Following illness or trauma, reconstructive plastic surgery aims to restore function or address an aesthetic concern. Reconstructive plastic surgery can be applied to all parts of the body but most commonly involves the breast, the upper and lower limb, and the face (head and neck). Cancer, trauma and congenital ailments are the most common causes leading to a need for reconstructive plastic surgery.

Every ailment that leads to a deficiency in form or function is a unique issue which needs to be considered as part of a whole medical journey – one that can be optimised through an ideal reconstructive approach. Dr Bernie will work with you to develop a tailored surgical plan that will personalise a reconstruction best suited to achieving your goals, in addition to restoring form and function as best as is possible.

Due to its crucial and at times complex nature, reconstructive surgery requires a thorough understanding of normal function and aesthetics, a broad spectrum of surgical skills and the ability to combine these to achieve an optimal result. Dr Bernie has a special interest in and is well versed in all aspects of reconstructive plastic surgery, having extensive experience in this field. He will work together with you and your multidisciplinary team to ensure that you have an optimised and tailored care plan for the best possible outcome.

Each subset of reconstructive plastic surgery is a very wide field with many varied options; below is a summary of the major subsets that Dr Bernie can help you with.

Breast Reconstruction

Many women affected by breast cancer require a mastectomy to remove breast tissue to treat or prevent further spread of cancer. Fortunately, there are many surgical options available to reconstruct and recreate the shape of the breast following mastectomy, including using one’s own natural tissue, implants or a combination of both.

Dr Bernie provides all forms of reconstructive plastic surgery operations of the breast and can help define an ideal surgical plan which is personalised and tailored to you. A consultation with a specialist plastic surgeon is invaluable in the reconstructive management of breast cancer and is recommended by all breast cancer organisations as a vital part of the reconstructive journey in breast cancer management.

Amongst operations using one’s own tissue, DIEP flap operations use excess abdominal fat to reconstruct the breast. The use of abdominal tissue is rapidly becoming the most common type of breast reconstruction. Dr Bernie’s special interest in microsurgical reconstructive plastic surgery is perfectly suited to the increasingly dominant DIEP flap operations performed for breast reconstruction but also extends to all other forms of breast reconstruction – including using other sites of one’s own natural tissue.

Dr Bernie also has vast experience in breast reconstruction with implants in combination with one's own natural tissue, along with the now rarer implant only reconstructions. He undertakes Breast Reconstruction procedures privately as well as at two major public tertiary hospitals in Perth – Royal Perth Hospital and Fiona Stanley Hospital.

Upper Limb Reconstruction

The hand and upper limb are critical to everyday function in all aspects of life. They are also cosmetically highly sensitive areas. Issues requiring reconstruction most commonly arise from trauma but can also be secondary to cancer or other illnesses. Whether through trauma or illness, a deficiency in the tissues in the upper limb can cause functional and aesthetic concerns. Reconstruction of the upper limb (hand, thumb, forearm and arm) is particularly challenging due to the intricate functional needs of the hand.

Dr Bernie provides a comprehensive reconstructive service of the hand along with reconstruction of the upper limb soft tissues, being able to determine an optimal and personalised surgical plan for any given issue. This involves care of all hand injuries, illnesses affecting the hand and cosmetic hand issues. The importance of our hands cannot be understated. Dr Bernie has extensive experience treating major trauma at the Trauma Centre at Royal Perth Hospital and is well versed in dealing with all forms of limb reconstruction, from the simplest to the most complicated.

Dr Bernie is a member of the Handoc Team in providing acute care to patients with hand and upper limb injuries. This is a comprehensive and professional service providing expert hand injury management.

Lower Limb Reconstruction

The lower limb is vital for the comfortable movement of the body and also has its own set of cosmetic concerns. Issues requiring reconstruction most commonly arise from trauma but, can also be secondary to cancer or illnesses; potentially resulting in a deficiency of tissue which can cause both functional and aesthetic concerns.

Reconstruction of the lower limb (thigh, leg and foot) requires careful assessment of the issue, correction of the underlying problem as well as the reconstruction itself. Dr Bernie has extensive experience in treating major trauma at the Trauma Centre at Royal Perth Hospital and is well versed in dealing with all forms of limb reconstruction, from the simplest to the most complicated.

Head and Neck Reconstruction

The head and neck region is responsible for the most complicated functional abilities which allow us to live, interact with the outside world and process external information. It is hence not surprising that reconstruction of the head and neck is amongst the most challenging and rewarding of all reconstructive types. The most common reasons for requiring reconstruction include trauma and cancer, with each presenting unique and complex challenges. The management of these cases frequently requires a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) approach. Dr Bernie is part of the MDT Head and Neck Reconstruction Team at Fiona Stanley Hospital, being well versed and well trained in managing a wide range of head and neck reconstructive issues. He can assist you with many aspects of Head and Neck Reconstruction.