2017 Newsletter


  1. Presidents Letter
  2. Meet the 2017 Executive Committee
  3. AGM 2017 Highlights
  4. What’s happening at LAOSA
    • Interesting News
    • Medical Aid updates
    • Support Groups
    • AGM 2018 Planning
  5. Interesting Reading


2017 Membership Fees are DUE NOW *PAY R150*

LAOSA:      ABSA Acct # 9280347754       Branch Code 632005

Please send Proof of Payment to info@LAOSA.co.za

Please send email to info@laosa.co.za if you would like your Practice Website to be included on LAOSA Website   Find A Therapist Page

Please note this newsletter is available online:


VISIT us AND “LIKE” our Facebook page on: https://www.facebook.com/LAOSA.co.za/



Dear LAOSA Members,

A warm welcome to all of our new members! The Lymphoedema Association of South Africa- LAOSA is looking ahead to the future with a focus on greater Lymphoedema Awareness. Thank you to all of the hard-working members of the Executive Committee who have worked diligently and tirelessly to move the association forward.  We have had a successful year with many projects in the works:

  • Maintaining and updating our laosa.co.za website and responding to email enquiries
  • Keeping and updating a National Practice Register of all certified Lymphoedema Therapists which is shared with Discovery and other Medical Aids
  • Attending conferences, providing FREE LAOSA informational brochures and spreading awareness about LAOSA and Lymphoedema Therapists
  • Newsletters
  • Compiling a South African Lymphoedema Consensus Document-starting with a Position Statement – still being worked on and will require a group effort
  • Your attention, support and commitment will be needed for the upcoming Provincial Therapist Support Group meetings which are planned for end of May in JHB, DBN and CT- please SEE Newsletter BELOW. The focus of meeting will be to work on completing the Position Statement so that we may publish.
  • Discussions with Medical Aids to promote better and fair reimbursement for Lymphoedema Management services in South Africa
  • Compiling questionnaires for Health Care Professionals and patients to collect much needed statistical data about Lymphoedema and awareness about treatment in South Africa
  • VISIT AND “LIKE” our Facebook page on: https://www.facebook.com/LAOSA.co.za/


A huge thank for the efforts and hard work of previous EXCO member who is no longer with us in South Africa – Dr Gila Nussbaum has relocated to Israel as of January 2017, as well as Carolyn Hoffman – Treasurer who stepped down in December.

As President, I plan to uphold the LAOSA Vision of “Lymphoedema Care for All”.  I would like to inspire and encourage all of our members to embrace the LAOSA Mission Statement of “To be a Collaborative Association which strives to promote quality Lymphoedema Management, Education, Awareness and Research in South Africa”. 

A multidisciplinary approach throughout South Africa is needed to spread awareness that quality care for Lymphoedema and Oedema related conditions exists.  It is our duty as the specialists in the field of Lymphoedema to share, promote and talk about this relatively unknown and under-diagnosed condition to as many people as possible.  LAOSA is here to support our member’s efforts and to positively impact the quality of lives of those affected with Lymphoedema.  We can achieve greater awareness by educating the medical community, allied health professionals and Lymphoedema patients.

As a group, we need to support each other to promote continuing education and research based therapy techniques.  We should all strive to maintain a high standard of quality care and always work in integrity whether we practice in public or private. Always aim to provide care to patients previously told that “There is nothing that can be done for your swelling condition.”

Thank you for being part of this pioneering association and playing an integral role Lymphoedema Management and Awareness in South Africa.

I look forward to collaborating with each one of you as we expand our professional community and move forward with more Lymphoedema Awareness and research into the future.


Warmest Regards


















Meet the Executive Committee for 2017

Please welcome new members to the exco team: Erika van der Mescht, Isabeau Neethling and Maxine Blane. Please see our website for more detailed biographies, contact details and work experience. www.laosa.co.za


President: Suzi Davey

Occupational Therapist, based in Cape Town

ILWTI course co-ordinator and lecturer



Secretary: Nicole van Besouw

Occupational Therapist based in Cape Town

Private Practice Owner



Vice President: Candice Kuschke

Physiotherapist based in Johannesburg

Private Practice owner


Treasurer: Isabeau Neethling

Physiotherapist based in Cape Town

Private Practice Owner


Membership: Rogini Pillay

Occupational Therapist based in Cape Town

Head of Groote Schuur OT Dept.



Education and Marketing: Erika van der Mescht

Physiotherapist based in Pretoria

Private Practice Owner


Education and Marketing: Maxine Blane

Nursing Practitioner based in Durban

Private Practice Owner


2017 AGM Highlights

The 5th LAOSA AGM 2017 was held in Johannesburg from 3-4 March, at the Rosebank Union Church in Sandton. Many therapists from around the country attended, and we were lucky to have very knowledgeable speakers presenting. In attendance, we had: 9 Physiotherapists, 6 Occupational Therapists, 2 Orthotists, 6 Nurses, 1 Medical Doctor, and 7 exhibitors.

Thank you to all the Exhibitors for your support:  HiTech Therapy, BSN Medical, LEVTRADE, BL Medical, JUMLA Medical, Lymphatic Education Africa/LymphAfrica and Medis Medical.

