BASS Coast Health is now offering breast cancer surgery, with Alfred Health general surgeon Dr Sarah Birks consulting and operating from the Wonthaggi Hospital.

This means patients can receive world-class surgical and oncological breast cancer treatment at Wonthaggi, and no longer have to travel to Traralgon or Melbourne.

For breast cancer patients, surgery to remove the tumour, either by lumpectomy or mastectomy, is usually the first step in treatment.

Dr Birks will be offering procedures such as lumpectomy and mastectomy at Wonthaggi, as well as surgical consultations.

“Patients will not have to travel and will be able to have their case assessed by a team of cancer experts from Alfred Health to ensure they receive the best tailored treatment possible,” Dr Birks said.

“We are achieving better long-term outcomes for breast cancer patients, so whilst the priority is always to perform safe cancer surgery, I also think it is important to focus on achieving an appearance that women will be comfortable with for a long time.”

Specialising in breast surgery, Dr Birks graduated from Monash University with honours and completed her general surgical training in Melbourne. Having completed a Master of Surgery, Dr Birks has an ongoing interest in education and research.

Dr Birks is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and has undertaken several years of post-fellowship specialty training in breast cancer surgery, including completion of the BreastSurgANZ Post Fellowship Training Program.

She provides the most up-to-date and evidence-based care, including a commitment to the multi-disciplinary management of breast disorders.

Her specialty areas are surgery for:

  • Breast cancer: multi-disciplinary care, oncoplastic breast surgery and risk reducing surgery (skin sparing and nipple sparing mastectomy).
  • Benign breast disease.
  • Thyroid surgery for benign and malignant disease.
  • Parathyroid surgery, including minimally invasive surgery.

Dr Birks will work with the multi-disciplinary team to provide a comprehensive breast cancer service to our local community and will be supported by other important team members such as their McGrath Foundation breast care nurse Taryn Robinson.

To make an appointment with Dr Birks, patients will require a referral from a medical practitioner. Appointments can be made for Dr Birks, Taryn or any of their oncologists and haematologists by phoning 5671 3175, emailing access@basscoasthealth.org.au or faxing 5671 4296.