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First NZ patient to have groundbreaking post-cancer surgery

First NZ patient set to have groundbreaking post-cancer surgery in Sydney, Australia

Auckland's Brenda Frearson will become the first New Zealand patient to have groundbreaking specialised surgery on her leg in Sydney's Macquarie University Hospital tomorrow, Tuesday 15 July, as she seeks to alleviate the debilitating condition of lymphoedema.

Lymphoedema is a life-long complication of cancer treatments for breast, prostate, melanoma, gynaecological cancers and the removal and treatment of other tumours.

It is often referred to as the "visible reminder of cancer", because it makes an abnormal collection of lymphatic fluid that causes swelling, mostly in the arms and legs. There is no cure for the condition.

Brenda is very keen to share her experience so that other NZ lymphoedema patients might know about this new opportunity and be able to explore whether this specialised surgery could be an option for them.

Brenda is excited about what this will mean for her quality of life as this surgery provides dramatic relief from the ongoing discomfort and pain of living with this condition. The added benefits of having her legs the same size again means that selecting and wearing everyday clothes and shoes will not be such a challenge and this in its self is very liberating.

"I have lived with lymphoedema for about 20 years now and have tried almost every non-evasive treatment available including the daily wearing of lymphoedema compression garments. I was introduced to the Macquarie University Cancer Institute by my physiotherapist in Auckland late last year... She was very excited to tell me about the developments in this field and felt like I would be a prime candidate for undergoing this procedure. At first I couldn't believe this was possible - but I was over in Sydney within a month of finding out... having all my initial assessment done."

More information about the Macquarie University Cancer Institute's liposuction technique is available here. For Australian and New Zealand patients, this pioneering surgery is only available at the MCI in Sydney, Australia.

• Tuesday 15 July (and a couple of days after in recovery)
• Macquarie University Hospital, North Ryde, Sydney, Australia (Brenda will be returning to Auckland in a couple of weeks)


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