We absolutely love meeting strong women at the top of their field. Dr Sugitha Seneviratne, from NorthEast Plastic Surgery in Melbourne, is a highly respected and sought after plastic surgeon, and she’s led an extremely interesting life. Dr Seneviratne took time out of her busy schedule to chat with us about growing up in Zambia in Africa!
I was born in Sri Lanka and went to primary school in Zambia which is where my father’s work took us in the seventies and eighties. We moved to Melbourne in the mid-eighties and I went to secondary school at Methodist Ladies’ College in Kew.
I graduated from Monash University in 1993 and was immensely grateful to have been mentored by Professor Eric Glasgow AO, Anatomist. His mentorship led to my enduring interest in anatomy and surgical education and I became a Prosector in the Department of Anatomy at Monash University. This experience also inspired my interest in surgery which was strengthened by my elective experience in Paediatric Surgery at Guy’s Hospital London.
I undertook my surgical training primarily at The Royal Melbourne Hospital where I completed my basic surgical training including training in General Surgery before commencing advanced surgical training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 1999.
In 1997, I was appointed to the Faculty of Anatomy at Stanford University where I taught and examined in anatomy alongside Professor Glasgow. This was an extraordinary experience as I had the opportunity to teach alongside my mentor.
Following award of Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 2003, I commenced practice in Melbourne as a Specialist Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. I was a Consultant Plastic Surgeon at the Royal Melbourne, The Northern Hospital and Maroondah Hospitals in 2003 and was head of Plastic, Maxillo-facial and Hand Surgery Unit at The Northern Hospital for five years. I am currently a consultant plastic surgeon at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and a Honorary Clinical Fellow in the Department of Surgery, University of Melbourne.
I commenced private practice in 2007, co-founding the previously very successful Northern Plastic Surgery. I then had the great privilege of taking over the significant private practice of Professor Donald Marshall AO in 2008 which I have continued to manage. Upon the dissolution of Northern Plastic Surgery in 2015, I co-founded NorthEast Plastic Surgery with my Associate, Mr Patrick Tansley FRCS (Plast). NorthEast Plastic Surgery has since expanded to Brisbane and our practice operates across Victoria and Queensland. In 2015, I gained Fellowship of the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery.
Outside of work I collect pianos and I find playing the piano relaxing as it appears to involve the use of a different part of the brain from surgical practice. I also enjoy travel, mainly to fulfil my affinity for all things Italian where I am able to indulge my interests in art, gormandising and fashion!
My background in having lived, studied and worked internationally on several continents has resulted in a great breadth of experience and perspective both professionally and personally. I believe this perspective has provided me with my guiding principles in regard to ethical surgical practice and the cost profiles of the surgical procedures I perform, a sense of due process and fairness, in addition to my commitment to teaching and mentoring medical students and training future surgeons.
My experiences as a reconstructive plastic surgeon at The Royal Melbourne Hospital since 2003 has provided me with the most interesting microsurgical reconstructive experiences such as re-implanting various amputated parts including fingers and limbs.
I enjoy breast surgery as it has the ability to address issues which intimately affect self-esteem, confidence and how women feel about themselves. I derive great professional satisfaction from the entire treatment process and especially enjoy contact with patients, establishing what concerns them, surgically addressing their issues and then caring for them after surgery. The most rewarding part of my job is having the privilege of addressing an issue which concerns someone to their satisfaction.
My advice to anyone looking to undergo major cosmetic surgery is to consider carefully what their objectives are and to ensure that they undergo such surgery after several consultations to establish not only the technical ability of their chosen Surgeon but also the degree of aftercare and guarantee that they will be looked after should revisional surgery be necessary.
The NorthEast Plastic Surgery philosophy is that our patients be cared for with utmost professionalism from the first time they make contact with our Reception Staff to their final consultation with the Surgeon at the end of their treatment journey. To effect such philosophy, we have dedicated Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Nurses who together with the Surgeons provide post-operative surgical care. NorthEast Plastic Surgery also have dedicated Cosmetic Surgery Co-Ordinators who provide administrative support for patients before and after surgery.
Our practice is unique in respect that we offer the expertise and experience of both British and Australian qualified Surgeons who work collaboratively to benefit our patients. We also offer consultation sessions on saturdays to cater for patients who find it more convenient to attend outside business hours.
If you’d like to arrange a consult with Dr Seneviratne or find out more about NorthEast Plastic Surgery give them a call on 03 9088 5000.