October 2022

Hi Lipoedema Surgical Solution – Newsletter Community
Welcome to Issue #12 of Lipoedema Matters, a monthly newsletter created by Lipoedema Surgical Solution and Dr Chris Lekich

Artwork by Anna Maria Matziorinis from @healinglipedema

Hannah Kurnadi is an Occupational Therapist, accredited Lymphoedema Practitioner (ALA) and Hand & Upper Limb Practitioner (AHTA).  Based on the Gold Coast, she is the founder and Principal Therapist of The Lymphoedema Lounge, a restorative space dedicated to the treatment of women with Lymphoedema and Lipoedema.  Hannah is also a qualified Pilates instructor and chatted with us this month about how Pilates, as well as conservative management treatments, can help manage Lipoedema.  You can follow Hannah and The Lymphoedema Lounge on Instagram here.

During my training to become an accredited Lymphoedema practitioner, I first heard of the condition Lipoedema. I believe it was in 2018 that I saw my first patient with Lipoedema who had been restricting her diet, training intensively at the gym and yet could not change the composition of the tissues in her legs - a common theme for many of the women I see. I then started to see more women who suspected they had "this thing called Lipoedema" and within no time, knowledge of this condition grew.

My patients typically present stage 2/3. However, I have treated all stages of Lipoedema. Most patients that I see attend for the preparation phase pre-surgery and then I am with them through the post-surgery recovery phase for weekly MLD sessions. Some ladies who may be undecided on surgery are continuing conservative treatment options at my clinic as they find good relief of symptoms and are tolerating compression quite well at this stage. 

I am a qualified Pilates Instructor and enjoy creating personalised exercise and strength programs to help clients throughout their recovery.  I believe Pilates can help everyone and especially women with Lipoedema and Lymphoedema in a number of ways.

  • If we can feel stronger physically and mentally, then we can take back control of our body.
  • Mat work Pilates is low impact - it is not about ‘burning calories’ therefore movements are friendly on Lipoedema affected areas.
  • Pilates helps to keep joints mobile, strengthens muscles, improves flexibility, targets posture, encourages lymphatic drainage, helps with weight management, enhances confidence and can lower anxiety and stress.
  • As clients build strength and endurance, resistance bands and weights can be incorporated and consequently, over time, joint pain symptoms can reduce as we strengthen the smaller, weaker and deeper muscle groups.
Go to Hannah's Website
  1. Be kind to yourself physically and mentally, change takes time.
  2. Be sure to schedule a meeting with a specialist to ensure an accurate diagnosis is made with a clear treatment plan for management long-term.
  3. Link in with an Accredited Lymphoedema Practitioner. They can assist you in reducing pain and improving quality of life through lymphatic drainage and prescription of a high-quality and well fitted compression garment to improve lymphatic flow and soften tissues. At my clinic we also use Low Level Laser (LTU-904 device) to help with lymphatic flow, fibrotic tissues, scars and pain.
  4. Join a Lipoedema community group online or in-person to ensure you have a great support network.
  5. Try pilates! It is brilliant for moving lymph and providing a low impact form of exercise. Regular low-impact exercise can increase lymphatic drainage and improve blood flow through the limbs. Higher impact exercise can often exacerbate pain, bruising and feelings of heaviness in the limbs. 



Fashion Journal included an article on Lipoedema, in their efforts to educate their audience during Lipoedema Awareness Month 2022.  Click here to read.
Free online Lipoedema-Friendly Pilates Workshop with Hannah Kurnadi O.T from The Lymphoedema Lounge.  The session will be suitable for all levels as it is structured in a low impact way.  The mat work includes exercises to build strength, encourage lymphatic flow, mobilise joints, stretch the muscles/tissues and reduce stress and anxiety through breathwork.  If you are unable to get onto the floor, please bring a chair as Hannah will be offering suitable adjustments.  The one hour session will include time to warm up, cool down and questions at the end.  Everyone is welcome, just bring your mat or chair! Register via Eventbrite here.

During September Dr Lekich hosted an educational morning tea in Hobart for Lipoedema patients & allied health practitioners.  The event included a live demonstration of ultrasound to diagnose Lipoedema and underlying causes of swollen legs, including varicose veins.  Dr Lekich is committed to educating the medical and general communities about Lipoedema and the importance of early diagnosis & intervention.  The Hobart audience were grateful to Dr Lekich and the team for travelling to Hobart to spread awareness about Lipoedema; as well as the opportunity to put more patients in contact with Lipoedema-friendly practitioners, so they can receive the right care sooner. 

Also during September we were pleased to present a Nutrition for Lipoedema Workshop, hosted by Clinical Nutritionist Kimmi Katte.  The session covered the different kinds of nutrition that help women with Lipoedema, as well as information on keto, low carb, fasting, food choices, how much food to eat and the emotional relationship with food.  There was also a Q & A session at the end.  If you missed the live stream of the event, you can watch the recording here. 
We are excited to launch a new section of our website that addresses common myths, misconceptions and misunderstandings that are relayed to us from the Lipoedema community.  If you hear something in and around the community and you would like Dr Lekich to comment on the topic or clarify any potential miscommunications, please contact us here or via social our social media pages and we will ask Dr Lekich to address them.  Read Dr Lekich's response to the myth below on our website here.

Please help us raise awareness and education by sharing your Lipoedema journey, art, business or organisation here.
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Identify what your mind and body need to keep going, this is the first step toward a lasting self-care routine. 

I will find the time to relax my mind each day.

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