Dr. Lewis Blennerhassett - Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

Procedures performed

Breast Augmentation (Enlargement)

Breast augmentation- surgical placement of breast implants to enlarge the breasts- is a very common plastic surgical procedure, and is certainly one which generates a high level of curiosity amongst the general population. The women who make an appointment to discuss breast augmentation do so for many reasons. Usually they have been thinking about having it done for many years, so it is rarely a spur-of-the-moment decision. In addition, they have usually also done extensive research via the Internet prior to making their first appointment.
So, a lack of information is not usually a problem; in fact it is usually the reverse! Sometimes too much information can be confusing, and much of the information found may not even be relevant to a particular person’s case.
Implant size, implant shape (round, teardrop etc.), smooth vs. textured implants, under-the-muscle vs. over-the-muscle etc. are all aspects of this operation that need to be carefully assessed on an individual basis. It is confusing to the average person, and requires experience and skill to make the correct assessment and to ensure your expectations are best met. I am able to offer all of these techniques, and will be able to guide you through the selection process to make it as easy to understand as possible.

This procedure has an extremely high satisfaction rate when the patient is well informed and has had the most appropriate procedure selected for her.

When you have your first appointment with me a thorough assessment of all factors will be taken into account so that the best possible outcome can be achieved. This will be discussed carefully with you in easy-to-understand language.
Precise measurements will be taken, and this, together with your individual goals, will be the guide to the selection of the most appropriate procedure for you.
Large selections of before and after photos of my patients (with patient consent) are available for you to review if you wish to see these. A thorough discussion of the risks and side effects of this surgery will also be made at the first visit.

If you decide to proceed with your surgery, my secretary will be able to liaise with you to find the most suitable date for surgery
Once you have booked a date for surgery, a second visit at my rooms will be scheduled for a week or two prior to the surgery date. This is so you have an opportunity to ask any questions you may not have thought of at the first visit and so everything is still fresh in your mind for the day of surgery. There is no fee for this second visit

Operation Details
This procedure is performed under a general anaesthetic (patient asleep) and takes 1h1/2 - 2 hours. Usually a night’s stay in hospital is required but not always. Before discharge from hospital you will be shown how to care for the incisions and dressings.
A first post-op visit at my rooms will be at 1 week after the surgery for a wound-check and change of dressings. A second visit is scheduled for the following week. All visits to my rooms for dressings after the surgery for the first 6 weeks are included in the cost of the surgery. Further follow-up visits usually take place around 3-6 months after the surgery.

You will need about a week off work but this obviously depends upon your particular occupation. Sporting activities can be gradually resumed over the first 1-2 weeks following the procedure in most cases.
This information is only a brief summary of all that is involved. For more information, please call for an appointment on (08) 9381 6977.

Breast Reduction Surgery

Breast reduction surgery is one of the most common and rewarding plastic surgical procedures, with high satisfaction rates.
Women seek breast reduction surgery for many reasons, for example:

  1. Symptoms relating to the heaviness of the breasts e.g. shoulder pain, neck pain, headaches, back pain, indented shoulders from brastraps, breast pain or rash beneath the breasts and difficulty exercising
  2. Difficulty buying suitable clothing off the rack
  3. Embarrassment about appearance

Women of all ages seek opinions about their suitability for this procedure, and the decision as to whether to go ahead involves considering a range of factors, including patient general health and other medical history relevant to having general anaesthesia (being asleep for the surgery).

I can provide you with all this at a first consultation. All patients who make an appointment will be sent a detailed booklet before they come in, so that they have a chance to gain as much information as possible.
At your first visit we will discuss your concerns and requirements, and an operative plan will be formulated specifically for you. A thorough physical assessment is necessary as well as a detailed discussion of the expected outcomes from the surgery for each individual patient. A comprehensive discussion of the relevant risks and side-effects of the procedure will also be made. Once an operative plan has been formulated, an accurate estimate of the costs involved can be given to you at that time. This will take into account the cost of the operation, the anaesthetic and also the hospital fees.
If you decide to proceed with the operation, the next step is to find a suitable date that fits in with you. My secretary will be able to assist with this. Patients who are proceeding with their surgery will come back for a second visit prior to their surgery. This is so you have an opportunity to ask any questions you may not have thought of at the first visit and so everything is still fresh in your mind for the day of surgery. For this reason, the second visit is usually close to the date of surgery.

