The highly experienced team of Specialist Plastic Surgeons at Pure Aesthetics is composed of Drs Steve Merten, Robert Knight, Justine O’Hara and Kelly Thornbury. Each surgeon has undergone specialty training through the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), which indicates they are highly skilled in their area of focus and are dedicated to the advancement of plastic and reconstructive surgery. By choosing RACS-trained plastic surgeons, you can ensure you are being treated by highly qualified doctors who uphold strict standards of safety and care.
Our Specialist Plastic Surgeons are committed to helping patients achieve the best possible outcome through state-of-the-art surgical techniques and procedures. Read more about each of our doctors by visiting their sections below.
Dr Steve Merten
“The key to achieving a great result is by listening to your concerns, careful planning and meticulous surgery. From pre-surgery planning to final recovery, I will always provide you with the most open and honest information to serve your best interests. I strive to make your journey in achieving your desired goals as easy as possible. We will never make you feel pressured into making decisions, but will guide you to making the best choices, ultimately achieving the best possible outcomes. ”
Dr. Steve Merten
- Named to the 2018 RealSelf Top Contributor List
- Named to the 2017 RealSelf 100 List
- Named to the 2016 RealSelf 500 List
- Finalist in 2016 My Face My Body Awards for Best Plastic Surgery Practice, Australia
- Dr Merten listed first in 2016 “Best Plastic Surgeons in Sydney, NSW” by Three Best Rated
- Best Cosmetic Surgery Short Presentation, “The Capsular ‘Hammock’ Flap for Breast Implant Ptosis.” 2013
Dr Steve Merten is an Australian-trained Specialist Plastic Surgeon with over 20 years experience. A recognised leader in the field of cosmetic plastic surgery, Dr Merten trained under the esteemed Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and specialises in both reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery. Dr Merten has particular interest and expertise in all aspects of body work, including breast cosmetic plastic surgery (Breast Enlargement, breast reduction, breast lift and unique expertise in gender affirmation chest and breast surgery) as well as body contouring procedures, such as abdominoplasty, and plastic surgery after major weight loss (body lifts, arm and thigh reduction surgery).
Dr Merten is passionate about plastic surgery education and training, and is Supervisor of Plastic Surgery training at Concord Hospital in Sydney, one of Sydney’s major public hospitals. Previously, Dr Merten was the Fellowship Director in Advanced Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery at Macquarie University Hospital and has personally trained over 30 local and international plastic surgeons. He also holds academic appointment at Macquarie University and has a major teaching plastic surgery unit at Macquarie University Hospital. Dr Merten has published his research and concepts extensively in international and local surgical journals and is a frequently invited speaker and educator to a wide range of plastic surgery conferences and workshops.
Dr Merten is passionate and committed to providing the best outcome by listening carefully to his patients’ concerns. His results come from mindful planning and meticulous surgery. Dr Merten always offers his patients the most realistic and honest information as well as his decades of experience to ensure the best choices are made which are ultimately reflected in superior results.
Education & Training
Dr Merten completed his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery from Sydney University in 1991, and after 11 years of intense and rigorous training, was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) in 2001. Following this, Dr Merten completed Fellowships in Aesthetic (Cosmetic) Surgery at the Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery and Monash University, and a Fellowship in Breast Reconstruction at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Dr Merten has been in practice since 2002 as a specialist plastic surgeon.
Current and Previous Appointments
Over the course of his 20 year career, Dr Merten has been a leader in plastic surgery education and training. Dr Merten currently holds the following positions:
- Clinical Senior Lecturer in Cosmetic Plastic Surgery and Plastic Surgery Fellowship Program Director at Macquarie University, Sydney
In this position, he is responsible for the advanced training of both Australian and International plastic surgeons, with an emphasis on knowledge, surgical skill and a high standard of professional standards.
- Consultant Plastic Surgeon Concord Hospital, Sydney
A major teaching hospital in Sydney, where Dr Merten is responsible for training young plastic surgeons, as well as providing plastic surgery services for this major hospital in inner western Sydney.
- Supervisor of Plastic Surgery Training, Concord Hospital
Dr Merten is directly responsible for the training of advanced plastic surgery registrars, and sits on the NSW Plastic Surgery Training Subcommittee, which coordinates and supervises local training plastic surgeons.
- Consultant Plastic Surgeon at numerous top Sydney private hospitals, including:
- Macquarie University Hospital
- Hunters Hill Private Hospital
- North Shore Specialist Day Hospital
- Plastic Surgery Representative NSW Members Advisory Committee Avant Mutual, Australia’s premier medical indemnity organisation.
Dr Merten has also previously filled a number of highly prestigious professional roles including:
- President, NSW Chapter, Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), 2009 – 2011, the primary educational and representative group for plastic surgery in Australia.
- Plastic Surgery Representative, NSW Subcommittee, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, 2009-2010
- Head of Plastic Surgery, Concord Hospital, Sydney 2007 – 2010, a leading teaching hospital, responsible for the training of Australian plastic surgeons.
- Medical Consultant, Workcover NSW, Hand/Faciomaxillary Advisory Panel, 2009- 2010
Dr Merten is a currently a member or Fellow of a number of respected professional organisations, including:
- Fellow, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS)
- Member, Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)
- Member, Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS)
- Member, Australian Medical Association
- Member, ANZPATH
- Member, WPATH
Research and Publication
Courses and Conferences
Presentations at National/International Meetings
Current Hospital Appointments
Dr Merten is on the forefront of delivering ethical information to the public. He has regularly been featured in Vogue, and commentary in various publications such as Harley Medical, SMH, New Idea. Harpers Bazaar, The Sunday Telegraph, Woman’s Day. News.com.au, Cosmopolitan and Good Health Magazine. He is a regular guest blogger for Macquarie University Hospital.
