It was Dr Lionel Chang’s time spent in the trauma and emergency wards that enabled him to identify his passion in reconstruction and plastic surgery. His technical skills combined with his imaginative and visionary mind enables him to see outcomes before they are created. Whilst Dr Chang enjoys all plastic surgery, he is especially skilled in procedures for Asian patients and the intricacies that go with that.
Born in Hong Kong, Dr Lionel Chang spent his formative years in Shanghai during the second world war. Dr Chang migrated to Australia in 1951 to join his father.
Studying at Knox Grammar and then moving into medicine at Sydney University, Dr Chang graduated in 1965. He moved to England in 1968 to commence his training in general surgery. Dr Chang says the thing that inspired him to become a surgeon was that he was good with his hands. “Because I was good with my hands, naturally a lot of people thought I would make a good surgeon. I became a general surgeon in 1976 but soon commenced plastic surgery training in 1977. I completed that training in Glasgow in Scotland in 1979. I returned to Australia briefly before going to New York to do a hand surgery fellowship. I returned to Sydney in 1981 to start my private practice.”
Whilst it might sound like Dr Chang was always going to be a surgeon he says his biggest career milestone to date was actually when he was selected to do plastic surgery training. “Until then I didn’t know what to do with my career or where it was heading. Once I was selected I knew where I was going and never looked back since.”
Dr Chang came to be one of Australia’s premier Asian plastic surgery experts by default. He explains, “When I trained in England/Scotland it was predominantly caucasian mentors. At that time there wasn’t many asians in the population. I was not exposed to this kind of (Asian) surgery but when I got into private practice a lot of asian patients came to me. At first I sent them away. After a while I thought I would accept the challenge and basically had to teach myself from from reading articles, journals and textbooks. I found hidden trades of operation by experience which is a steep learning curve. I became the pioneer of this type of surgery in Australia. Asian upper eyelids would have to be one of my favourites.”
Apart from being a highly respected Australian plastic surgeon Dr Chang says he loves his work, but also loves the pursuit of knowledge. He’s interested in current affairs and says he loves documentaries. “I enjoy going on holidays. I prefer sunny islands and the beach. I also have an interest in old cultures such as Western Europe, China and India. I love the architecture.”
If you’d like more information on Dr Lionel Chang and the procedures he performs check out his listing or give him and his team a call on 02 9744 6755.