum in health sciences along with other Universities in the world. She was born in France and grew up in West Africa, Senegal where she started her medical course in a country in which there is no equitable access to health care. Back in Paris, she qualified in Paris University School of Medicine.
She is now the head of the Department of Vascular Medicine in Montpellier University Hospital since 2003, Director of the National Centre for Rare Vascular and Lymphatic Diseases of Montpellier within the LEδRN Network. She is member of the executive board of ILF, The International Lymphoedema Framework and of the ESVM, European Society of Vascular Medicine. In France, she is Vice President of the French Society of Vascular Medicine and is leading the PFL, Partenariat Français du Lymphoedème in connexion with ILF.
She qualified in Internal Medicine, Vascular Medicine, and Lymphology. She published more than 300 articles in international journals including in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Lancet as a first or senior author. She has been co-authoring papers in Nature Primer, Jama, Circulation, Blood and many other high impact journals. Her main domains of interest and clinical research are venous thrombosis with a focus on distal and superficial vein thrombosis; management of lymphatic and vascular anomalies including genetics; and evaluation and promotion of the access to treatment in different healthcare systems in the world because of her personal background in Africa.
Jodok Fink, MD, PD
Jodok Fink is clinical professor of visceral surgery at the University of Freiburg, Medical Center, Department for Surgery in Freiburg, Germany.
Prof. Fink´s main clinical focus is bariatric surgery, in which he has been working as a consultant for many years. He currently is the vice chair of the Universities´ Center for bariatric and metabolic surgery.
His areas of research include influence of obesity surgery on leg volume and symptoms in patients with lipedema, development and clinical evaluation of innovative bariatric procedures as well as basic research regarding the changes in glycemic metabolism following obesity surgery. Besides laboratory research, Prof. Fink has run several prospective and retrospective cohort studies and randomized clinical trials.
Tobias Hirsch, MD, PhD
Dr. Tobias Hirsch received his medical degree from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. He completed his training as a specialist in internal medicine by working as a junior doctor in the department of Internal Medicine at Berufsgenossenschaftliche Kliniken Bergmannstrost in Halle (Saale). After completing his angiology fellowship at the University Hospital Halle in the Department for Angiology (Prof. Dr. Hubert Podhaisky), he returned to Bergmannstrost, where he worked as a senior physician until 2008.
In 2008 Dr. Hirsch founded his Practice for Internal Medicine and Vascular Diseases where he treats patients with venous, lymphatic, and arterial diseases. The practice was certified as a Venen Kompetenz-Zentrum® in 2013 and has been designated a Venen Kompetenz-Zentrum plus® since 2020.
Dr. Hirsch specializes in ultrasound diagnostics and minimally invasive venous procedures including laser and radiofrequency ablation, non-thermal techniques, and sclerotherapy. Patients with arterial diseases and vascular malformations are treated in cooperation with the vascular centers at the universities in Halle and Leipzig. Dr. Hirsch is also the co-founder and organizer of the Lymph Network Sachsen-Anhalt (Süd).
In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Hirsch takes great interest in vascular disease research. He has been a principal and coordinating investigator on different clinical trials (endovenous varicose and compression treatment, lipedema, and novel anticoagulants for thromboembolism).
He is a member of the editorial board of the journals Phlebologie (Thieme) and Vasomed (WPV Verlag), and has authored and co-authored many peer-reviewed articles that have been published in German and international journals.
Dr. Hirsch has been an invited speaker or lecturer at many international vascular conferences in Germany, Europe, the UK, the US and Asia. In 2020 he chaired the 62nd international Annual Conference of the German Society of Phlebology. He is a board member of both the German Society of Phlebology (DGP) and the Professional Association of German Phlebologists.
Since 2020 Dr. Hirsch has been a member of the steering group of the guideline commission ‘Lipedema’ of the DGP
Gabriele Erbacher, Dipl-Psych.
Gabriele Erbacher is senior psychologist and psychotherapist. She treated cancer patients including patients with secondary lymphedema since 1995. Already in the last year of her studies at the University of Freiburg she carried out one of the first studies at that time examining the effectivity of an integrative and holistic approach in the rehabilitation treatment of cancer patients of the Tumor Biology Center Freiburg (Germany) – the results had been presented at the 3rd World Congress of Psycho-Oncology in New York in 1997.
Gabriele started her career at the institute for rehabilitation research and quality management Scheidegg and in parallel in the oncological Paracelsus Clinic in Scheidegg (Germany), where she offered psychotherapy to cancer patients as well as supervision for physio- and lymph therapists. Her special interest was - and still is - to improve treatment by practice-orientated research.
Since 2007 she is working in her own practice providing psychotherapy and supervision and workshops for therapists of several professions. Since 2013 she is a psychologist in the Foeldiclinic – European Center of Lymphology. Building on the results of her study on lipedema and pain Gabriele implemented the first psychologically guided group therapy model for lipedema patients. It is part of the interdisciplinary therapy concept of the Foeldiclinic based on the paradigm shift of the European Consensus on Lipedema.
She lectured nationally and internationally at various conferences e.g. in Poland, Switzerland, Great Britain and in the USA. Gabriele is the co-author of several articles she published together with Dr. Tobias Bertsch including the series of articles "Lipedema – myths and facts” and author of articles on lipedema and pain.
Since 2020 she has been a member of the steering group of the guideline commission ‘Lipedema’ of the DGP.
Katja S. Mühlberg, MD, PhD
Katja S. Mühlberg, MD, PhD is Senior Consultant in Internal Medicine and Angiology at the University of Leipzig. With passion she has developed the conservative part of vascular medicine at the department, always looking beyond the edge and with strong connections to other disciplines and centres.
As an University Lecturer for Angiology and member of the Scientific Board of the German Society of Angiology, she is giving her knowledge and her enthusiasm in lipoedema and vascular medicine to young physicians, fellows and patients. Her interest in lipedema was sparked early on, when this diagnosis was still viewed with suspicion by some others.
Her new membership as a guest researcher at Helmholtz Institute for Metabolic, Obesity and Vascular Research HI-MAG in Leipzig gives her the opportunity to research on the field of diagnostic and therapeutic strategies in lipoedema.
Katja is author and co-author on scientific projects of vascular medicine, guidelines and member of the „choosing wisely“-group of Internal Medicine. Since 2019 she is member of the Editorial Board of VASA, the European Journal of Vascular Medicine.
Tobias Bertsch, MD, Dr. med. Dipl. Soz-päd.
MD, Dr. med. Dipl. Soz-päd.; Senior Consultant for Internal Medicine at the Foeldi Clinic in Germany, European Centre of Lymphology.
