As lymphedema patients, it’s common for many of us to feel left behind by the medical community: we’ve waited years for proper diagnoses, we’ve been shuffled from specialist to specialist seeking answers, we’ve fought with insurance providers for coverage… It’s a constant struggle for a lot of us to get the attention and care we need, and it creates feelings of hopelessness and neglect.

One of the biggest questions at the forefront of our minds is, “What is being done?”

The answer? A whole lot, actually!

I want to share with you a press release from the National Lymphedema Network (NLN) about the 2016 NLN International Conference’s programming schedule, because I think it’s important to see what’s currently on the radar for medical professionals as far as research trends and treatment advances. It’s good for us as patients to be aware of what’s going on in lymphatic research and the field of lymphology, and to see the discussions that are happening around it.

Despite so much of “mainstream” healthcare seemingly forgetting about us or misunderstanding our lymphedema, it’s empowering to know there are brilliant minds from around the world coming together (for the twelfth year in a row!!) to better understand and treat lymphedema and lymphatic diseases. By hosting sessions on topics ranging from lymphedema screening techniques and surgical advances to the psychosocial impacts of lymphedema and the issues facing parents of children with lymphedema, the NLN International Conference is a testament to the dedication and commitment of these medical professionals to the betterment of our overall health and well-being.

The conference begins next week and is a five-day lymphatic tour de force featuring a schedule packed with informational sessions, symposiums, and presentations on the latest advances in diagnoses, treatments, and research. This year has already been a big one for lymphatic research, so I’m excited to see what more breakthroughs will come from this amazing event!!

Press release from The National Lymphedema Network

BERKELEY, CA—The National Lymphedema Network (NLN) is pleased to announce the full program for the 2016 NLN International Conference, to be held on August 31 – September 4, 2016 at the Omni Hotel in Dallas, TX. This conference offers a unique opportunity for healthcare professionals, researchers, industry leaders, and patient advocates to come together to discuss the latest in lymphedema diagnosis, treatment and management.

The event will open with a series of four full-day pre-conference sessions on Wednesday, August 31. Session topics include hot-button issues such as treatment of head and neck lymphedema, how to incorporate emerging surgical approaches into lymphedema management, advanced compression techniques, and wound care, all taught by leading experts in the field. medi USA will host a luncheon symposium in conjunction with the pre-conference sessions.

The following three days will feature 50 plenary sessions, 65 poster presentations, and 20 instructional sessions. Speakers include world-renowned experts from Australia, Belgium, Germany, Korea, Poland, Turkey, the UK, and more. Tactile Medical will host the opening reception on Wednesday, August 31, and BSN-Jobst will host a cocktail reception the following evening. ImpediMed and PhysioTouch will host breakfast symposia with guest speakers to discuss technology innovations on September 2 and 3, respectively.

Dr. Stanley G. Rockson, Stanford University Medical Center, will present the opening keynote address, Lymphedema: The No Longer Forgotten Disease of the No Longer Forgotten Circulation! Amy Santiago, Mrs. Florida International, will present the Saturday luncheon keynote address, Voice of Significance, followed by the LANA Awards for Research and Innovation.

“Together, both Dr. Rockson and Ms. Santiago will highlight the combined basic science, clinical research, and translational objectives of the 2016 NLN program” said Dr. Eva Sevick-Muraca, Program Co-Director and NLN Board Member. “Dr. Rockson’s presentation highlights the meeting’s objectives to update our community with the most recent advances in the diagnostics and treatment of lymphedema as well as the scientific underpinnings of the “why” and “how” lymphatics dysfunction in the first place. Ms. Santiago’s presentation exemplifies the need to use this information to promote patient and clinician awareness that can help shape policies to impact health care delivery to all patients with chronic conditions that involve the lymphatics.”

The 2016 NLN International Conference is planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, NorthShore University HealthSystem, and the National Lymphedema Network.

On March 6, 1988, the NLN was founded with the mission of creating awareness of lymphedema through education and promoting and supporting the availability of quality medical treatment for all individuals at risk for or affected by lymphedema.

For more information, contact the National Lymphedema Network at 1.800.541.3259 or visit our website at

The conference is intended for medical professionals first and foremost, including physicians, nurses, allied healthcare professionals and scientists “interested or involved in the field of Lymphology”; if you are a medical professional, registration is open online until Friday, August 26th.

Are you attending the 12th National Lymphedema Network International Conference next week? Which topics are you most excited to see discussed?

I will be at a booth in the Exhibit Hall with North American Rehab. Be sure to say hello!