Athletic Champion to Laser Therapy Specialist

    • Lymphoedema specialist, Kate Perkins, explains how introducing a therapeutic laser into her practice has helped her to expand her business.

      As a former competitive cyclist, triathlete and passionate surfer, Kate Perkins draws on her lifelong love of sport, health and fitness to help her patients return to doing the things they love best. Her private cancer rehabilitation and lymphoedema practice has blossomed rapidly within 5 years and has now expanded to include other allied health services. The road to where Kate is in her career involved a lot of learning and experimenting with new medical technology.

      Kate, a cancer rehabilitation and lymphoedema occupational therapist, had developed a reputation for helping cancer patients in the Central Coast community at Erina, NSW. She was helping her patients so much that many were waiting weeks to see her. She was constantly thinking about how she could manage her workload and continue her level of care.

      In May 2021, Kate attended the 13th Australian Lymphology Association Symposium at the Gold Coast. At the urging of a colleague, she stopped by one of the booths where she began to learn about MLS® laser therapy. As she spoke to Catherine Norton, CEO of Heal with Laser, a light went on in Kate’s head: “You mean I can treat patients using a hands-free unit at the same time as the handheld laser?” Kate asked. “And I can use it in conjunction with my other treatments?”

      What she learned opened her eyes to the things that her practice could achieve. It heralded Kate’s next career transformation. Little did she know that by introducing MLS® laser therapy into her practice, she would rapidly expand her business as well as provide the highest standard of patient care.

      Humble Beginnings

      Kate established her practice, Lymphatic Solutions, from scratch with no patients in 2017. She rented a small room within an osteopath clinic a few half-days per week. Being passionate about implementing innovative technology in her treatments, Kate invested in a small Class I handheld laser which she used to reduce radiation and lymphoedema fibrotic scar tissue. She saw the efficacy of using laser therapy in her treatments, but as it was a small laser, treatment times were lengthy.

      Over a two-year period, Kate worked hard to build up her business and attract more referrals. Her clinic became busier, and she needed more space to accommodate the growth. In 2019, Kate took a big step in establishing her own stand-alone practice in the space next to the osteopath clinic. She added cancer rehabilitation to her suite of services and renamed her clinic to ‘Cancer Rehabilitation and Lymphatic Solutions’. Kate was fast becoming known for her rehabilitation and lymphatic treatments on the coast, but that was just the beginning.

    • Game-Changing Technology

    • In Heal with Laser’s booth at ALA Symposium 2021

    • At the Gold Coast symposium, Kate learned about the unique advantage of MLS® laser therapy compared with other devices – it’s synchronised laser system and especially it’s hands-free delivery mechanism. Instead of lengthy treatment times with a low-power laser, the MLS® (Multi-wave Locked System) combines an 808nm continuous laser emission with 905nm super-pulsed wavelength. These synchronised, dual wavelengths allow practitioners to achieve strong anti-inflammatory, anti-oedema, and analgesic effects simultaneously in a short period of time.

      Kate was attracted to Heal with Laser’s Mphi 5 laser machine on display and the prospects of upgrading her practice. The Mphi 5 therapeutic laser is a 25W, portable laser machine mounted on a trolley that offers two lasers in one – a handheld laser plus a multi-diode laser head, called a Charlie head.

    • She recalls, “I could see the Charlie head on the Mphi 5, plus the handheld laser diode had all the benefits of muscle softening–only supercharged. And in addition to that, I could see broadening the patient category to not just lymphoedema patients or cancer rehab patients, but to sports injuries to reduce inflammation or tissue healing. My mind was blown.”

      Kate thoroughly researched the MLS® system, and it was clear to her that it’s unique advantages, especially the synchronised, dual laser wavelengths, made it superior to other medical laser therapy machines on the market. Kate also realised that as the Mphi 5 was a larger and more powerful laser than her current one, it would speed up her treatment times and provide longer-lasting results. What did she conclude after learning about this world-class technology? “I’ve got to have one.”

    • A Super-Charged Practice

      Two months after the conference, Kate had her hands on her first MLS® laser. She learned quickly and started seeing patients immediately. She followed the pre-set treatment protocols programmed in the machine that are backed by scientific research and proven to work. To achieve optimal patient outcomes, Kate combined laser therapy with her other treatments. To reduce lymphoedema symptoms or inflammation, Kate combined laser therapy with manual lymph drainage, compression garments or pumps. For surgical scar tissue, she used laser therapy to soften the scar tissue and applied myofascial release techniques. The combination of treatments helped her to achieve faster and better outcomes for her patients. How did Kate’s patients respond to the new treatment that they could receive?

    • Kate with her new MLS® Mphi 5 laser

    • Kate’s recalls that her patients were pleasantly surprised by the efficiency of the treatments and the consistent positive outcomes. Not long after the introduction of laser therapy, Kate’s patient base boomed. “Because of the successful outcomes for my current patients, they started telling all their friends”, Kate relates.

      “I regularly get hand-written thank-you letters from my patients. They are aware how much the laser is helping them and how effective the treatments are.” Not only are her current patients telling their friends about their fast-tracked healing times and great results due to MLS® laser therapy, but they are also spreading the word to other medical practitioners who are treating them.

      Specialists like orthopaedic surgeons and radiation oncologists shortly joined Kate’s already broad referral base of breast surgeons, oncologists, and GP’s. They started to refer their patients to Kate to reduce inflammation, soften radiation scar tissue, increase the patient’s range of movement, and even to reduce the effects of oral mucositis. Now Kate had another problem on her hands – how she could she keep up with the rapid increase of current and new patients specifically requesting for laser treatment! What did Kate do to accommodate for the increase?

    • Laser Therapy Specialist

      “I figured I needed another laser because the treatments have been so successful,” Kate concluded. So, purchase another MLS® laser machine she did! 5 months after her first MLS® laser purchase, Kate acquired the M6 scanning laser. This robotic model includes a single-diode handpiece plus a multi-diode laser attached to a fully automatic, articulated arm. Kate explains the reason for choosing the M6: “It is incredibly accurate and delivers a precise laser dose that we can administer consistently every time. We follow the exact protocols developed by our research partners in Belgium with Dr Jolien Robijns whose clinical trials are using the M6 MLS® laser unit with great success.”

      Soon after her initial expansion, she realised the laser treatments were in so much demand that she needed yet another M6. Kate purchased a second M6 scanning laser and has expanded her practice even further. She now has 3 MLS® lasers and has taken over the osteopath clinic in which she used to rent a room for her initial lymphoedema practice. She has twice the space and has also set up the Coastal Rehab Hub, which allows allied health professionals as well as other visiting medical specialists to join her practice.

      Kate’s expanded practices

      Career Contentment

      Kate reflects on where she is now in her career: “I enjoy coming to work every day and I love seeing the positive outcomes that people are getting from my treatment. That’s why I love what I do.” From small beginnings, Kate’s practice has progressed significantly in less than one year of purchasing her first MLS® laser. She is offering her lymphoedema and cancer patients the highest standard of care with safe, non-surgical and opioid-free treatments using MLS® laser therapy.

      How do you feel about where you are now in your career? Have you identified an area of improvement? Are your patients satisfied with your treatments? If you would like to take your practice to the next level of excellence like Kate, Heal with Laser would love to assist you.

      Recent Article by Kate in Lymph Exchange:

      Laser treatment of a case of lower leg lymphoedema

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