From 2016 to 2019 Dr. Bertsch served as a Secretary General of the German Society of Lymphology. In 2019 he was the Congress President of the German Congress of Lymphology. He is the founder of the International Lipoedema Association (ILA), a global network of renowned health care professionals from 22 countries, including Europe, Canada, the USA, Australia and South America.
He has been an invited speaker at many prestigious conferences in Europe, the US, South America and Australia.
Dr. Bertsch is the leading author of the article series "Lipoedema - myths and facts". These five articles have spread worldwide and contribute to an essential amount to the paradigm shift we currently see in diagnosis as well as in treatment of lipoedema. The former European Lipoedema Forum created a Consensus and Best Practice Document on Lipoedema which has been published in February 2020. Together with the psychologist Gabriele Erbacher, Dr. Bertsch also is lead author of the International Consensus Document on Lipoedema which was published in October 2020.
In 2012, Dr. Bertsch earned Specialist Certification of Obesity Professional Education (SCOPE), the only internationallyrecognized certification in obesity management for health care professionals. SCOPE was an outcome of the 2002 European Union Obesity Summit that highlighted the need to improve clinical management of obesity.
Dr. Bertsch works at the Foeldi Clinic in Germany, European Centre of Lymphology. In addition to the treatment of inpatients he offers outpatient consultations for patients with Lymphedema, lymphatic malformation and Lipedema - covered by the German health care insurances. He and his team consult with approximately 4000 patients per year.
Erika Mendoza, MD, PhD
Erika Mendoza, MD, PhD studied Medicine in Madrid (Universidad Autónoma), Spain and was PhD Student in Heidelberg, Germany. Here she had the first contact with cardiothoracic surgery and cardiology, learning duplex ultrasound. She specialized as GP. 1995-1996 she run a GP practice in Trujillo, Spain, in which her husband (Vascular Surgeon Dr. Berger) had the first contact to the CHIVA Method, introduced her to the theory and practice of varicose treatment. 1997 they moved to Wunstorf (Germany) and opened an office to treat venous disease. After the death of her husband in 2000, Erika Mendoza continued performing duplex ultrasound diagnosing varicose veins and associated disorders, cooperating with external surgeons.
2000 she started with hands-on workshops, first CHIVA based, since 2008 focused on duplex diagnostics of superficial leg veins. 2006 her first Duplex-Ultrasound book on superficial leg veins was published, currently in the 3rd Edition at Springer’s. 2014 an English version (together with Lattimer and Morrison) was published by Springer, 2018 she co-edited a book on saphenous vein sparing techniques (Springer). She founded and chairs the German CHIVA Society since 2000, organized the international CHIVA Congress 2002 (Teupitz) and 2012 (Hannover).
Since 2004 she is involved as principal or co-researcher in lots of national and international phlebological research projects, together with members of the Univ. Rome, Univ. Bern, Univ. Bochum and Imperial College in London, as well as German colleagues. The topics are mainly basic research in venous physiology, but also compression and effects upon symptoms of different pathologies. She has published lots of national and international articles, was invited to present her results in all 5 continents.
Mendoza will be the President of the 64th meeting of the German Society of Phlebology, Hannover in 2022, as well as the President of the EVF meeting 2023 (Berlin). She is Board member of the German Society of Phlebology since 2012 and General Secretary since 2015. Currently she is member of the steering group of the guideline Lipedema.
Yvonne Frambach MD, PhD
Dr. Frambach is a board-certified dermatologist with additional specializations in allergology and medicamentous cancer therapy.
From 2002 - 2014 she worked at the Department for Dermatology at the University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein, campus Luebeck, the last 5 years as Senior Consultant. Her clinically responsibilities comprised the treatment of inflammatory skin diseases and skin cancer as well the conservative treatment of Lip- and Lymphoedema patients. Additionally, she was the head of the clinical study center of the Department for Dermatology and has been a principal and coordinating investigator of different clinical trials.
Since 2014 she has worked in the Hanse-Klinik in Luebeck, a specialized clinic for Liposuction in Lipoedema patients, founded in 2002 by Prof. W. Schmeller. She has performed more than 1200 liposuctions as treatment for lipoedema and lymphoedema, actually approximately 100 liposuctions per year.
Since 2019 Dr. Frambach has run together with her colleague Dr. Gaber the Center for Dermatology and Phlebology in Lübeck. Both physicians are members of the Luebeck Lymphology network group.
Since 2016 she is a Board member of the German Society of Lymphology (DGL).
Hans-Walter Fiedler, MD, PhD
Hans-Walter Fiedler is a general and vascular surgeon who was born 1966 and raised in Dortmund and studied human medicine at the Ruhr University in Bochum until 1993. As part of the general surgical specialist training, he quickly found great interest in medical problems and the treatment of chronic wounds and was co-founder of the first wound outpatient clinic in Dortmund at the St-Johannes-Hospital in 1996 as well as founding and board member of Wundnetz e.V. in 1998 (Prof. Dr. Kövecker, PD Dr. Coerper, Tübingen). Since 2005 he has been a member of the Chronic Wound Initiative (ICW) and a regular speaker at the annual congresses in Bremen.
The topic of wound healing disorders and the interest in the surgical / interventional treatment of diabetic foot syndrome led him to further training as a specialist in vascular surgery at the St. Johannes Hospital in Dortmund (Prof. Dr. Walterbusch). In 2005 Hans-Walter Fiedler became chief senior physician in vascular surgery at the Bremen Mitte Clinic (PD Dr. Barbera) and the Links der Weser Clinic. Here he was both a founding and board member of the Wundverbund Nord e.V. (Prof. Dr. Cedidi, Bremen). His scientific commitment to the treatment of chronic wounds paved the way to lymphology and since 2007 he has been a member of the German Society for Lymphology e.V. and co-founder of the Colloquium Lymphology and Wound Healing.
Since 1995, Hans-Walter Fiedler has been Senior Lecturer at BUFA-OT (Federal College for Orthopedic Technology in Dortmund) and teaches phlebology and treatment of chronic
wounds and diabetic foot syndrome as well as diagnosis and therapy of lymphedema with an interdisciplinary focus on compression therapy. Other topics of the presentations at congresses and training courses focus him on the differential diagnosis of edema diseases and, since 2005, on lipedema.
Since 2015 he has been a resident surgeon and vascular surgeon in the Medical office for vascular medicine and surgery in Soest and Werl, North Rhine-Westphalia.
Michael Oberlin, MD, PhD
Senior Consultant in Internal Medicine, Foeldi Clinic Hinterzarten, since 1993.
