Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery

Education training

  • Craniofacial Fellowship - This position has been filled for 2016, applications are welcomed for commencement in July 2017

    Our Craniofacial Fellowship is a 12-month clinical position oriented primarily towards cranio-maxillofacial surgery, although a full range of paediatric plastic surgery is covered within the Department. From a craniofacial standpoint the Department averages approximately 40-50 transcranial cases per year. In addition, there are approximately 60 new cleft cases treated per year at this hospital. The Craniofacial Fellows are encouraged to complete a research project during their tenure with us. These are usually submitted for publication in a peer review journal. This is a paid fellowship position. For further details or to apply email

    Hand/Microsurgery Clinical Fellowship - This position has been filled for 2015, applications are welcomed for commencement in July 2016

    The fellowship is a 12-month clinical position oriented primarily towards hand and microvascular surgery, although a full range of paediatric plastic surgery is covered.  The Melbourne Paediatric Hand Centre at the Royal Children's Hospital has three dedicated paediatric hand surgeons - MrChristopher Coombs, Assoc. Prof. Bruce Johnstone and Mr David McCombe. The fellowship experience encompasses all facets of paediatric hand surgery including complex congenital reconstruction, trauma, cerebral palsy, obstetric brachial plexus palsy and paediatric microsurgery.  Excellent teaching opportunities are also provided by assisting consultants in their private hand practices. Other activities for those with appropriate qualifications include locum consultant work at the Royal Children's Hospital. The successful applicant is required to complete a research project during their tenure for submission to a peer review journal.  This is a paid fellowship position. For further details or to apply email

    Medical Students

    A regular Wednesday morning tutorial has been developed for medical students during their two week rotation through Paediatric Surgery and the Emergency Department. This program will be expanded to include topics presented by a number of consultants and registrars.

    The department supervises a number of Advanced Medical Science (AMS) students each year.  For more information please contact our research coordinator: Psychology student research - Paediatric craniofacial disorders:  neuropsychological issues from infancy to adolescence

    Craniofacial disorders involve visible deformities of the skull and face.  Many craniofacial disorders feature craniosynostosis; the premature fusion of one or more of the fibrous joints separating the bony skull plates.  Craniosynostosis typically occurs in utero, and restricts and distorts skull and brain growth.  In most cases, surgery is required during infancy to expand and remodel the skull.  Research has shown that children with craniofacial disorders may experience thinking, learning and behaviour problems.  However, the literature to date has been described in quite broad terms, and there is still much that we do not know about the impact of these conditions upon children's development and school performance.  The Department of Plastic & Maxillofacial Surgery is expanding its research activities into the neuropsychological implications of craniofacial disorders upon infant and child development.  Students interested in undertaking research will have the opportunity to investigate a seldom-studied paediatric population, and to explore the interrelationships between pre- and postnatal growth factors upon thinking and behaviour, from infancy through to adolescence. For more information, please contact Annette Da Costa.

    Registrar Training

    The Royal Children's Hospital has positions for two accredited trainees in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery as part of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Advanced Surgical Training Program. These trainees spend six months at Royal Melbourne Hospital and six months at the Royal Children's Hospital. Timetables are designed to focus on Hand and Microsurgery for 3 months and on Cleft and Craniofacial Surgery for 3 months. Our Consultants have a major involvement in the delivery and administration of advanced surgical training.

    Resident Training

    Residents rotate through the plastic surgery department for three months and are either in basic surgical training or are part of the residency program at the Royal Children's Hospital, frequently leading to a career in paediatrics. On the job experience with the support of the consultants, registrars and fellows as well as the specially developed resident's handbook gives the residents a first hand experience in the management of the diverse conditions presenting to our department. Where appropriate, they are encouraged to develop their surgical skills in fully supervised theatre sessions.

    Visiting Scholars

    Our department is a focus for overseas visitors ranging from Professors and Directors of internationally renowned departments through to busy Plastic Surgeons from the Asia Pacific region, to foreign Medical students visiting Melbourne on an elective.