Immense benefits for border patients

The breast reconstruction was performed by plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr Queenie Chan.

Since Mrs Lions’ surgery, Dr Chan has performed an immediate reconstruction — done at the same time as a mastectomy for another mum living near the NSW-Victorian border.

The new equipment has also been used on a motorbike accident victim and has the potential to extend to head and neck cancers in the future.

Speaking at the trust’s annual general meeting Dr Chan said the equipment including a surgical microscope and skin grafting machine brought “immense” benefits to Albury Wodonga Health and its patients.

“For many of our patients, it has eliminated the need for them to travel unnecessarily to Melbourne,” she said.

“A lot of it has taken away the stress to the patients and their families, having that support close by during their surgery and in their immediate recovery, and of course for their follow up visits.

“This is what is going to provide us with the united and comprehensive service that we so desperately need and ties in with our oncology medical and surgical services, diagnostics and our reconstructive service as a whole.”