Secretary General of the Society of German Speaking Lymphologists (GDL) since 2005.
MLD/CDT certified instructor national and international since 2007.
Secretary general and working group leader in the German Lymphedema guideline (AWMF) 2017.
VASCERN member in Pediatric and Primary Lymphedema working group since 2017.
Congress President of Lymphologie 2019.
Consulting in an outpatient setting approved by the health insurance commission with patients who have lymphedema and lipedema since 2021.
Nestor Torio-Padron, MD, PD
Prof. Dr. Nestor Torio completed his residency training in plastic and reconstructive surgery at the Medical Center – University of Freiburg, Germany, and worked there as attending for further six years. Due to an intensive cooperation during this time with the Földi Clinic in Germany, Prof. Torio has 12 years´ experience in the conservative and surgical treatment of lymphological diseases and lipoedema syndrome. Since 2015 he practices in a self-founded Clinic for Plastic Surgery in Freiburg (Germany) and Basel (Switzerland) and is specialized among others in the surgical treatment of lipoedema patients. As a faculty member Prof. Torio additionally teaches at the Medical School of the University of Freiburg.
René, Hägerling, MD, PhD,
Dr. Hägerling is a Clinical Geneticist and research group Leader at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Berlin Institute of Health Center for Regenerative Therapies (BCRT). His research focuses on lymphovascular diseases, lipedema and development of novel imaging technologies for 3D-Histology.
He studied Chemistry and Human Medicine at the University of Münster and obtained his MD and PhD from the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine. After his postdoctoral training, he joined the group of Prof. Peter S. Mortimer (St. George’s, University of London) . Since 2019, Dr. Hägerling is working at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the BCRT.
Anya Miller, MD, PhD
Dermatologist and Phlebologist in Privat Practice, Berlin
President of the German Society of Lymphology (DGL)
Meadbh Mac Sweeney, RGN MPH,
Meadbh practices as a lymphoedema nurse specialist & Medical Integrative Healthcare Therapist.
Director of The Lymph Clinic, Meadbh Mac Sweeney qualified as a Registered General Nurse specialising with a post graduate training in Paediatrics subsequently embarking on a different path by studying comprehensively in the field of integrative medicine at the Bristol Cancer Help Centre and University of West England.
Qualifying with the Dr Vodder School in Austria in the specialised training for the treatment of lymphoedema / lipoedema: Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) and decongestive lymphatic therapy (DLT) subsequently setting up the clinical centre of excellence; The Lymph Clinic, Cork, 2000 and the Dr Vodder School Ireland in 2019.
2019 Meadbh completed a Masters in Public Health UCC, her thesis designed to identify and develop key performance indicators (KPI’s) for lymphoedema services in Ireland; published the same year in the Journal of Lymphoedema Vol 14 no1
Domenico Corda MD
Domenico Corda is a medical doctor and contract professor in Phlebo-lymphological Rehabilitation at Pavia University. He is the head of Polimedica San Lanfranco, Medical Center in Pavia (Italy) and specialized in diagnosis and treatment of Lymphedema and Lipoedema from 2000. Furthermore, he is Director of Lymphological Services in Padova (Fisioguizza) and Bergamo (Humanitas Gavazzeni). He authored the book Lymphoedema and Lipedema, know them, recognise them, treat them.
He is the National Coordinator for Lymphology of SIF, Italian Society of Phlebology and President of Scientific Committe of SOS Lymphoedema, Italian Association of Lymphedema Patients.
He is an expert of Conservative Treatment, above all compression, and Chronic Management of Lymphoedema and Lipoedema. Finally, he has been involved as member of scientific committees for Lymphoedema and Lipoedema guidelines and guidelines review.
Francesco Greco MD
Francesco Greco, MD, PhD
Born in Rome on 10 September 1975; live in Bergamo (ITALY)
Director of the Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery Unit of the Poliambulanza Foundation Hospital in Brescia.
Graduated in 2000 and specialized in general surgery in 2006 at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome; PhD in Obesity Surgery in 2009 at the University of the Sacred Heart of Rome; Master in Aesthetic Surgery in 2012 at the University of Milan.
Founding member of the MGB-OAGB international Club.
Field of interest: advanced laparoscopic surgery, bariatric surgery, lipedema surgery, body contouring surgery.
Alberto Onorato MD, PhD
Alberto Onorato is a medical doctor, specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The education was completed by a specialization in Neurology, a Master in Lymphology, an advanced course in Medical Angiology and then by a PhD course, with a study of tissue elasticity using ARFI sonoelastography in upper limb lymphedema. He holds a license for the exercise of manual lymphatic drainage and edema therapy. He has extensive work experience, both in public and private facilities, about diagnosis and treatment of lymphedema and related pathologies, spinal cord lesions, severe brain injuries and with extensive experience gained on musculoskeletal pathology of various origins (neurological, orthopedic, rheumatological , oncological). He is a member of several scientific societies (including the International Society of Lymphology) and founder and current president of the Fight Lymphedema No profit Association. He is member of the scientific committee of Lipedema Italia Onlus. He has presented in national and international congresses his research on: evaluation of tissue elasticity in lymphedema; pain assessment in lipedema; lymphoscintigraphic examination; senescence of lymphatics.
Wilma van de Veen
Wilma van de Veen is a physical therapist from Trondheim, Norway. She has been working with lymphedemapatients at St. Olavs hospital, the University Hospital, since 1997, but retired this summer. She accepted to representant Norway in the European Lipedema Association, in a transition position with Hildur Skuladottir, plastic surgean from Bergen, alongside.
She has been leader for the organisation “Physical Therapists working with cancer and lymphedemapatients” , part of the National Organisation for Physical Therapists in Norway.
Over the years lipedemapatients became of special interest for her and she became active in several activities to give the disease a name: lectures, cooperation with clinical nutrition therapists and the obesity clinic, teaching fellow colleagues, plastic surgeans and so on. She translated the article Lipoedema- myths and facts. Part 5, customized it to Norwegian reality and had it published on the patients website (jan. 2020). It noticeably lead to a shift in mind-set of patients and therapists.
In the hospital she offered standardised diagnostic sessions and gave advise to therapists and doctors about follow up. Therapists at the hospital now offer follow up consults about lifestyle changes and selv management. She also started aqua gymnastics. Psychological follow up is lacking, so does liposuction, but ”Lærings- og mestringskurs”, an interdisciplinary course meant to empower patients by giving them knowledge about their disease and encourage self management, is build up.
In Norway the interest for lipedema is growing and to bigger studies are sett up: one related to lipedema and nutrition and one about lipedema and liposuction.