Over the years, Dr Merten has earned a reputation for being highly dedicated to the advancement of the field of plastic surgery and his intense dedication to his patients. He is strongly committed to providing his patients with the highest-quality, most effective and safest plastic surgery techniques available today.
Dr Robert Knight
“I have always believed that if you love what you do for a living, you need not work a day in your life. I am fortunate enough to have found my passion early on in life by identifying that surgery was my calling. Despite initially focusing on cardiothoracic and transplant surgery, I soon came to realise that only plastic and reconstructive surgery embodied the principles of function, aesthetic form and holistic care using techniques and artistic license rather than prescribed set operations.”
Dr. Rob Knight
After 17 years of postgraduate training, four continents and 11 countries, Dr Knight brings the world to Sydney along with his other passion – his wife and three daughters.
Dr Knight performs a wide range of surgical procedures at Pure Aesthetics, including Breast Enlargement, breast reduction, face and neck lifts, brow lift surgery, rhinoplasty, liposuction, labiaplasty and much more. He has undergone extensive training in plastic and reconstructive surgery, allowing him to provide patients with highly advanced care.
Education and Training
Dr Knight was fortunate enough to attend medical school in South Africa, and trained at the internationally renowned Baragwanath Hospital which is currently the biggest hospital in the world. His early exposure to extreme trauma, massive surgical workloads and inspiring surgeons consolidated his drive to be a surgeon. Dr Knight was awarded a Cyanamid Pharmaceutical Scholarship, the Medical Students Council Award and the Graham Wilkinson Medal at graduation. He worked extensively with the Sisters of Mercy in Parktown, Johannesburg caring for HIV/Aids patients and was a passionate advocate for abandoned AIDS orphans during the height of the epidemic.
Having completed his degree, Dr Knight went to the United Kingdom and worked in one of the largest transplant centres in Europe. He became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and travelled to other centres within the UK, Sweden, France, Ireland and Germany. He was awarded the LGI cardiothoracic prize in his third year of basic surgical training and presented at several conferences in London, Stockholm and Cologne. Dr Knight’s research on liver transplant surgery was also presented in Kyoto in Japan.
It was during this time that Dr Knight was exposed to plastic and reconstructive surgery. He consequently travelled to the home of free flap surgery in Australia and studied translational stem cell theory with a view to improving transplants in children and increasing blood supply throughout the human body. Dr Knight published research related to umbilical cord blood stem cells and their modification using N-Ras transfection, Glycogen-3beta-synthase and antibody manipulation. He presented his research in Miami, USA and was awarded the Miami Nature Biotech Research award for his work. Dr Knight was an associate conjoint lecturer at the University of New South Wales where he was awarded several prestigious awards including the SEALS postgraduate research scholarship for three years.
Dr Knight then commenced formal training in Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery in Western Australia. During his training he published research related to the microanatomical anatomy of the human abdomen and was awarded the Stryker Research Prize which saw him travel to Chicago. He also published works related to burns while under the directorship of Professor Fiona Wood and was also involved with charity work related to cleft lip, palate and facial anomalies in the Philippines and Africa with both Operation Rainbow Smile and independent specialists.
He was awarded his Fellowship from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons which is the only government-recognised training programme for Specialist Plastic Surgeons in Australia. The overseeing society sanctioned by the government is the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons of which Dr Knight is a member and is listed in their exclusive directory.
After he completed his training as a Specialist Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic surgeon, he undertook advanced training in Craniomaxillofacial Surgery which is overseen by the Australian and New Zealand Craniomaxillofacial Society. He spent a year in Brisbane at Australia’s largest Craniomaxillofacial unit where he worked at both the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital and the Mater Hospital. He was a senior clinical lecturer at the University of Queensland and was involved in teaching medical students and training junior plastic surgeons. Dr Knight was awarded the Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons Scholarship to pursue advanced training in Cosmetic and Aesthetic Surgery. He presented papers in Los Angeles and Miami and was a co-author of the international alert paper on breast implant-related anaplastic large cell lymphoma and has written extensively and published papers about body contouring. Dr Knight also travelled to Italy to learn from world experts in rhinoplasty and face lift surgery at the prestigious Bergamo Rhinoplasty course, attended the Mentor Masterclass course of Breast Enlargement in Sydney and the internationally renowned FACE workshop in Melbourne.
Current and Previous Appointments
Dr Knight was invited to work at Seattle Children’s Hospital with the current world experts in Craniomaxillofacial Surgery dealing with congenital anomalies and acquired anomalies of the skull, face, eyes, ears, nose, jaws and neck. He also operated at the Harborview Medical Centre in Seattle, Washington which is one of the largest trauma centres in the USA. During his time in the USA, Dr Knight presented in Los Angeles at the largest plastic surgery conference in the country and continued his training in Seattle, Phoenix Barrow Institute, Raleigh/North Carolina, Tampa, Hawaii, San Francisco, Chicago and Yale University. He trained with international experts in face, nose, ear and jaw reconstruction as well as world-famous breast, lower limb and hand reconstruction.
While working in Seattle he learned from colleagues from Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Yale, Duke, Toronto and New York. He was awarded the DePuy Travelling Fellowship and the Stryker Advanced Technique Travelling Fellowship during his time in the USA as well as the Covidien award. He has published work on complex transverse facial cleft deformities, subcranial rotation advancement of the face and cleft lip rhinoplasty anomalies in international peer reviewed journals.
Having now spent the best part of 13 years focussing on plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery and learning from some of the best surgeons in the world, