Reconstructive surgery Perth

Reconstructive surgery procedures: what you need to know

You may be recovering from cancer surgery, or you may have been in a car accident suffering major injuries. A dog might have bitten your ear. Or you simply may have been born with a congenital defect. In all these cases, reconstructive surgery may be performed to improve form and function or achieve a better aesthetic outcome.
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What is reconstructive surgery?

The vast majority of plastic surgery procedures are reconstructive surgeries. They are performed to restore function after trauma, to repair or to reshape body areas after birth defects, infections, tumours or disease.
"Though the focus is on repairing and restoring, we also improve appearance if this is necessary. With reconstructive surgery, these two objectives often go hand in hand."
Dr Jeremy Rawlins

Types of reconstructive surgery

Breast reconstruction surgery: for women who have had a mastectomy or partial mastectomy

Reconstructive surgery after skin cancer and melanoma: for people who have had skin cancer surgery

Breast reconstruction surgery

You may have had a mastectomy or a partial mastectomy (lumpectomy). Or you may soon have a mastectomy because you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, or at very high risk of developing it. In these cases, you may want to know your options to rebuild your breast or breasts.

"There are two types of breast reconstruction. We either use a breast implant (implant based reconstruction) or we use tissue from another part of your body (autologous or flap reconstruction) to reshape your breast. We may use a combination of techniques in some patients."

Dr Jeremy Rawlins
During a breast reconstruction procedure we can also reconstruct your nipple. We will make a small incision at the site where the nipple will be made and form it into a nipple shape. About three months after the surgery the new nipple and areola can be tattooed.
Reconstructive surgery Perth
"It is normal to feel anxious, nervous and emotional. After all, you have already gone through a lot. It may feel as if you have given up an important part of your body and even sexuality. During breast reconstruction, I will explain your best reconstruction options, and I will listen to your desires and expectations."
Dr Jeremy Rawlins
Though breast reconstruction restores the shape of your breast, it won’t restore the sensation to the breast or the nipple. Over time, sensation might come back, but it won’t be the same as it was before the mastectomy.

Reconstructive surgery after skin cancer and melanoma

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Australia. Most skin cancers are removed surgically and if the cancer is small, it’s a quick and easy procedure. Most skin cancers are non-melanoma skin cancers; this means they rarely spread to other parts of the body.

For a melanoma, a highly malignant type of skin cancer, we often need to make a much wider and deeper excision. In many cases, this will require a skin graft or skin flap to repair the defect.

Melanoma can also spread through your body, and to find out if it has, we may do extra investigations.

Lymph node mapping and sentinel lymph node biopsy: this is a surgical procedure to check if the melanoma has spread to your lymphatic system. During a sentinel lymph node procedure, we identify the sentinel lymph node, which is the first lymph node to which cancer cells may have spread. We will remove this node, and examine it to check if cancer cells are present.

Reconstructive upper limb and hand surgery

Your hands are very complex because they are made up of bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels and nerves. As you can imagine, hand surgery is very delicate, and that’s why we often use microsurgery when it comes to hand surgery. It means that we use a microscope to repair structures such as blood vessels and nerves, because they are less than a few millimetres in diameter.

When is reconstructive hand surgery needed?

Trauma: You may have an injury caused by an accident or a fracture

Infection: Infection often happens in patients with diabetes because of poor blood circulation

Overuse: injuries An example is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Congenital deformities: These deformities are present at birth

Degenerative conditions: Dupuytrens contracture, arthritis

Lower limb reconstruction

Lower limb reconstruction is often referred to as lower extremity reconstruction. It involves the leg, thigh and foot. You may need reconstructive surgery because you have seriously injured your lower limb, because cancer has been removed or because of a large chronic wound. No matter what motivates your surgeon to recommend a reconstructive procedure, the goal of lower limb reconstruction is to avoid amputation and to improve form and function.
"First we focus on restoring normal blood circulation and critical structures such as blood vessels and nerves. Then we look if we need to move tissue from other parts of your body to the affected area. A skin graft or muscle/tissue flaps from surrounding skin may be necessary."
Dr Jeremy Rawlins
Complex lower limb trauma often requires complex reconstructive techniques to ‘save the limb.
"Sometimes we may have to replace bone by taking bone from another part of the body. This requires a delicate dissection of bone with its’ feeding artery and vein and then connecting it to arteries and veins near to the defect. Sometimes we need to move skin and muscle from another part of the body to cover exposed bone. Again, we use microsurgical techniques to get the very best reconstructions."
Dr Jeremy Rawlins

Maxillofacial reconstruction

Trauma, burns, infection and cancer surgery can affect facial function and your appearance.
"To repair structures of the face we may use tissue from other parts of your body, for example skin, bones or muscle, to reconstruct new facial features. This is very complex surgery, as we will reconnect the blood vessels of the transplanted tissue with the existing vessels. In other cases, we may use implants or prosthetic devices to restore natural-looking features."
Dr Jeremy Rawlins

Burn care

Reconstructive surgery is often required in the field of burn care. The goal is to improve both the cosmetic appearance of burn scars and to restore function. Surgery will help improve basic functions and will also help to make scars less noticeable.

"My practice offers the complete spectrum of scar revision techniques. From the early days of my career I have been active in developing burns reconstruction techniques, and I continue to expand my knowledge and expertise in this field."
Dr Jeremy Rawlins

Burns reconstruction and acute burn care is a personal passion for Dr Rawlins, and he is involved in local, national and international research in this area. Jeremy Rawlins is the President of the Australia/New Zealand Burn Association.

Why Dr Jeremy Rawlins as your preferred Perth reconstructive surgeon?

In Perth, Dr Jeremy Rawlins is proud to offer bespoke reconstructive plastic surgery, and he is known for his surgical expertise in complex plastic surgery procedures. Highly technical work helps him maintain and expand his skill set and techniques. But it’s also about communicating with you as a person.
Dr Jeremy Rawlins - Reconstructive surgeon Perth
"What I value in my work - beyond delivering excellent surgical care to every patient - is clear communication. I believe you deserve to be heard. I also believe I am a good listener and my patients tell me that they appreciate my efforts to give them clear information. It’s about your health, and your reconstructive journey."
Dr Jeremy Rawlins
Reconstructive surgery is performed to restore function after disease or trauma (injury). Typically, reconstructive plastic surgery is medically necessary. That’s why it is covered by most private health policies.

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Dr Jeremy Rawlins is consulting & operating at:

Murdoch Square

Suite 104, Level 1, Tower C 
44 Barry Marshall Parade
Murdoch, WA 6150

Phone number

08 9425 5260

Office hours

Mon-Fri from 9am-5pm
Closed for public holidays