But there still is a very long way to go. Most doctors know nothing or very little about lipedema. Even if diagnosed and treated for lipedema, there is not a standard approach. Not even rules about what is being paid for by the National Health Insurance is similar all over the country and patients frustration is very understandable. National guidelines for diagnostics and treatment are very much needed. Maybe international guidelines might be of help.
Hildur Skuladottir, MD, PhD,
Hildur Skuladottir is a plastic surgeon at Haraldsplass Deaconess Hospital in Bergen, Norway. Since graduating from medical school (The University of Bergen) in 2008 she has finished her residency program in plastic surgery and has been involved in clinical and epidemiological research. She has a PhD in plastic surgery and epidemiology (2016). In 2013 she worked as a guest researcher at the National Institutes of Health in the US and at Stanford University. She is currently working on establishing a national clinical study on lipedema in Norway.
Andrzej Szuba MD PhD
Dr Andrzej Szuba is currently Professor of Medicine and the head of the Department of Angiology, Hypertension and Diabetology at Wroclaw Medical University, Poland. He specializes in internal medicine and in vascular medicine. Having obtained a PhD in 1991 for his thesis entitled "Superoxide Dismutase Activity in Patients with Arteriosclerosis Obliterans," he then did a post-doc in the Department of Biochemistry of SUNY Health Science Center, in Brooklyn (New York City) and the Cardiovascular Department of Stanford University (Stanford, USA).
Dr Szuba has received various honors, awards, and grants for his clinical and scientific work in vascular medicine. He has been principal investigator in various research projects, such as one on “The role of the lymphatic system and macrophages in the prevention and regression of atherosclerosis.” He is running several research projects related to the lymphatic system, cerebrovascular disease, vasculitis and lymphedema.
He is past President of the International Society of Lymphology. In Poland he is the President of the Lymphological Chapter of the Polish Phlebological Society and the President of the Polish Angiological Society.
Dr Szuba is Vice-Editor-in-Chief of Acta Angiologica and also an Editorial Board member of the Journal of Lymphatic Research and Biology.
Joana de Carvalho, MD, FEBVS, MCPhleb
Joana de Carvalho has a degree in Medicine and Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto (FMUP).
She attended 2 years of General Internship, during which time she completed a postgraduate course in Climatology and Medical Hydrology at FMUP.
She started specific training in Angiology and Vascular Surgery in 2005, at S. João Hospital. During her training, she was the Portuguese representative for the European Society of Vascular Surgeons in Training.
During this period, she carried out internships in major training centers:
- Hospital Vall d’Hebron (Barcelona, Spain), dedicated to the practice of vascular ultrasonography;
- Park-Krankenhaus (Leipzig, Germany) for 2 months and at Klinikum Sud (Nuremberg, Germany) for a month, dedicated to the practice of minimally invasive endovascular procedures.
She attended several international courses in the field of vascular diagnosis, surgical techniques, and endovascular procedures.
Joana obtained the degree of specialist in Angiology and Vascular Surgery, and took the European certification exam, obtaining the title of Fellow of the European Board of Vascular Surgery.
She worked as Scientific Consultant in the medical field of Vascular Surgery at the Harvard Medical School Portugal Program.
She took the Master Course in Phleboaesthetics, in Brazil. Certified in the CLaCS technique (Cryo-Laser & Cryo-sclerotherapy) at Miyake Clinic in S Paulo.
During this training, she was certain that she should broaden the range of therapeutic options and introduce this method in Portugal.
In 1 month time, she had set up a flebosuite creating the first Portuguese Clinic specialized in Aesthetic Phlebology.
She has also developed and registered the Leg Makeover® procedure.
An exclusive treatment that addresses the aesthetic and functional aspect of the legs restoring health and beauty in a single step.
During her work, she developed a special interest in Lipedema, after noticing how neglected this diagnosis is and how lost the patients feel. She is developing a Lipedema Unit along with nutritionists, physiotherapists and a plastic surgeon.
She concentrates her activity in private practice, dedicating specially to Aesthetic Phlebology and Lipedema.
Aleksandra Rovnaya is a medical doctor, specialized in rehabilitation, lymphology and pediatrics. She graduated from St Petersburg State University, Medical Faculty, specialization “General Medicine” with honours (red).
Her way in lymphology started from international courses – “Complex decongestion therapy (CDT) and measuring for flat knit compression garments” that were held in St Petersburg, Russia. She attended international courses of CDT (lymphedema management) to Foeldi clinic, Hinterzarten, Germany, and in the following years also attended advanced courses and workshops to become a specialist. Advanced surgical courses included liposuction for lymphedema patients (Sweden, K.Johansson, H.Brorson), theoretical & practical course in lymphatic microsurgery in live animal models (Spain, RMES, J.Masia, I.Koshima, A.Nistor), cadaver course in lymphatic microsurgery (Spain, RMES, J.Masia, J.P.Hong, S.Suominen).
Her medical career started as rehabilitologist (adults and children), specialist in rehabilitation for children with congenital pathology and her administrative career as a deputy director of “Association of the private clinics of St Petersburg”. Since her involvement in development of lymphology till today she is an active medical specialist in lymphology (consultations, conservative treatment, follow-up for adults and children), a specialist in compression therapy, chief medical consultant for Jobst distributor in Russian Federation.
Since 2015 she is an active member of the executive committee of Russian Association of lymphologists and to date she is the administrative director. She is an author and lecturer of "School for patients" (a project for patients after oncology treatment in Russia and several European countries). She is an organizer and speaker for lymphedema conferences and events in Russia – annual LIMPHA conference , St Petersburg phlebological forum, Oncomammology conference, etc. as well as a constant participant and speaker in international and european lymphology events (ESL&ISL congresses, PhleboLatAm, BBM, etc.), having several rewards for her talks (the scientific committee award , ELS congress, Prague, Czech Republic; Presidential Prize of the ISL World Congress, Buenos-Aires, Argentina).
She is a member of International Lymphology Society and full board member of European Lymphology society. She is an Ambassador of St Petersburg in Lymphology and the Chairman of the Russian Chapter of LE&RN, Coordinator of the World Lymphedema Day Russia.
She devotes most of her time to teaching. She is a lecturer, instructor and author for conservative lymphedema treatment courses (MLD, compression therapy, kinesiotaping), compression garment measurement and fitting courses, in Russia and Europe (Romania, Czech Republic, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Malta), St-Petersburg State Medical University n.b.ac.I.P.Pavlov, LIMPHA-Training, Limfedem Romania, etc.
