About David Crabb

Mr. David Crabb

David Crabb obtained his medical degree in the UK and taught anatomy for a year before coming to New Zealand and completing training in General Surgery and then Plastics. He formed an early association with Northland, rotating there as an advanced General Surgery trainee some years ago.

He has completed overseas fellowships in reconstructive microsurgery in Melbourne and a senior clinical fellowship in the London Regional Plastic Surgery Centre. He is an active member of a number of societies and a corresponding member of the American society of plastic surgeons.

David began to practice in New Zealand in 1983 as a consultant Plastic Surgeon. He has practiced in Northland, Auckland and the Regional Plastic Surgery Centre at various times. He is currently working to upscale the Plastic Surgery service in Northland and continues to be involved at a planning level.

David and the DHB team have recently reorganised the skin cancer service and the improvement has been recognised at the recent Health Quality Awards. 

Latest Research into lipomodelling

David recently presented a large series of cases at the international conference of plastic surgery. His presentation had a special focus on lipomodelling with safety data and quality outcomes comparable to the European experience.

David was able to present and discuss his results with colleagues and lead the discussion in association with distinguished visiting plastic surgeon Emmanuel Delay, from Lyon, France.

Feedback was gather from well over 120 large volume fat grafting operations in 57 patients from around New Zealand, with quality outcome measures established using the Breast-Q questionnaire quality of life assessment tool. These were women who had indicated satisfaction or high satisfaction with outcomes in a mixed group of breast enlargements, failed implant removals and failed implants after breast cancer reconstruction.  

Special focus on fat grafting for natural breast reconstruction

His recent focus has been the running of a breast reconstructive service and skin cancer reconstruction service, both in private practice and for the District Health Board. David has been using fat grafting for more natural breast reconstruction for some years using smaller to medium volumes of transferred fat from other sites of the body. He has built on this work by being trained in the advanced techniques of larger volume fat grafting using external tissue expansion pioneered and local tissue manipulation by Prof Khouri in The USA. He has now established reliable methods of either replacing conventional procedures or modifying them with fat transfer to avoid the use of prostheses to give a more natural appearance and avoiding the longterm complications of implants. He is also able to avoid using the abdomen for donor flaps.

This method is also working well for the salvage of previously failed resconstructions and severely damaged skin from radiotherapy.


David is also an affiliated provider with Southern Cross for the provision of skin cancer surgery acting in a supervisory role and as back up for specialist management of difficult cases and reconstruction. David has had a wide exposure to all facets of plastic surgery and wide experience. He is a founding member of the New Zealand Foundation for Cosmetic Plastic Surgery which has been absorbed into the New Zealand Association of Plastic Surgeons. He has been elected corresponding member of the American Society of Plastic Surgery for some years and continues to be involved in such projects as outcome studies and benchmarking as time permits. David has been benchmarked as being in the top quartile when judged by patients on outcome and ranked against his American peers, particularly in the field of Cosmetic Surgery. David continues to enjoy interacting with scientists at the University of Auckland where interesting projects arise and the opportunity to involve them in clinical projects presents themselves.

David has a longstanding interest in skin cancer prevention, which is incorporated into his practice, as are the opportunities for patients to access the latest developments from research endeavours.

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