  • Dr Sarah Nietz (Breast Surgeon) discussed the advances of Breast Surgery over the years. She also discussed the development and progress of her Breast Cancer Clinic at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg, as well as statistics of breast cancer in the public sector.
  • Dr Dimitri Liakos (Plastic Surgeon) explained the various surgical options available for the treatment of lymphoedema, including microsurgery, ICG Fluoroscopy, surgical criteria and what options are available to patients in South Africa.
  • Dr Kim Lohlun (Radiation Oncologist) presented research on the incidence of Lymphoedema associated with radiation.
  • Willie Fourie (Physiotherapist) gave us a lecture and workshop in connective tissue release as well as scar tissue management with an excellent review and pictures of anatomy and fascia.
  • Jennifer Blenkinsop (Occupational Therapist) gave a very enlightening talk on medical communication and how it can affect our patient relations and treatment results.
  • Adrian Singh (Orthotist) spoke to therapists and patients on compression garments, and had some very practical tips for all to consider.
  • Suzi Davey (LAOSA President and ILWTI Education Specialist) discussed 20 Steps to Lymphoedema Risk Reduction which encouraged very interesting discussions and debate and all those present contributed some very interesting points.


  • We had our First LAOSA Patient Cocktail evening where Lymphoedema patients and family members were invited to attend. Exhibitors displayed different types of compression garments and treatment products that are on the market, and patients mingled with therapists and other patients. This was a very sociable evening that we really hope will grow in the future and become a highlight of the AGM. Big Thank You to Orthotist Adrian Singh who spoke to therapists and patients on compression garments and practical tips.



LAOSA continues to grow, and it was wonderful to celebrate our 5th Anniversary and NPO status.


                            2016 AGM in Cape Town                                   2015 AGM in Durban

What’s Happening at LAOSA


LAOSA has become a member the Cancer Alliance https://www.canceralliance.co.za/  A collective group of Cancer related NPOs and advocates working together to effect change for all South African adults and children affected by Cancer.

We have submitted the paperwork to the ILF-International Lymphoedema Framework  http://www.lympho.org/  to become a National Lymphoedema Framework in South Africa.

The ILF is well established and will be able to assist and guide LAOSA in establishing itself as a well-recognised and highly respected organisation in South Africa.  The ILF Focus Document Guidelines http://www.soffed.co.uk/lymphorg/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Focus-Frameworks.pdf




Currently we are engaging with the Physiofocus group to try and establish what steps to take with regards to improving dialogue with the medical aids in the most effective way. LAOSA is hoping to meet with Discovery to discuss funding problems, and to present a Basket of Care (lymphoedema treatment protocol) for oncology patients with lymphoedema.   We plan to engage with other medical schemes in the near future.  We are working in collaboration with our private practice representatives at Physiofocus who have been very supportive. Unfortunately, it is a slow process, but we will have some news for all therapists soon, and any updates will be emailed to LAOSA members. Please email your medical aid problems or rejected motivation examples to Candice Kuschke: kuschkephysio@gmail.com.    If you do not have the Discovery Lymphoedema Assessment form, please see attached PDF. This is for ALL lymphoedema therapists.




LAOSA Therapists Support Group. This meeting is for all Lymphoedema Therapists contribute to the Position Statement on Lymphoedema Management in South Africa. We really need as many members of LAOSA to participate and contribute as possible.  As well, this will be your chance to voice your concerns, medical aids issues, discuss difficult cases, present new research or interesting articles and get support, recommendations about products and assistance from other skilled therapists.

PLEASE RSVP to Candice Kuschke: kuschkephysio@gmail.com  For the Johannesburg Support Group on Wed 31 May 2017 @ 18h45. Upon RSVP Email will be sent to confirm venue. 

PLEASE RSVP to Suzi Davey: info@laosa.co.za For the Cape Town Support Group on Friday 26 May 2017  @ 13h00 at  CANSA  37A Main Rd, Mowbray, Cape Town, 7700  Upon RSVP Email will be sent to confirm your attendance.   

PLEASE RSVP to Maxine Blane: max.blane@gmail.com For the Durban Support Group Meeting end of May.  Upon RSVP regarding your interest an Email will be sent to confirm Date, Time and Venue.



We have created 2 Lymphoedema questionnaires to gather information on the prevalence of lymphoedema in SA, referral patterns and what treatment is currently available.  There is one for you as the therapist to fill in for each patient, and one for the patient to complete as well. Please keep an eye on your emails for LAOSA updates as well we will discuss at the Regional Support Group meeting.   WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!



AGM 2018

We are hoping the 2018 AGM in Durban, March 2018, will be our biggest and most exciting AGM!! The date will be finalised in the next few months. Please send us any suggestions or ideas for presentations/speakers. We will be having an event that patients are invited to attend. Please watch this space!!!



Please check out the following links:

 www.laosa.co.za –please check that your details are correct and notify us of any

updates or changes on Find a Therapist Page

Visit AND “LIKE” our Facebook page on: https://www.facebook.com/LAOSA.co.za/ 

PLEASE Share with your patients and on your own Business Facebook Pages

The next BIGOSA conference will be held in Cape Town. Check their

website for updates regarding venue and dates. http://www.bigosa.co.za/conference-2017.html



  1. Lymphatic Mapping and Preoperative imaging in the management of post-mastectomy lymphoedema: http://gs.amegroups.com/article/view/9089/9897
  2. Self-care for management of secondary lymphoedema: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4898789/