Alex Munnoch, MD
Alex Munnoch has been a consultant plastic surgeon at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, Scotland for the past 18 years. A graduate of Dundee University, he is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, currently chairing their Plastic Surgeryl Speciality Board. He also sits on national training & examination boards for plastic surgery.
He has been providing a surgical treatment option for lymphoedema patients for 16 years, and has presented his results at numerous national & international conferences. He has been treating patients with Lipoedema for the past 10 years and has a particular interest in Quality of Life outcomes for these patients.
He helped develop the surgical lymphoedema service at Macquarrie University Hospital in Sydney, where he held the position of honorary professor for 7 years.
He is a former chair of the British Lymphology Society, and a former member of the executive committee of the International Society of Lymphology. He is currently a medical adviser to the LSN & Lipoedema UK, and is Patron of TalkLipoedema and MLD-UK.
His areas of interest are breast reconstruction, microsurgery, vascular malformations, lymphoedema and lipoedema.
Prof. Jaume Masia
Prof Jaume Masia is currently Full Professor in Surgery and Director of the Department of Plastic Surgery at Sant Pau Hospital - Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona.
He received his Medical Degree at Barcelona University, and his PhD at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. Prof Masia did the Plastic Surgery training at Sant Pau Hospital in Barcelona. He completed his training doing fellowships in Canniesburn Hospital (Glasgow - UK) and in Queen Victoria Hospital (East Grinstead - UK).
In 1998, he introduced DIEP flaps for breast reconstruction in Spain. He got a post as plastic surgery consultant at Sant Pau University Hospital in 2001. Two years later became the Chief of Microsurgery Unit and in 2007 he won the position as Chief of Plastic Surgery Department and Professor in Surgery at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. In 2005 he started to work on Lymphedema Surgical Treatment and due to his experience in this field he also moved to the Lipoedema treatment.
Prof. Masia was President of the Spanish Society of Plastic Surgery (SECPRE) in 2011-13 and President of Plastic Surgery Foundation for Education in 2014-15. From 2010 he is the Co-Director of the International Master Degree on Reconstructive Microsurgery and also Co-Director of the European Master in Oncology, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Breast Surgery at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. Currently he is the President of the Educational Committee of the European Federation of Microsurgery Societies. He has been invited as lecturer and visiting Professor in more than one hundred international meetings in plastic surgery, author of several papers and books as well. His current main interests are perforator flaps, lymphedema/ lipoedema surgery and medical education.
Christian Pomata, MD, PhD
Cristhian Pomata received his medical degree from the Catholic University of Asuncion, Paraguay, in 2010. Specialized in General and Plastic Surgery. He complemented his training by performing fellowships in France (Bordeaux), Italy (Milan, Pisa), and Spain (Barcelona). He has a master’s degree in Reconstructive Microsurgery from the European School at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and postgraduate diplomas in Aesthetic Medicine and Physiologic Aging Medicine at Barcelona University, and Higher Education Teaching at the Catholic University of Asuncion. At present, he is PhD student at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and is working in a private plastic surgery clinic in Barcelona, Spain. He also participates as a guest faculty in the cadaver workshop in lymphatic surgery organized by the European School of Reconstructive Microsurgery at the Faculty of Medicine at the Miguel Hernández University of Alicante, Spain. His main interests are perforator flaps-based reconstructions, comprehensive lymphedema and lipoedema treatment, and research.
Håkan Brorson, MD, PhD
Professor Håkan Brorson, MD, PhD is Senior Consultant Plastic Surgeon at the Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden. He is Professor of plastic surgery at Lund university, Lund, Sweden and Professor at Esculera de Graduados, Asociación Médica Argentina (EGAMA), Buenos Aires, Argentina. He received his Medical Degree and PhD at Lund University. Specialist in orthopaedic and plastic surgery. American National Board Exam (VQE) 1983. Consultant plastic surgeon/licensed Surgeon to Children’s Hospital, Little Rock, Arkansas, 2003. Board certified, Board of Registration in Medicine, Massachusetts, USA and Faculty License, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, 2005 - 2006.
In 1987 he defended his thesis: Liposuction and Controlled Compression Therapy in the Treatment of Arm Lymphedema Following Breast Cancer in 1998. His research is focused on the formation and distribution of adipose tissue in lymphedema using CT, MR Imaging/Spectroscopy and Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry for gross anatomy; microarray and RT-PCR for genetic studies, as well as metabolomics and lipidomics as well as incidence of erysipelas after liposuction. He has trained several teams around the world to treat lymphedema with liposuction, a treatment that he developed over 30 years ago.
Scientific secretary 1998-2005, and President of the Swedish Association of Plastic Surgeons 2008-2010. Executive Committee member of the International Society of Lymphology, the European Society of Lymphology, and the Swedish Lymphology Society. Editor, co-editor, and editorial board member of 10 journals/books and referee to 41 journals.
He was President of the 29th Congress of the European Group Lymphology’s Congress 2003 and the 23rd World Congress of the International Society of Lymphology in 2011, both in Malmö, Sweden. President of the International Society of Lymphology 2013-2015.
In 2015 he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia and the same year awarded Outstanding Paper Presentation at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons: Plastic Surgery the Meeting.
Member of 12 International Advisory Boards. Special adviser to the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, the Swedish Council on Technology Assessment in Health Care, the Danish Cancer Society, and the Swedish Cancer Society.
He has given 291 invited keynote lectures, master classes and invited lectures. He has received 21 national and international awards and is author and co-author of over 200 original papers, reviews and proceedings, editor/co-editor of 6 books, and author of 55 book chapters.
He has trained 42 teams around the world to treat lymphedema with liposuction.
Leif Perbeck, MD, PhD
Dr. Perbeck is Associate Professor, Karolinska Institutet. He is former Consultant in Surgery at Karolinska University Hospital mainly focused on breast cancer surgery and breast reconstructions. At present he is working at a privat plastic surgery clinic, Conturkliniken, Stockholm. Eriks Hospital, Serafimer lasarettets Hospital and Huddinge University Hospital. Consultant in surgery at Huddinge University Hospital and Karolinska University Hospital. He has also been visiting Professor at Ryan Hill Foundation, Swedish Hospital. Seattle, Washington, US.
He is one of the founder of the Swedish Association of Lymphology and he is now the President of the Swedish Association of Lymphology. He has also published a manuscript concerning Lipoedema November 2017 in the Swedish paper Lakartidningen which increased the knowledge of lipoedema amoung Swedish Physicians.
He is an expert in the Swedish Agancy for Medical and Social Evaluation (SBU) directed by the National Board of Health and Welfare. A raport has resently been puplished in Swedish concerning the scientific evidens for diagnoses och treatment of lipoedema.