Operation Details
On the day of the surgery, you will be admitted to the hospital by the nursing staff and prepared for the operating theatre.
The surgery may take several hours, however in most cases there is minimal discomfort after the surgery
You will spend 2 to 3 nights in hospital, and will have dressings changed prior to going home. Further dressings changes will take place at my rooms 1week post operatively, and then again at regular intervals until all healing is complete. You will need about 2-3 weeks off work, and a similar amount of time away from sport.

Facial - Eyelid Surgery

EYELID SURGERY (BLEPHAROPLASTY)

Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is a common cosmetic surgical procedure. In many cases upper eyelid lifting (upper blepharoplasty) is not only a cosmetic procedure but also a functional one in that excess skin of the upper eyelids can cause obstruction of the visual field or a sense of heaviness or tiredness of the eyes. From a cosmetic point of view excess skin of the upper eyelids can lead to an appearance of tiredness or sadness which can be annoying to the patient, particularly when they are not feeling this way. As far as cosmetic surgery for the lower eyelids is concerned, there are many aspects, which can be addressed including “bags” beneath the eyes or excess skin in the lower eyelids.

Surgery for correction of these aspects of the upper and lower eyelids is usually done under a general anaesthetic in a hospital. Incisions are placed in inconspicuous locations such as in the crease of the upper eyelid or else just beneath the eyelashes of the lower eyelid. These scars are usually very difficult to detect later on and heal extremely well. Temporary bruising for 7-10 days is common, however, is very well tolerated. There is usually minimal discomfort, however, patients are normally advised to rest for a period of several days following the surgery to prevent unnecessary exertion and possible increased bruising. Stitches, where used, are usually removed approximately 7 days after the surgery at which time it is usually possible to return to most normal activities.

For more information on upper or lower blepharoplasty surgery, please contact my Secretary on 9381 6977 for an appointment for consultation.

Surgery Of the Aging Face

Patients come to see me for various reasons when they want to discuss the aging appearance of their face. Not everyone is concerned about the same thing. For some, it is the tired appearance of the eyes; for others, it may be the neck; and others may be requesting a general “refreshing” improvement of the whole face. Just as there are many aspects of facial aging, so there are many ways of correcting or improving these telltale signs. Most of these operative procedures can be done either on their own, or in combination with other facial operations. In all cases however, my goal is always to address the main area of concern for each particular patient, and provide the best possible surgical care both in the operating room as well in the post-operative period.

FACELIFT SURGERY

Facelift surgery involves a combination of procedures. Usually this includes a repositioning or lifting of the soft tissues of the face together with a general removal of excess skin. The soft tissues that are lifted are situated over the cheek and jowl areas, as well as some of the sagging tissues of the neck. Obviously, everyone is different, and so there will be variations on the type of procedure performed, depending on your individual requirements. In other words, it may be that more attention is given to the jowl area, or perhaps the neck, and less correction of the other areas. It can be combined with eyelid surgery, browlift surgery or other cosmetic surgical procedures.
This is surgery tailored exactly to your individual requirements. And the aim is never to have that “overdone” look that we are so familiar with from TV and the tabloid magazines. Most patients just want to look refreshed, not like a different person.
At your first visit we will discuss your concerns and requirements, and an operative plan will be formulated specifically for you. A comprehensive discussion of the relevant risks and side-effects of the procedure will also be made. Once an operative plan has been formulated, an accurate estimate of the costs involved can be given to you at that time. This will take into account the cost of the operation, the anaesthetic and also the hospital fees.
If you decide to proceed with the operation, the next step is to find a suitable date that fits in with you. My secretary will be able to assist with this. Patients who are proceeding with their surgery will come back for a second visit prior to their surgery. This is so you have an opportunity to ask any questions you may not have thought of at the first visit and so everything is still fresh in your mind for the day of surgery. For this reason, the second visit is usually close to the date of surgery.
On the day of the surgery, you will be admitted to the hospital by the nursing staff and prepared for the operating theatre.
The surgery may take several hours, however in most cases there is minimal discomfort after the surgery. A single night’s stay in hospital is usual, and I will review your progress on the ward prior to discharge.
Follow-up care will be at my consulting rooms, where my expert nursing staff will attend to your dressings and bandages etc. The first visit is at one week after the surgery, and then as necessary until all wounds are fully healed. All visits for the first 6 weeks after the surgery are included in the cost of the surgery. Further long term follow-up visits are usually at 3 months and 6-12 months.
For more information or to make an appointment, please contact my secretary on 9381 6977.

