Exploring the art and science of cosmetic surgery

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Exploring the art and science of cosmetic surgery

About the speaker
  • Professor Sydney Ch’ng
    Professor Sydney Ch’ng
    Specialist Plastic Surgeon at Australian Society of Plastic Surgeon
    Associate Professor Sydney Ch’ng was named one of the 100 Westpac and Australian Financial Review Women of Influence in Australia 2015. Dr Sydney Ch’ng is a fully qualified Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon and leading surgical researcher. She is one of a few surgeons fully trained in both Plastic Surgery and Head and Neck Surgery. Her current work includes cancer surgery (head and neck cancer, melanoma and non-melanoma skincancers), reconstructive surgery, cosmetic surgery, and academic work as Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Sydney. Dr Ch’ng studied medicine at the University of Melbourne. During her surgical training, she participated in the Surgeon Scientist Program through the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS). She performed two years of full time research into the biology of skin cancers, publishing many scientificpapers, and presenting her research at both national and international conferences. Dr Ch’ng won a number of awards including the Young Investigator Awardpresented by the Australian and New Zealand Head and Neck Cancer Society (ANZHNCS), Best Proffered Paper at the ANZHNCS Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM), the Louis Barnett Prize for Best Free Paper at the RACS (NZ) ASM, and Best Scientific Poster at the RACS Annual Scientific Congress. This researchculminated in the awarding of a PhD, and resulted in changes to global guidelines for the management of skin cancers. Following this, Dr Ch’ng completed training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, obtaining Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS). She undertook further training in head and neck surgery at the Sydney Head and Neck Cancer Institute and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. This allowed her togain extensive experience in both resection and reconstructive surgery for all types of head and neck benign and malignant (cancer) pathology. Dr Ch’ng then completed a fellowship specialising in Adult Craniomaxillofacial (Facial Trauma and Facial Cosmetic) Surgery at the renowned Chang GungMemorial Hospital in Taiwan, working with world leaders in this field. Subsequently, Dr Ch’ng went to the premier cancer hospital in USA, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, as an internationalfellow on the highly competitive American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery Program. There she learnt the latest techniques in cancer surgery such asadvanced microsurgery, robotic surgery, and lymphoedema surgery. Dr Ch’ng’s practice is based at Royal Prince Alfred (RPA) Hospital, the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, the MelanomaInstitute of Australia, and the Mater Hospital. She collaborates with experts in medical oncology, radiation oncology, pathology, and allied health when caringfor head and neck cancer and melanoma patients. Her interests include facial skin cancers (especially those involving the ear, nose, eyelids and lips),advanced skin cancers requiring complex reconstruction following resection with a focus on obtaining the best cosmetic outcome and restoring function,surgery for parotid tumours (including nerve integrity monitoring and mini-facelift incisions), facelift, neck lift and blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery). In addition to her clinical work, Dr Ch’ng is Associate Professor of Surgery at the Institute of Academic Surgery, University of Sydney. She is the ResearchLead for Plastic Surgery at RPA. She has authored numerous scientific papers and book chapters, and been awarded a number of successful research grantapplications. She is an examiner for the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, and a reviewer for highly regarded scientific journals. In 2015, she was recognised with a significant research honour at the Sydney Local Health District Innovation and Research Symposium. She is actively involved in the supervision and training of local and overseas surgeons, trainees, and medical students. In 2016, Dr Ch’ng convened the17thInternational Course on Perforator Flaps. She is the Plastic Surgery Section Convenor for the2018 RACS Annual Scientific Conference. Dr Ch’ng is married to a Kiwi transplant anaesthetist, and they have a daughter and a son. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, travelling and reading.

Key takeaways

Prioritizing patient safety is a fundamental principle for any cosmetic surgeon.

Multiple consultations are encouraged to facilitate a well-informed decision-making process.