Denise Luchsinger, MD, PhD
Denise is a physician qualified in angiology, internal medicine, vascular ultrasound and neurosonology and works as a consultant in the Department of Medicine in the Cantonal Hospital of Winterthur, Switzerland. She graduated in medicine from the University of Zurich in 2008.
Over the past years, Denise has developed a special interest in vascular & lymphatic diseases, and lipoedema.
She has established a multidisciplinary subdivision for patients with lymphoedema and lipoedema including physiotherapy and rehabilitation, plastic and reconstructive surgery, orthopedic services, vascular surgeons, dieticians, and psychiatric services thus, integrating the new holistic paradigm as recommended by the International Consensus for Lipoedema.
Over the past few years, her enthusiasm and commitment to improve the care of patients suffering from lympho- and lipoedema has resulted in her invitation to regional and national meetings as a faculty member.
Denise has a strong commitment for teaching and medical education and regularly facilitates interactive and experiential teaching programs for medical professionals, patients, interested staff and other departments within and outside the hospital system.
She is a member of the Society of German speaking Lymphologists (Gesellschaft Deutschsprachiger Lymphologen), the Lymphoedema Association Switzerland (Lympha Helvetica), the Swiss Society of Medical Ultrasound (SGUM) and the Swiss Society for Angiology and Vascular Medicine (SGA).
Denise speaks fluently English, French and German.
Denise joined the ILA Board in March 2021.
Epameinondas Gousopoulos, MD, PhD
Epameinondas (Epa) has a dual background in medicine and science. He studied medicine in Greece and Germany and subsequently moved to Switzerland to perform a MSc in Medical Biology followed by his PhD at ETH Zurich. His PhD was conducted in the laboratory of Prof. Michael Detmar, one of the leading laboratories in lymphatic research worldwide, and his aim was to unravel the molecular determinants that govern lymphedema onset and development. Since 2019 he is resident and research group leader in the Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery at the University Hospital Zurich.
Since 2018 Epa`s group focuses on studying the ground mechanism of lipedema and lymphedema. His worked, internationally competitively financed, has resulted into a number of publications opening a new horizon in the understanding of the diseases. His particular interest lays on the role of certain immune components on both disease entities and how these influence the lymphatic system and adipose cell metabolism.
Epa is Chair of the European Chapter of the Lymphatic Education and Research Network and a former Curator of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Hub in Zurich. He is regularly present in national and international scientific fora and an advocate for patients with lymphedema and lipedema.
Stephan Wagner, MD, PhD
Stephan, born in Basel-Stadt, graduated and obtained his medical degree from the University of Basel-Stadt, Switzerland. He completed his specialist training in general internal medicine in Zürich, Solothurn and Basel.
During his internship at the University Hospital in Basel, he had the opportunity to work for 6 months in the department of angiology and discovered the field vascular diseases. He later took on a senior position as a physician in the regional district hospital in Muri, Aargau.
To sub-specialize in angiology and the management of vascular diseases he gained extensive experience in the field at the Venenklinik Kreuzlingen, the University Hospital Bern (Inselspital) and at the University Hospital in Zürich where he received his second specialist degree in angiology. This included extensive duplex ultrasound training as he developed knowledge and expertise in the field. Subsequently his expertise owned him the degree as a trainer, supervisor and tutor for ultrasound in Switzerland. Stephan has a strong commitment to teaching and medical education and regularly trains fellows in this sub specialism who wish to obtain board certification in ultrasound and ultrasound guided procedures.
For over more than 20 years Stephan is working at the Rheumatology- and Rehabilitation clinic in Bad Zurzach, actually called “ZurzachCare”, as a senior doctor and was elected in 2001 to hold the chair of the department of rehabilitation and vascular diseases which was founded in 1997. Stephan engaged to develop the clinic to become the first center of reference for lymphatic diseases in Switzerland.
Stephan regularly participates in working groups consulting the Swiss medical association (FMH) or the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (BAG) as a specialty adviser in the field of lymphology and lipoedema.
As a Swiss delegate he was elected member of the managing board of the German speaking society of lymphatic disorders (“Gesellschaft Deutschsprachiger Lymphologen”) and was as a member of the first meeting of the steering committee in the revision of the guidelines of the management of lymphatic disorders “lymphology” with colleagues from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
His special interests include vascular and in particular lymphatic disorders, as he engaged into this sub-specialism over more than 20 years. He was also a participant of the second consensus meeting lipoedema in Hamburg 2019.
Over the past few years, his enthusiasm and commitment to improve the care of patients suffering from lymphatic diseases has resulted in his invitation to national and international meetings as a faculty member.
Stephan is a member of the Swiss Society of Internal medicine (SGAIM), the Swiss Society of Angiology (SGA) and Phlebology (SGP). He is a active board member of “LYMPHA-Helvetica”.
Ad Hendrickx, Pt, researcher.
Ad is working as a physical therapist and researcher in the Dutch Center of Expertise for Lymphovascular Medicine in Drachten. He is specialized in lymph- and lipedema, geriatric related problems and chronic diseases. Related to chronic diseases his main focus is the group of patients with cancer related disabilities. As a researcher and board member of the Expert center, he is responsible for education, research & development.
One of his main achievements in the recent years was the introduction and implementation of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health in daily care in the Expert Centre and their network of care, including the use of customized clinimetrical instruments. Self-management and the optimalisation of interprofessional collaboration are other main fields of interest.
Ad has been a teacher at the Dutch Paramedic Institute since 2015. He has been a speaker and chair at conferences in Europe, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and the US. Cherry on the pie is his current appointment as a PhD candidate at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen. His research topics are related to lymph- and lipedema.
Ad was member of the working group for the development of the Dutch guidelines for lymphedema and lipedema in 2013 and 2014. He is a member of the Dutch Expert Group for Lipedema, the advisory board of NLNet, the Dutch Patient Association for lymph- and lipedema. Since 2018 he has been closely involved in the development of the European consensus document on Lipedema.
Annemarieke Fleming, MA, post MSc
Annemarieke Fleming was born in 1974 to parents who were both teachers. She studied Clinical Psychology and English literature at Amsterdam University, graduating with distinction / 'cum laude'.
Annemarieke already became hooked on the subject of soma & psyche, i.e. the interwovenness of body and mind, during her internship at a psychiatric unit in a general hospital. She has worked as a psychologist in multidisciplinary teams at two different rehabilitation clinics from 2002 onwards, and still does so parttime today. She enrolled in a postdoctoral course in health psychology 2008-2010, which earned her the title of PostMSc.
