Christopher J Coombs

  • M.B.B.S., F.R.A.C.S.

    Plastics - Chris Coombs

    "Paediatric Plastic Surgery is both extremely challenging and enormously rewarding. It doesn't get much better than seeing a young child smile after treatment of their facial palsy, or use their new fingers, which previously were toes, to manipulate objects as they play. To be involved in the care of these patients and see the joy it gives them and their parents, both immediately and later in their lives, is very special. The families of these kids are extraordinary - the trust they have in us to look after their child is something that we as surgeons can never take for granted."
    Professor Chris Coombs trained in Melbourne in Plastic and Reconstructive surgery after completing his medical degree at Monash University, where he graduated with Honours. He completed training in Plastic Surgery in 1992 and then completed his craniofacial fellowship at the Royal Children’s Hospital. Following this, he did further postgraduate studies at Harvard University in Boston and Toronto Sick Kids, in the field of Paediatric Hand and Microsurgery.
    Chris has particular interests in Paediatric Hand Surgery and Microsurgery and Facial Palsy. He is currently Director of the department of Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne and is an examiner in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery for the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. He has previously been the Chairman of the Victorian Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Deputy Chairman Australasian Board of Plastic Surgery, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. 

    Special interests

    Paediatric Hand Surgery, Facial Palsy, Ear Reconstruction, Paediatric Microsurgery


    1979 - 1984
    M.B.B.S. (Hons) - Monash University
    Internship - Alfred Hospital, Melbourne
    1986-1988 General Surgery Training - The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Royal Canberra Hospital, ACT
    1989-1991 Plastic Surgery Training - Victorian Plastic Surgery Unit, Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, Melbourne,
    Western Hospital, Melbourne, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne
    1992 Fellow - Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
    1992 Plastic Surgery Research Fellow - Royal Children's Hopsital, Melbourne
    1993 Hand and Microvascular Fellow - Harvard University, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston MA, USA

    Academic appointments

    1993 Harvard University faculty member
    2003-present Chairman, Victorian Subcommittee, Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

    Hospital appointments

    1992-1995  Assistant Associate Plastic Surgeon - Preston & Northcote Community Hospital, Melbourne
    1993 Hand and Microvascular Fellowship - Harvard University, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
    1993 Hand and Microvascular Surgeon - Mount Auburn Hospital, Cambridge, MA, USA, New England Deaconess Hospital, Boston, MA, USA, Fransican Children's Hospital
    1993-Present Consultant Plastic Surgeon - Epworth Private Hospital, Melbourne 
    1993-Present Consultant Plastic Surgeon - Cabrini Brighton Hospital, Melbourne
    1993-Present Consultant Plastic Surgeon - Linacre Private Hospital, Melbourne
    1993-Present Consultant Plastic Surgeon - Werribee Mercy Hospital, Melbourne
    1993-2003 Consultant Plastic Surgeon - Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne
    2003-present Section Chief, Hand and Microvascular Surgery, Department of Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery - Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne
    2004-2013 Head, Microtia Clinic, Department of Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery - Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne
    2013-present Director, Department of Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery - Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne


    1985-Present Resident and Graduates Society - The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne
    1992-Present Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
    1997-Present Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons
    1997-Present Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
    2003-Present Australian Hand Surgery Society

    Research projects

    Designer and chief investigator of trial into the absorption of silver from 1% Silver sulphadiazine cream and its deposition and excretion in burn patients and patients with Epidermolysis Bullosa
    Operative techniques in liver transplantation using the pig model
    The effects of osseointegrated titanium implants in the growing porcine model

    Ongoing clinical research into a variety of areas of congenital hand and microvascular surgery with particular emphasis on thumb function, camptylodactyly, toe transfers, brachial plexus palsy long-term reconstruction, and neonatal limb salvage following arterial injury.