“Dr Green will be the first regular visiting gynaecological oncologist to Cairns, so this means that women with cancer of the reproductive tract can have either some or all of their care provided locally.”
Giving local women access to the same gynaecological services as women in major cities has inspired four highly-skilled gynaecologists and a gynaecologist registrar to group together to help women in Cairns who might otherwise have to travel away for care and treatment.
Initiated by Cairns’ obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Elizabeth Jackson and called Birds of Paradise, the five women are determined to make life easier for women needing specialised help.
The group includes Dr Jackson, Dr Anusha Lazzari and Dr Emma Green from Cairns along with visiting subspecialists Dr Kurinji Kannan and Dr Helen Green.
Dr Jackson, who has had her own practice for three years, has specialist skills in fertility medicine, operative gynaecology and has completed Masters Degrees in both of these fields. She also continues to offer exceptional maternity services.
Dr Anusha Lazzari, an obstetrician and gynaecologist who works at Dr Jackson’s practice, specialises in pregnancy care, pelvic pain disorders, aspects of medical care relating to menopause and has simulation-based training in the context of Obstetric crisis and emergency situations.
She has just returned from having her own baby and is now providing shared obstetric care with Dr Jackson for pregnant women.
Dr Emma Green, who also works at Dr Jackson’s practice, is completing her fifth year as a gynaecologist training with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and worked as a registrar at the Townsville Hospital, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and the Cairns Hospital.
Visiting expert surgeon Dr Kannan is a fellow of the Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologist and is also a sub-specialist in urogynecology.
“We’ve been very lucky to have Dr Kannan coming here regularly for the past couple of years,” Dr Jackson said. Dr Kannan performs urodynamic studies, as well as conservative and surgical treatments for urinary incontinence and prolapse.
Dr Helen Green is a gynaecological oncologist specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of women with cancerous or precancerous gynaecological conditions.
“Dr Green will be the first regular visiting gynaecological oncologist to Cairns, so this means that women with cancer of the reproductive tract can have either some or all of their care provided locally,” Dr Jackson said. “Usually women have to leave town to have surgery performed by a gynaecological oncologist, which means they are away from their family, friends and support network, which is why we’re bringing all these very high-level experts to Cairns.”
Dr Jackson, Dr Lazzari and Dr Emma Green provide facilities for patients to telehealth to Townsville or the Gold Coast with the sub-specialists as well as offering surgical-assisting services and post and pre-operative care.
“There are many women every week from Cairns who have to fly out of the city to have complex surgery or to have surgical treatment for gynaecological cancers,” Dr Jackson said. “There’s some very complex gynaecological cancers that may require them to still leave Cairns, but at the very least they can receive their pre-operative and post-operative care here, which takes the pressure of flying out of town every few weeks.”
Dr Elizabeth has recently performed the first ever robotic hysterectomy in Cairns. She gained her Masters in minimum invasive surgery at the University of Adelaide and completed a dedicated robotic training course. This included simulator activities, which required the specialist achieve a 90 percent average.
She said patients having a robotic hysterectomy have a hospital stay on average for one night and recovery time was reduced from six weeks with open surgery to just two weeks through robotic surgery.
“I’m committed to having access to the surgical gynaecologist options for women here as they are in big cities and this includes access to the latest technology,” Dr Jackson said.
“With Dr Helen Green and Dr Kurinji Kannan now regularly visiting Cairns, women now have access to expert surgeons and gynaecological services locally rather than having to leave town. I think the world is a very small place and just because we’re in Cairns doesn’t mean we shouldn’t get access to sub-specialists and advanced surgical options.”
With Dr Lazzari, Dr Jackson’s practice continues to provide expert care in obstetrics, gynaecology and fertility. Antenatal and obstetric services include care for general and high-risk pregnancies, recurrent miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and antenatal ultrasound.
Gynaecology services include extensive expertise in the areas of general and surgical gynaecology such as hysteroscopy, laparoscopy and robotic surgery. The practice specialises in the management of menstrual problems, endometriosis, fibroids, hysterectomy, ablation, ovarian and dermoid cysts, pelvic pain and colposcopy.
Fertility treatment and support is offered by her team of doctors and consists of general fertility advice and check-ups, IVF and assisted reproductive technologies and evidence-based natural fertility treatment.
“It is a privilege to work with women in all phases of life,” Dr Jackson said. “With the Birds of Paradise clinics, our collective skills provide complete care across the spectrum of women’s health in fertility, obstetrics and gynaecology.”
For details on all the specialists and what is now available in Cairns, visit www.birdsofparadise.clinic
Dr Elizabeth Jackson
Level 1, 189 Abbott St
Ph: 4041 5081
Words by Janie Barton | Photos by Blueclick Photography