She became a teacher at the very same postdoctoral institute (RINO Amsterdam) from 2010 onwards, becoming the head teacher for the subject of soma & psyche in 2018. Annemarieke wrote the book 'Pijn & het brein' (Pain & the brain) in intelligible language for chronic-pain patients themselves, first published in 2016, with a 14th imprint and > 15.000 copies sold in 2021. She became psychosomatic expert and course leader at the Dutch Paramedic Institute in 2016.
Annemarieke started lecturing in 2008, and continues to do so with much zeal and pleasure, both nationally and internationally, on the subjects of chronic pain, medically unexplained symptoms in both specific and non-specific conditions, self-management and concordance in chronic illnesses, and 'the chemo brain'.
Robert J. Damstra MD, PhD
Robert J. Damstra works since 1992 as dermatologist at the Nij Smellinghe hospital Drachten (Netherlands) in a team with 6 dermatologists, 2 vascular surgeons and many paramedical specialists.
In 2009 he obtained his PhD with the thesis “diagnostic and therapeutical aspects of lymphedema” at Maastricht University (Prof. Dr. P. Steijlen).
In 2005 he founded the Dutch expert centre for lympho-vascular diseases (ECL) in Drachten, which expanded to a centre with annual 500 new tertiary referrals, an outpatient clinic which thousands of patients, a clinical department for 12 patients providing both interdisciplinary diagnostics, operative and conservative treatments. He was chair of the first (2003), second (2014) Dutch guideline working group on lymphedema and in 2023 the third guideline is planned to be published.
In 2015 the ECL Drachten is recognized by the ministry of health as national expert centre for primary and paediatric lymphedema. The ECL became member of the European Reference Network (ERN) in the VASERN-group (See www.vascern.eu). He is chair of the primary and paediatric working group (PPL-WG). Together with expert centres all over Europe they cooperate to enhance cross border healthcare, improve quality of care and provide information for patients in Europe. Multicentre research is planned. Finally, in 2021 he became member of the founding board of the International Lipoedema Association (ILA) and worked with other under the lead of T. Bertsch MD PhD on the European consensus document for lipoedema.
José van Esch-Smeenge, MSc
José is a physical therapist and clinical health scientist (Msc.) working at the Dutch Center of Expertise for Lymphovascular Medicine in Drachten. She is specialized in lipedema and oncology rehabilitation. As a researcher she worked on topics concerning treatment and muscle strength in patients with lipedema.
She is also teacher in behavior and communication, ethics and Evidence Bases Practice in the Physiotherapy programme at Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen.
Ethics is one of the thinks José is very passionate about. She is member of the ethics committee of the Royal Dutch Physiotherapy Society. With this group she published a new code of conduct for all Dutch physical therapists.
Within the Dutch Paramedic Institute she is a teacher in courses on lipedema and lymphedema; ethics and geriatrics. She has been speaker at conferences in Europe and Australia.
She is a member of the Dutch Expert Group for Lipedema, the advisory board of NLNet, the Dutch Patient Association for lymph- and lipedema. Since 2018 she has been closely involved in the development of the European consensus document on Lipedema.
Kirsten van Duinen, MD
Kirsten F. van Duinen works sinds 2010 as a dermatologist at the Nij Smellinghe hospital Drachten (Netherlands) in a team with 6 dermatologists. She takes part in the expert centre for lymph-vascular diseases (ECL) together with paramedical specialists and vascular surgeons, seeing patients (children and adults) with secondary en primary lymphedema and lipedema. She is a member of the European Reference Network (ERN) in the primary and paediatric working group. Since 2020 she has been involved in the development of the European consensus document on Lipedema.
Bea Koet, MSc
Bea is a Master of Science registered Dietitian at the ECL in the Nij Smellinghe hospital Drachten, the Netherlands. She graduated at the Hanze University of Applied Science in Groningen in 1988 and started her career in the Tjongerschans hospital in Heerenveen. She started her own practice in 1990 specialized in sportsnutrition and in obesity and did this for over 20 years. In 2015 she started in Nij Smellinghe hospital and joined the ECL. She became feeling very involved by the lipoedema population and took the opportunity to do a Mastereducation ‘Healthy Ageing’ at the Hanze University of Applied Science in Groningen. She finished her master in March 2021on an innovative learning netwerk for patients with lipoedema and . Today Bea is eager to bring lipoedema and nutrition under attention with the colleagues in the Netherlands. Bea is mother of two, is a runner and a yogi, and is living in the northern part of the Netherlands.
Pınar Borman is a medical doctor, specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PMR). She has graduated from Ankara University Medical Faculty in 1992 and received her PMR speciality from Hacettepe University Medical Faculty Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, in 1998. She got her certification of National PMR Board in 2001. She has been Associate Professor in 2003 and received her Algology PhD and named algologist in 2011. She has been Professor of PMR in 2012, from Hacettepe University and worked in here until 2020. Dr. Borman has attended to courses of Norton School of Lymphatic Therapy in USA and certified from this school in 2013 as a lymphedema specialist. She has also got advanced training in kinesio taping in USA and certified as kinesio taping practitioner (CKTP). Professor Borman is the former chair of Anatolian (Turkish) Lymphedema Association since 2014. She has also formed Hacettepe University Lymphedema Research and Practice Center in 2015 and was previous head of this organization. Dr. Borman is the national representative of ILF and coordinator of ILF- studies in Turkey.
Her interest areas are cancer rehabilitation, lymphedema/lipedema, pain medicine, and geriatric and rheumatologic rehabilitation. She has been a principal and coordinating investigator on different clinical trials related with musculoskeletal diseases, pain, cancer rehabilitation, lymphedema and lipedema. She has written several books on lymphedema, lipedema, kinesio- taping, geriatric rehabilitation and musculoskeletal pain therapy, and has been editor or co-editor of many books related with rehabilitation, rheumatology, pain medicine, lymphedema and lipedema. She has also contributed to national textbooks of different disciplines, by writing chapters on vascular medicine, rehabilitation and musculoskeletal diseases. Dr. Borman has been an invited speaker or lecturer at many national and international PMR,rheumatology, vascular, oncology and wound conferences; chaired or co-chaired national conferences and congresses on PMR, pain and lymphedema. She is an organizer, instructor, lecturer of plenty of lymphedema and lipedema, cancer rehabilitation, and musculoskeletal pain educational meetings and courses in Turkey. She has trained many PMR physicians, physiotherapists and nurses to treat lymphedema/lipedema, wound and cancer rehabilitation. She has committed to increase the awareness of lymphedema and lipedema, as well as to disseminate the early and effective treatments of lymphedema, across the country. She is the author of more than 250 international and national papers and more than 240 oral and poster presentations on her areas and has been cited more than 2000 times in the last 10 years.
