About Natasha van Zyl

Natasha completed her medical degree at the University of Cape Town in 1993. She completed her advanced surgical training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in Melbourne and was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 2005. Natasha is fully trained in all aspects of plastic surgery and is an active member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, the Australian Hand Surgery Society and the International Spinal Cord Society.

Natasha has a special interest in:

• Upper limb re-animation surgery – which maximises hand and arm function after spinal cord or nerve injury by using nerve and tendon transfer surgery
• Surgery for spasticity following head injury, stroke, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury which includes tendon lengthening and tendon transfer surgery to improve hand and arm position. This significantly reduces the pain and tightness associated with spasticity and contracture, makes it easier to wash and dress, puts the arm and hand in a more “natural” position and in some cases can improve function.
• Foot drop surgery using tendon or nerve transfer surgery
• Reconstructive breast surgery after breast cancer
• Breast reduction surgery

Natasha has extensive experience in:

• Abdominoplasty
• Skin cancer surgery and melanoma
• General hand surgery (including Dupuytren’s disease, carpal tunnel syndrome,trigger finger, ganglions, mallet finger, base of thumb joint osteoarthritis
• Emergency plastic surgery

Natasha holds a public appointment as a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon at Austin Health. She is also a surgeon for the Victorian Spinal Cord Service which offers tendon and nerve transfer surgery to restore arm and hand function after
spinal cord injury. Natasha operates privately at Epworth Hospital in Richmond and Hawthorn and at St Vincent’s Private in East Melbourne. Minor procedures, such as skin lesion removal, can also be performed under local anaesthetic in a fully
equipped procedure room at Hawthorn Plastic Surgery.

Natasha understands that being a surgeon is a commitment to lifelong learning. She maintains and enhances her knowledge and surgical skills by collaborating with and visiting international leaders in her areas of interest and by regularly attending scientific conferences and surgical courses. She is also engaged in supervising and teaching plastic surgery trainees and medical students on a weekly basis. Natasha has a strong and ongoing research interest in nerve transfer surgery and the results of a clinical research project into the efficacy and utility of nerve transfers in
tetraplegia has recently been published in the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet.Read The Lancet Article here.Natasha has an international reputation on this topic and it is often invited to present her work at national and International conferences.

Natasha values clear, thorough communication; careful individualised planning and excellence in surgical technique all delivered in a friendly yet professional environment. When Natasha is not with her patients she spends her time navigating the challenge of converting her two cheeky sons into independent, resilient and thoughtful young men and all while maintaining a sense of humour!

Qualifications

MBCHB, University of Cape Town, South Africa – 1993
Australian Medical Certificate, Melbourne, Australia – 1998
FRACS (Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery), Melbourne, Australia  – 2005

Education

Undergraduate Medical Degree (1988 – 1993) University of Cape Town, South Africa
Post Graduate Fellowship in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (2001 – 2004), Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

Professional Associations

Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
Member Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons
Member of the Australian Hand Surgery Society
Member of the International Spinal Cord Society

Medical Registration

Medical Board of Australia (AHPRA)
Medical Practitioner with General and Specialist Registration
Specialty – Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Registration No. MED0001174118