BROWLIFT SURGERY

A browlift is a common addition to many of the other techniques used to improve the appearance of the aging face, such as facelifting techniques and eyelid lifting procedures (blepharoplasty). A browlift is indicated when the position of the brow is considered lower than the ideal or normal position of the brow. This can lead to a heavy appearance of the upper eyelids and can accentuate any apparent excess skin of the upper eyelids. Typically patient with a low brow tend to look angry or sad even when they are not feeling this way. These patients can tend to compensate for their low brow position by trying to raise their eyebrow. This leads to deep furrows or creases horizontally on the forehead.

The treatment of this includes a thorough assessment of the actual area of the brow that is considered too low. Different patients require different techniques to improve this, however, the vast majority of techniques involve minimal and small incisions behind the hairline in an inconspicuous location. Often this is combined with an endoscopic or keyhole-type approach to elevating the brow. This procedure can be done in conjunction with upper and/or lower eyelid surgery and/or facelifting procedures. Commonly, but not always, patients remain in hospital for 1 night after the procedure. There is usually some temporary bruising which lasts for 7-10 days approximately and any sutures (stitches) area generally removed approximately 1 week after the surgery. It is usually possible to continue washing hair and showering as per normal immediately after the procedure.

For more information on this or to make an appointment for an assessment or to have an information brochure sent to you, please contact my secretary on 9381 6977.

EYELID SURGERY (BLEPHAROPLASTY)

Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is a common cosmetic surgical procedure. In many cases upper eyelid lifting (upper blepharoplasty) is not only a cosmetic procedure but also a functional one in that excess skin of the upper eyelids can cause obstruction of the visual field or a sense of heaviness or tiredness of the eyes. From a cosmetic point of view excess skin of the upper eyelids can lead to an appearance of tiredness or sadness which can be annoying to the patient, particularly when they are not feeling this way. As far as cosmetic surgery for the lower eyelids is concerned, there are many aspects, which can be addressed including “bags” beneath the eyes or excess skin in the lower eyelids.

Surgery for correction of these aspects of the upper and lower eyelids is usually done under a general anaesthetic in a hospital. Incisions are placed in inconspicuous locations such as in the crease of the upper eyelid or else just beneath the eyelashes of the lower eyelid. These scars are usually very difficult to detect later on and heal extremely well. Temporary bruising for 7-10 days is common, however, is very well tolerated. There is usually minimal discomfort, however, patients are normally advised to rest for a period of several days following the surgery to prevent unnecessary exertion and possible increased bruising. Stitches, where used, are usually removed approximately 7 days after the surgery at which time it is usually possible to return to most normal activities.

For more information on upper or lower blepharoplasty surgery, please contact my Secretary on 9381 6977 for an appointment for consultation.