She is an executive member (treasurer) of the ‘Turkish Society of PMR Specialists’ and ‘Living with Osteoporosis Society’. She has been an executive member of Turkish League Against Rheumatism, and Kinesio-Turkey Association in the past. She is in editorial board of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences Journal and Open Rheumatology Journal. She is also member of several scientific international societies including International Society of Lymphology, National Lymphedema Network, International Lymphedema Framework, World Institute of Pain (WIP), International Association of Pain (IASP), International Society of PMR (ISPMR) ad Kinesio Taping Association (KTA).
Dr. Borman is currently working in University of Health Sciences Dept of PMR, and Ankara City Hospital Complex, Rehabilitation Hospital. She is the head of the Foreign Patient Ward, and In-patient lymphedema Service, as well as the consultant of Lymphedema Unit at this hospital; where her team cares for hundreds of patients with lymphedema and lipedema every year.
Kathleen Francis, M.D.
Dr. Francis received her medical degree from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. She completed her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at UMDNJ/Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, following a transitional internship at Saint Barnabas Medical Center.
She is a diplomate of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine.
Until her retirement in 2020 Dr. Francis was a Clinical Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, and had a private practice, Lymphedema Physician Services PC, in Livingston, NJ, specializing in evaluation and management of lymphedema, venous edema, and other forms of peripheral edema. She also served as Medical Director of the St. Barnabas Lymphedema Treatment Center at the St. Barnabas Ambulatory Care Center in Livingston, NJ.
Dr. Francis serves as Medical Director of Klose Training and Consulting LLC, a training and certification school for lymphedema professionals. She is also a member of the steering committee of the American Lymphedema Framework Project. She was a long-time member of the Medical Advisory Committee of the National Lymphedema Network and served as Chair in 2009-2010.
Dr. Francis has frequently appeared as an invited lecturer at lymphedema meetings and conferences throughout the United States.
Linda Roherty is a 1989 graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Physical Therapy.
Linda became a lymphedema therapist in 1998 and since then, has amassed additional hours of specialty training in lymphatic disorders.
Throughout her career, Linda has focused on patient treatment and educating the medical community on lymphatic disorders and patient treatments. In 1998, she worked at Sherman Hospital for 10 years with an emphasis in lymphedema and wound care. In 2008, she joined Presence St. Joseph Hospital to develop the oncology rehabilitation program with special attention on the needs of the cancer patients and lymphedema. In 2019 Linda joined HCA StoneCrest Medical Center’s team of lymphedema and oncology rehabilitation therapists to evolve a center of excellence.
Linda joined Klose Norton Training & Consulting, LLC in 2000 as an Associate Instructor for Lymphedema Therapy Certification courses and taught for three years. In 2005, she joined Klose Training and continues to teach nationally and internationally.
Linda earned her CLT-LANA credentials in May 2001. She was elected to the Lymphology Association of North America’s Board of Directors in 2000, acted as Vice President of LANA from 2002–2005, and served as Secretary from 2010-2014.
Linda continues to treat lymphatic impairments and lectures nationally and internationally on lymphedema and oncology rehabilitation. She is an important resource to many therapists who are setting up lymphedema programs or needing assistance with difficult-to-treat patients. Linda continues to deliver standards of care to the patients that she treats.
Guenter Klose, MLD/CDT Certified Instructor, CLT-LANA
Guenter Klose received his initial training in Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) and Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) at the Földi Clinic, Hinterzarten, Germany. He continued there as therapist and instructor until he came to the United States in 1990 to assist Dr. Robert Lerner in training lymphedema therapists and establishing the first CDT treatment centers in the U.S. for patients with lymphedema.
In 2003, Guenter established his own lymphedema training and consulting company, Klose Training & Consulting, LLC dedicated to providing the highest-quality lymphedema therapy training available. Klose Training has since trained over 4000 therapists.
In 2010, Guenter began creating advanced online lymphedema treatment courses and has continued to innovate in the delivery of these courses. Guenter also organizes biennial lymphedema conferences that attract lymphedema experts from around the world.
Guenter is a leading advocate for quality lymphedema treatment. He has videotaped opinion pieces and patient stories and lectured extensively in the United States and abroad, at National Lymphedema Network (NLN) Conferences, therapist and physicians' meetings, and lymphedema support groups.
Guenter is a member of the ISL and a founding member of the Lymphology Association of North America (LANA) for which he served on the Board of Directors from 1999–2004.
Dr. Jay Granzow is an internationally respected lipedema and lymphedema surgeon. He is Board Certified both in Plastic Surgery and Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Granzow speaks at many national and international conferences and has published numerous scientific articles in leading medical journals.
Dr. Granzow uses an integrated treatment system consisting of lymphatic-sparing surgery for lipedema combined with specialized therapy to achieve maximum results in his patients.
A pioneer in lymphedema surgery, Dr. Granzow successfully integrated lymphedema therapy with three types of lymphedema surgery including vascularized lymph node transfer (VLNT), lymphaticovenous anastomosis (LVA) and suction assisted protein lipectomy (SAPL). In 2008, he founded the Lymphedema and Lipedema Center, focusing on a holistic approach to lymphedema care.
From 2005 to 2020, Dr. Granzow served as Clinical Professor of Surgery, in the Division of Plastic Surgery at the University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine. Since then, Dr. Granzow is focusing on establishing a new treatment center in Florida.
Dr Melanie Thomas MBE DProf FC SP
Melanie is the Clinical Director for Lymphoedema Services in Wales and a physiotherapist by background. She was instrumental in developing equitable Lymphoedema Services in Walesand is responsible for the planning and strategic development of Lymphoedema Wales Clinical Network. The Network is embedded in Value-Based Healthcare and aims to reduce waste, harm and variation as well as enhancing learning thus improving patient outcomes, patient experience and quality.
Melanie has been the principal investigator in numerous research trials in lymphoedema and completed her Doctorate with Swansea University in 2018. She has presented and published widely in delivering innovations in lymphoedema care including the implementation of the Lymphatic Venous Anastomosis and a National Paediatric Lymphoedema Service. One of the new initiatives is the Cellulitis Improvement Programme for NHS Wales. Melanie was one of the founding members of the Casley- Smith Lymphoedema teaching programme in the UK and continues to educate Health Care Professionals globally.
In 2013, Melanie was awarded a MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours and a Fellowship by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. She is also a Director in the International Lymphoedema Framework.