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Updated: 27 April 2021

An Important Message for our Patients Regarding COVID-19

As we continue to move into the next phase of easing restrictions, patient and staff health remains the utmost priority for the clinic. We continue to observe strict hygiene safety guidelines for our in-clinic appointments to ensure our patients, staff and visitors are safe.

We are open for both patient reviews and new patient referrals and are taking bookings for elective surgery, however please note that all elective surgeries booked for 27 – 30 April 2021 will be postponed and rescheduled to the next available surgery date.

It is critical that you do not avoid any medical appointments that may have an impact on your immediate or long-term health. Check-ups with your GP, regular skin checks, blood tests, mammograms and other medical appointments should continue as usual to ensure you remain as healthy as possible.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch for any further information.

In the spirit of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we thought it would be valuable to raise awareness around post-mastectomy reconstruction options. While one in eight Australian women are diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 85, of those that have a mastectomy (40%), the rate of Breast Reconstruction is between 9% and 12%.

Despite a low uptake of breast reconstruction in Australia, current clinical guidelines worldwide recommend that Breast Reconstruction should be offered to all suitable women requiring or choosing mastectomy.

A big part of a surgeon’s role is to provide appropriate options and all the information needed around these procedures to make your decision-making process as easy, informative, and certain as possible.

Dr Lee has significant breast reconstructive surgery experience and has previously developed innovative, minimally invasive techniques for the procedure, such as the scarless latissimus dorsi breast reconstruction procedure.

The breast reconstruction procedure can be done at the time of your mastectomy (immediate reconstruction), or it can be done later (delayed reconstruction). Breast reconstruction often requires multiple operations, even if you choose immediate reconstruction.

Along with the timing of the procedure, there are three different Breast Reconstruction options

  • Implant based reconstruction
  • Tissue based reconstruction
  • A combination of implants and tissue

Implant based reconstruction

There are 2 types of breast reconstruction options using implants, Tissue Expander/ Implant Reconstruction, and Direct-to-Implant Reconstruction.

Tissue Expander/ Implant Reconstruction (Two Stage)

This is the more commonly performed technique in Australia. Step one of this procedure involves a tissue expander being inserted into the pocket created under your skin and chest muscle.

The expander is partially inflated with saline during the operation after insertion and over a period of weeks to months more saline is inserted to gradually fill the expander. This process helps to gradually stretch the muscle and skin to the breast size desired. Once the skin over the breast has been stretched to the desired size, the expander is exchanged for a permanent implant.

Direct-to-Implant (DTI) (One Stage) Reconstruction

In some cases, there is enough skin to insert an implant under the chest muscle to replace the removed breast tissue. In these cases, there in an option to insert an implant directly without the need for tissue expanders.

Tissue flap reconstruction

There are two main types of tissue flap reconstruction – attached flaps and free flaps.

Attached Flaps

This method uses skin, fat and muscle from your back or abdomen, where a portion of tissue and muscle is tunneled under the skin from your back or abdomen to your chest. The new breast is then formed using this tissue.

Free Flaps

This method uses skin, fat and muscle removed from your abdomen or buttock, cutting the arteries and veins, then re-attaching to the blood supply of the chest wall. The breast is then formed from this tissue.


A combination of implants and tissue

In some cases, it may be necessary to use an implant and tissue to achieve the desired results. Your surgeon will be able to discuss your desired goals and the right procedure to work towards your goals.


Breast reconstruction is a highly individual procedure and may not be suitable for everyone, however Dr Lee and his team are always more than happy to talk about your options.



Increasing breast reconstruction rates by offering more women a choice, Article in ANZ Journal of Surgery, January 2014

Did you know eyelid surgery (known in the medical world as Blepharoplasty) is in the top 5 most commonly performed procedures worldwide?

While it remains most popular in Eastern Asian countries due to its aesthetic and vision aiding benefits for Asian facial structures, the procedure continues to be popular through the West, delivering great results for those who have droopy upper or lower lids.

Ageing upper eyelids and lower lid bags can make people look “tired and angry” even when they feel very differently on the inside.

What types of procedures are there?

  • Upper Eyelid Surgery is mainly used to improve vision loss and the appearance of the eye due to aging or genetics. This type of surgery can restore the function of the eye or provide a more rounded, open appearance. As the name implies, this procedure focuses on the upper eyelid only.
  • Lower Eyelid Surgery focuses on removing wrinkles in the skin, correcting baggy eyes and / or improving the overall appearance of the lower eyelid. As the name implies, this procedure focuses on the lower eyelid only.
  • Double Eyelid Surgery creates a crease in the upper eyelid, making a wider, larger-looking eye. This is the procedure that’s most popular in East Asia, and the one most often referenced in relation to blepharoplasty as a whole.

The eyelid procedure you’re best suited for may vary depending on the shape of your eyes and other health conditions, so it’s best to consult with your surgeon prior to making any decisions.

Who is a candidate for blepharoplasty?

Eyelid surgery may be an option for you if droopy or sagging eyelids keep your eyes from opening completely or pull your lower lids down.

Blepharoplasty may be an option if you have

  • Baggy or droopy upper eyelids
  • Excess skin of the upper eyelids that interferes with your peripheral vision
  • Excess skin on the lower eyelids
  • Bags under your eyes

Are blepharoplasty procedures covered under Medicare?

Medicare does not typically cover cosmetic surgery, however if your eyelids are impacting your vision you may be eligible to claim some of the procedure on Medicare. Speak with your surgeon about your options, and what’s the most appropriate path for you.

Decades ago, Face Lifts were considered an extreme surgical procedure, often associated with the ‘Hollywood-gone-bad’ look. However, new techniques have brought the face lift back in vogue. With less scarring and downtime, coupled with a more natural look, it’s not surprising that more patients are opting for face lift procedures.

Dr Mark Lee provides a range of face lift procedures, with one of the most popular being the Mini Face Lift.

What’s the difference between a Mini Face Lift and a Full Face Lift?

The aim of a Face Lift is to reduce the signs of ageing by improving the contours of the face.

The Full Face Lift considers and addresses jowls, the midface area and full neck, while the Mini Face Lift typically only addresses the jawline and neck laxity. The Mini Face Lift is generally less invasive than the Full Face Lift.

Importantly, the results of a Mini Face Lift are much more subtle than those of the Full Face Lift.

A Face Lift, full or mini, does not alter the bone structure of the face. Some patients combine their Face Lift with other surgical procedures such as a brow lift, eyelid surgery or nose reconstruction.

Who should consider a Mini Face Lift?

The mini face lift is a great option for women and men who have noticed aging in their faces and want to improve in their appearance without a drastic transformation. Most face lifts are performed on people aged between 40 and 55, but often older or younger people may also consider the procedure.

A Mini Face Lift may be a good option for you if you:

  • Have mild to moderate face laxity (ie. Jowls)
  • Mild upper neck laxity along with face laxity concerns
  • Are aged between 40 – 55 years old

Why should I consider a mini facelift?

The Mini Face Lift produces subtle, refreshed look results in those with mild to moderate facial laxity and ageing.

The procedure generally has a short down time, with most people being able to return to usual activities in 7-10 days. Complications are rare, and there is generally a lower risk for the Mini Face Lift procedure than the Full Face Lift procedure, however as with all surgical procedures there are risks, we encourage you discuss this with us before proceeding with your procedure.

The Mini Face Lift procedure may or may not be right for you. We’re here to help guide you through your journey and will always discuss the recommended procedures and realistic outcomes.

Considering a Face Lift? Book an appointment with Dr Mark Lee and the team.

Dr Mark Lee and the team always ensure patients, past, present and prospective, are empowered to make informed choices about their healthcare and understand the risks and benefits of their preferred procedure.

Read on to find out more about the proposed regulatory action from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for breast implants and what it means for you.

Why is there a proposed cancellation or suspension?

The TGA is currently monitoring the association between breast implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), a rare cancer of the immune system. This cancer is often called BIA-ALCL, or breast implant associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma. While the factors that cause the cancer are not confirmed, there are certain risk factors that increase the likelihood of BIA-ALCL including:

  • textured implants
  • bacterial contamination during surgery
  • the patient’s genetic predisposition
  • length of time the patient has had the implant.

The TGA has proposed the cancellation or suspension based on this rare complication and has identified possible implants that need to be further investigated to ensure the utmost safety for patients moving forward.

At this stage, this is just a proposed cancellation and leading implant manufacturers are conducting thorough data reviews and safety checks to establish any patient risks.

Does this affect all types of breast implants?

The TGA has proposed regulatory action in relation to a number of textured implants only. This includes all MENTOR® SILTEX® Microtextured Breast Implants and Expanders, as well as various other providers.

All reported cases of BIA-ALCL in Australia involve patients who have had a textured implant at some point in their life. Experts believe, based on the evidence currently available, breast implant associated cancer is not related to either the contents (saline/silicone) or shape (round/teardrop) of the implant.

What happens from here?

The companies who make the affected implants need to provide additional information including safety research and data to the TGA for assessment along with the results from their own laboratory tests. The outcome of this will determine whether the implants will continue to be used, be suspended for further research or be cancelled. When more information is available, we will make this available on our blog and social media pages.

I already have breast implants, do I need to get them removed?

Generally, if you have implants and you have not noticed any significant changes to your body, it is unlikely there is any reason to worry. Any changes you may notice are unlikely to be BIA-ALCL. Given BIA-ALCL is so rare, experts do not recommend preventative removal of breast implants, unless there are specific concerns or complications with the implant.

Our strongest recommendation is to consistently monitor your breasts and overall health, and always discuss any concerns or changes you have noticed with your GP or surgeon.

I’m looking at getting breast implants, what should I do next?

It’s important you understand any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks, and no medical device is completely without risk.

If you are considering breast implants, we recommend booking an appointment with Dr Lee to discuss your desired outcome, explore the benefits and risks of the different types of implants, and determined the right type of implant for you.

If you would like to learn more about the possibility of breast implant removal surgery, or have any concerns about your current breast implants, Dr Lee and his team are always more than happy to talk about your options.

Useful links

Therapeutic Goods Administration – Breast Implant Hub

TGA’s review of textured breast implants and preliminary outcomes

Dr Mark Lee is proud to be part of a global network of doctors who donates hundreds of thousands of hours toward the care of children around the world each year. An astounding 98 surgeries have been completed as part of his recent Operation Smile Australia mission in Vijayawada, India, this month.

Reconstructive Surgery for child’s Cleft Palate in India

India remains one of the most populous areas of the world with an estimated population of 1.1 billion. This yields an estimated 24.5 million births per year and the prevalence of children born with a cleft palate is somewhere between 27,000 and 33,000 per year.

In many cases, parents cannot afford the surgeries required to live a normal life – with their children facing difficulties with speaking, eating and socialising. Operation Smile Australia believes every child should have access to world-class surgical care – enlisting the support of medical professionals like Dr Lee all across the world.

Over the past 13+ years, Operation Smile medical volunteers have treated more than 22,000 patients in India alone.

Mark has been volunteering with Operation Smile and various other aid missions around the world for nearly 20 years.

Here is Dr Lee with one of his patients in India.

Dr Lee smiling with one of his little patients in India after the cleft palate surgery

Breast augmentation and lifts are two of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures performed in Western Australia today.

Depending on what your individual body shape is and what you’re hoping to achieve, a breast lift or a breast augmentation (or even both) may be right for you.

How are they different?

Breast augmentation or enlargement is designed to increase breast size, with various options in terms of implant size and shape that we will work through with you in your initial consultation. A breast augmentation will only impact the size of the breast, not the positioning. This is where breast lifts have become increasingly popular. A lift is designed to correct breast ‘drooping’ – commonly occurring with age, weight fluctuations and pregnancy. A lift will raise and firm the breasts by removing excess skin and reshaping the breast tissue to achieve enhanced contours.

Is a breast lift right for me?

If your breasts have lost their shape and volume over time, a lift may be the ideal cosmetic procedure for you. Remember a breast lift will not significantly change the breast size, so if you want your breasts to either look fuller or smaller – an augmentation or reduction may be a better option. Women planning a pregnancy should also be aware that this may impact the results of the lift.

Can I have an augmentation and lift at the same time?

Yes, sometimes a breast lift is performed in conjunction with breast augmentation so the position, shape and volume are enhanced during the one procedure. Depending on what your goals are (ie a change in size, position or both), Dr Lee will advise you if an augmentation and lift is the right fit for you.

What do I do before the procedure?

When you first meet with Dr Lee to discuss your lift, he will request your relevant medical history and undertake a physical exam to ensure this is the best procedure to help you achieve your goals. The consultation before you undergo a breast lift procedure is one of the most important stages of the process. This is the time to ask any questions you have around recovery time, clarify your expectations of the end result and ensure you’re completely comfortable with your decision.

What happens after my breast lift?

After your procedure, you’ll be given a post-surgical bra to promote healing and support your breasts. You’ll have some discomfort for the first few days and likely require some pain medication to keep you comfortable. Some women experience numbness in various places around the breast for up to six weeks, while any form of straining or lifting is strongly discouraged. Stitches (if not dissolvable) will be removed around 1-2 weeks following the lift.

Contact our friendly staff for more information, or to book a consultation.

Although nation-wide plastic surgery statistics are unavailable for Australia, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports a steady increase in ethnic (non-Caucasian) surgeries each year. In 2017, ethnic minorities accounted for 32.1% of the total cosmetic and reconstructive procedures in the US (up 7.5% from the previous year).

Ethnic plastic surgery also appears to be increasing at a faster rate. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that ethnic procedures doubled between 2005 and 2013, compared with a 35 percent increase in the Caucasian population.

Defining ‘ethnically appropriate’ surgery

Instead of aiming to erase ethnic differences, ‘ethnically appropriate’ surgery is informed by multiculturalism. It identifies differences in the needs and interests of different patients. It also determines variations in ethnic skin types in terms of likely reactions to different procedures. For example, patients with darker skin can be more susceptible to developing post-surgical pigmentation abnormalities and keloid (raised, reddish) scars. In such cases, fillers may be injected deeper into the skin to avoid hyperpigmentation. Dr Lee may also recommend pre-treating darker skin before other treatments are administered.

As a specialist plastic surgeon, Dr Mark Lee has a thorough understanding of different surgical and non-surgical techniques for patients with various skin types. He can manage any possible complications, and will always select techniques that will produce the most natural looking results.

Book an appointment at our Skin Enhance clinic to discuss your skin concerns, or contact Dr Mark Lee’s office to arrange a no-obligation surgical consultation.