Abdominoplasty (tummy-tuck surgery)

An abdominoplasty is a procedure to remove and tighten skin on the abdomen. It is usually also combined with procedures to repair or tighten the rectus muscles (the six-pack muscles). Usually this is all done via a low incision, preferably low enough to be covered by bathers or other clothing. There are several groups of women who seek tummy-tuck surgery. Firstly there are the women who have had children and subsequently have a degree of loose skin and/or stretched muscles that require tightening. A second group of patients have excess skin and fat in the low abdomen (sometimes called an apron) that they find unattractive or embarrassing. This apron may also be uncomfortable, causing a rash or excessive sweating, or may make it difficult to find clothing that fits correctly. A third group of patients may have excess skin on the abdomen secondary to a large amount of weight loss.

The first appointment involves a thorough medical history and examination. Your particular concerns and goals of surgery are discussed so that a realistic visualisation of the expected outcomes can be made. A review of previous patient photographs can be helpful in this regard. A thorough discussion of the risks and side effects of the surgery also takes place at this stage, and you will also be advised of the need for any ancillary procedures to the abdomen such as liposuction. Usually this does not attract an additional fee from me since I consider it to be part of the standard procedure in many cases. However, some hospitals may charge an additional theatre fee if liposuction is included. This will all be discussed with you at your appointment.

Liposuction

Liposuction is one of the most common cosmetic procedures performed around the world. The technique involves removal of localized areas of fat from the body via small inconspicuous incisions with the use of a canula, which is connected to negative pressure device. This technique is able to remove fatty tissue whilst preserving the architecture of the skin and other important structures such as nerves and blood vessels etc. The scarring is fairly minimal as it is usually possible to locate incisions in an inconspicuous area. In most cases liposuction is done under a general anaesthesia for patient comfort purposes, although small areas can be done under local anaesthetic. For small areas of liposuction it is often possible to be discharged from hospital the same day, however, for larger areas it is usually wise to remain in hospital overnight so that fluids can be monitored and adequate pain relief can be given.

The patients who benefit most from liposuction procedures are those who have well-localized areas of excess fatty tissue that do not change significantly with weight loss. Examples are the “saddle-bag” areas on the outer thighs, the “love-handle” areas on the hips, and other localized areas such as inner thighs, the neck and under the chin and on the outer chest area under the arms etc. It is not a technique that is useful in cases where there is excess skin, such as in patients who have lost large amounts of weight or when the excess fatty tissue is associated with a large amount of excess skin, since removal of the fat in these cases tends to makes the excess skin appearance worse. It is also important to note that this technique is not a weight-loss tool. It is purely a technique used to remove specific localized areas of fatty tissue.

The recovery from this procedure is fairly rapid with some temporary bruising for approximately 2 weeks and some residual swelling in the area treated for approximately 2-4 months, depending on the age of the patient and the area that was treated.

For more information on this including suitability for the procedure etc. please contact my office on 9381 6977 to make an appointment or to have an information brochure sent to you.

Otoplasty (Prominent Ear Surgery)

Prominent ear surgery (Otoplasty) is one of the most common Plastic Surgical procedures in children. It is also done in adults. This procedure is very rewarding, and many patients notice a significant increase in their confidence after the surgery.
The surgery involves reshaping the ear cartilage so that the ear doesn’t “stick out” as much. Some people call this “getting your ears pinned back” but it is more involved than just pinning them back.
There are several techniques involved, and the most appropriate one can be chosen after a thorough assessment of the individual’s ears.
The procedure is usually done under a general anaesthetic (patient asleep), and in most cases the patient is able to go home the same day. A head bandage is worn for approximately 10 days to minimise swelling around the delicate folds of the ears (not to actually hold the ears back, as most people assume).
A detailed discussion of the risks, side effects and expected outcomes will be given by me at your first appointment. All questions will be carefully answered so that you (and your child) are comfortable with your decision regarding surgery.
For more information, or to make an appointment please phone my secretary on (08) 93816977.

Other cosmetic procedures

MUSCLE RELAXERS (WRINKLE RELAXERS)

Dr Blennerhassett performs a wide range of service for treatment of unwanted wrinkles around the face such as around the eyes or brow. Treatment with muscle relaxing injections such as with botulinum toxin (Botox®) is offered and a thorough discussion of the pros and cons of this as well as an assessment of your suitability for this can be given to you.

