The First Private Teaching Hospital in South Africa, Johannesburg

Advanced Reconstructive Microsurgery Unit

Reconstruction surgery

The Advanced Reconstructive Microsurgery Unit specialises in the reconstruction of head and neck, breast, sarcoma and other oncological defects.

It offers world-class oncological and reconstructive surgery based on the latest evidence-based methods and techniques.

These cases usually result in large, complex defects which require site-specific microsurgical techniques for reconstruction. These free flap reconstructions are highly specialised, and the unit is setup in all aspects of management from before the surgery, during surgery, post-operative ICU care and follow-up.

The multidisciplinary team includes medical and radiation oncologists, pathologists, intensive care physicians, maxillo-facial surgeons, prosthodontists, dieticians, physiotherapists and psychologists. Patients are treated holistically, in close communication with other health care professionals, which is the current gold standard in the management of these complicated cases.

DIEP Flap Reconstruction

Our Doctors

Dr Alan Cairns

Dr Alan Cairns

MBBCh (Wits); FCS (SA)
011 356 6302

Dr Alan Cairns

Dr Dimitri Liakos

BSc (Micro); MBChB (UP); FC Plast Surg (SA); MMed (Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery) Wits
011 356 65 78

Head and neck cancer


Tongue, buccal, floor of mouth, palatal, gingival, mandibular and other.


Lip, parotid, extensive skin cancers (squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma), maxillary defects.

Reconstruction is usually complex with the primary goal of returning function and cosmesis to the patient. It includes the use of vascularised microsurge soft tissue free flaps and/or free bone flaps (transplant of tissues) for the restoration of form and function.

Breast cancer

Autologous free flap (own tissues) reconstruction. The DIEP flap (tissue taken from the abdomen), is a gold standard procedure in the reconstruction of the breast using the patients' own tissues.

Sarcoma management

Soft tissue cancer.

Lymphoedema treatment

Lymphedema is a condition, which could affect the limbs after cancer treatment. Our unit is one of the very few in the country which manages lymphedema with highly specialized techniques which include free vascularized lymph node transfers and lymphatico-venous anastamoses.

Contact Details

  • (011) 356-6000
  • (011) 482-7651
  • Email Us

Physical Address

  • 21 Eton Road
  • Parktown
  • Johannesburg, 2193

Postal Address

  • P.O. Box 2072
  • Houghton
  • 2041