Pennington, David G
From Faculty of Medicine Online Museum and Archive
MB BS 1971 FRCS(Ed) FRACS
In 1979 David Pennington performed both the first successful microsurgical ear replantation and the first free transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap operation in Australia.
After graduating from Medicine, David became a part-time Demonstrator in Anatomy at the University of Sydney. He trained in General Surgery for a year at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney in 1973 and for two years at Sydney Hospital before going overseas for specialist plastic surgery training. He was Hand Surgery Registrar at the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary, UK in 1976, SHO in Plastic Surgery at the South Wales Regional Plastic Surgery Unit in 1977 and Registrar at the South-east Scottish Plastic Surgery Unit, Edinburgh for 20 months thereafter. In 1979, he returned to Australia to take up the position of Microsurgery Registrar at Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney before taking up an appointment as a Visiting Surgeon in the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPAH).
David became Head of Department of Plastic Surgery at RPAH in 1986. He has been in the forefront of Microsurgery in Australia, performing the world’s first successful microsurgical ear replantation in 1979, and in the same year the first free transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous flap operation in Australia. This latter operation has subsequently become a standard method of breast reconstruction after mastectomy, and David has been at the forefront of promoting this operation in Australia. He has published widely and has presented his findings at many international conferences and professional society meetings.
David is a Member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, the Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and the NSW Hand Surgery Association, and is an Associate Member of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand. He holds appointments at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (Head of the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery), Strathfield Private Hospital, Castlecrag Private Hospital, and the Sydney Day Stay Surgery Centre in Camperdown.
David served on the Executive Committee of the Section of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons between 1994 and 1996; the Executive Committee of the Division of Surgery, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, continuously since 1986; the Executive Committee of the Institute of Bone, Joint and Connective Tissue Services of the Central Sydney Area Health Service since 1996; and the Medical Staff Consultative Committee of Strathfield Private Hospital since 1993.
More recently, in May 2004, David travelled to Nepal to operate on burns patients. He has also featured on the Channel Nine ‘RPA’ program, where he performed a series of operations on a boy from Kenya named ‘Safari’, who became a household name in Australia as a result of that series in 2001. He retains a strong interest in assisting Third World patients with disfigurements achieve help through plastic surgery.
Citation: Mellor, Lise (2008) Pennington, David G. Faculty of Medicine Online Museum and Archive, University of Sydney.
An alternate version appears in: Mellor, L. 150 Years, 150 Firsts: The People of the Faculty of Medicine (2006) Sydney, Sydney University Press.