For an assessment or appointment, please contact Dr Blennerhassett’s Secretary on 9381 6977.

OTHER COSMETIC PROCEDURES

Dr Lewis Blennerhasset performs a large range of other procedures and the details can be obtained by contacting his office on 9381 6977.

This web site will be updated to include these other procedures as soon as possible.

Hand Surgery

CARPAL TUNNEL SURGERY

Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common hand complaints. Often it consists of tingling, numbness or pins and needles in the hand or an aching sensation in the hand and forearm. Typically these symptoms come on at regular intervals, particularly at night time, but they can also be brought on by certain activities such as holding objects for a long period of time or positioning the wrists in a slightly flexed position such as when holding a newspaper or book or telephone. Not all patients complain of exactly the same symptoms, but generally these involve predictably the same fingers in most patients. The fingers involved are usually the thumb, the index finger and the middle finger and often also the ring finger.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by compression of the median nerve in the wrist. This is usually periodic type compression but in more advanced cases the compression can become constant leading to constant numbness and/or pins and needles in the hand all day and all night. Management of carpal tunnel syndrome initially consists of making the correct diagnosis by excluding other potential causes for numbness and/or pain in the hand. A thorough assessment and examination is necessary for this. In some cases further testing is required such as ele.-diagnostic studies, which measure the electrical activity within the nerves of the hand. These can be arranged by myself, if it is felt appropriate.

Treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome varies according to its severity. In early and mild cases treatment can sometimes be satisfactorily achieved by non-surgical measures such as wearing splints for the wrists at night and/or changing certain postures for certain activities such as using the computer keyboard etc. For symptoms that are not responsive to these measures or if the symptoms are becoming more frequent, then often surgical intervention is required.

If surgical intervention is required I normally offer an endoscopic carpal tunnel approach in the majority of cases. This is usually performed under a short general anaesthetic (patient asleep), however, it is possible to be discharged from hospital the same day as the surgery. Time off work depends upon the nature of the patient’s occupation. For office or desk-type activities quite often a patient will be back at work within one week, however, for heavy manual work such as brick-laying or other activities that involve using power tools etc 4-6 weeks is often necessary as a period of recovery after the surgery before attempting a return to work.

For more information on this or to make an appointment for an assessment, please contact my office on 9381 6977.

DUPUYTREN’S DISEASE (CONTRACTURE)

Dupuytren’s contracture is a common hand condition, which is felt to be more common in people of Celtic ancestry. It certainly is one of the most common hand conditions amongst the Australian population and affects almost 10% of Australian males in one form or another at some stage during their life. Dupuytren’s disease involves a thickening and contracture of the deeper layers of the tissue in the palm of the hand. In its early form it can cause pitting or nodules in the skin of the palm of the hand or along the fingers. In its more advanced stage, these areas can contract and cause the fingers or fingers to become bent.

In cases where the finger has become flexed to the point where it is becoming a problem from a functional point of view, then surgery is usually indicated. Prior to this management is usually of a “wait and see” type approach. When surgery is performed the diseased tissue is removed from beneath the skin and the joint contracture (contractures) is corrected. The patient will have his/her hand in a plaster for approximately 1 week after the surgery. Stitches are usually removed approximately 2 weeks after the surgery and during the first 4-6 weeks the patient will be gradually regaining their range of motion and use of the hand. Time off work or physical activities depends of course on the nature of the activities that are required, but most patients are back performing all of their normal activities within 4-6 weeks.

For more information on management of Dupuytren’s disease or for an appointment, please contact my Secretary on 9381 6977.

OTHER HAND SURGICAL PROCEDURES

Dr Blennerhassett performs many other hand surgical procedures of a reconstructive nature such as management of acute injuries such as lacerations or fractures. He also has an interest in management of children’s hand disorders, particularly those of a congenital or birth-related nature.

For more information on the management of these conditions or to make an appointment, please contact Dr Blennerhassett’s Secretary on 9381 6977.

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