Associate Professor Nicola Dean graduated in Medicine from the University of Leeds in 1993 and obtained FRCS (England) in 1997. After migrating to Australia, she completed a PhD in the field of breast reconstruction with the University of Adelaide in 2002 before joining the Plastic and Reconstructive training programme and obtaining her FRACS in Plastic Surgery in 2007. She was appointed consultant then Head of Unit for Plastic Surgery at Flinders Medical Centre where she also holds an honorary appointment with Flinders University.
A/Prof Dean’s theme throughout her research career has been around understanding the patient perspective in surgical treatment. Flinders Medical Centre was the first centre in Australia to use the BREAST Q patient reported outcomes measure and was used in the PhD of Dr Jia Miin Yip on Determinants of Breast Reconstruction Outcome, supervised by A/Prof Dean. Other PhDs carried out in the unit are The Role of Autologous Fat Grafting for Breast Reconstruction (Dr Ben Howes), Breast Reconstruction in Women with a High BMI (Dr Eugene Koh) and Measuring Outcomes in Hand Conditions (Dr Kyra Sierakowski). A current PhD is on the Health Benefits of Bilateral Breast Reduction (Dr Tamara Crittenden).
The unit at Flinders Medical Centre / Flinders University is small with no formal grant funding (other than PhD scholarships) but is supported by a half time research assistant position and well mentored by the Professor of Surgery at Flinders University, Prof. David Watson.
Associate Professor Dean is currently looking into the feasibility of developing a collaborative group (urology, obstetrics, physiotherapy, radiology and plastic surgery) to apply for a grant to explore the morbidity of rectus diastasis syndrome and effectiveness of abdominoplasty for treatment.