Lymphoedema Care SA is now offering consulting services at Blackwood.
Karin Stepputtis has been a physiotherapist and specialist in Lymphoedema Management for over 30 years. Karin studied with Prof. Dr. Foeldi (Dr. Vodder Method) in Germany. She is a member of the ALA (Australasian Lymphology Association) and a former ALA South Australia State representative. She is a current member of the ALA national equity committee.
Karin is an ALA accredited lymphoedema therapist registered on the NLPR (National Lymphoedema Practitioners Register).
As an experienced physiotherapist and lymphoedema therapist, Karin is offering treatment to patients with:
- Lymphoedema caused by cancer (specialising in breast cancer, head and neck cancer, melanoma, and gynaecological cancer)
- Axillary web syndrome (Cording)
Her approach is founded on a strong commitment for evidence based best practice, delivering quality treatment in a professional and caring manner. Based in Blackwood, Karin is well respected as a skilled and passionate lymphoedema expert.
Lymphoedema Services offered
- Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD), a specialised form of gentle massage to enhance the lymph flow
- Lymph Scanner fluid measurement for early detection of breast cancer related lymphoedema
- Early Intervention Management to minimise development of lymphoedema
- Photo Biomodulation Therapy (Low Level Laser Therapy) is a crucial tool to enhance lymph flow and to help soften fibrosis (thick, hard skin due to protein accumulation in longstanding oedema).
- Intermittent Pneumatic Compression Therapy, a medical device promoting venous and lymphatic flow via an air pump and inflatable sleeves/vests
- Compression Bandaging to reduce swelling
- Prescription and fitting of compression garments to maintain the achieved reduction
- Treatment of Cording (Axillary Web Syndrome)
- Education on risk reduction
- Education on maintaining the lymph flow through exercise, skin care, and self-drainage
What is Lymphoedema?
The lymphatic system is a critical part of our body that removes excess fluid from tissues back into the bloodstream. Damage or overload of the lymphatic system in a certain body part (e.g. arm or leg) will lead to accumulation of protein rich fluid and cause swelling of this area of the body.
Lymphoedema is a condition of localized fluid retention causing swelling in one or more regions of the body. It is caused by a compromised lymphatic system.
There are two types of lymphoedema. The most common is secondary lymphoedema. It often occurs as a consequence of cancer treatment, where lymph nodes have been removed or radiotherapy was necessary. In most cases, Lymphoedema will develop in the arm or leg. But depending on the type of cancer, it can also occur in the breast, head and neck, genitals, or abdomen. Other causes for secondary lymphoedema are venous disease, cellulitis, obesity, tissue damage after severe injury, immobility, and dependency.
Primary lymphoedema is a much rarer genetic condition that develops because lymph vessels are not formed well.
Signs of Lymphoedema
Lymphoedema builds up slowly. First signs are tightness, heaviness, or pins and needles in the affected body part. Jewellery or shoes might feel tight. Joint movements of the affected limb are feeling stiff. Some people might experience ache or pain.
Early detection and intervention are crucial to minimise the development of lymphoedema.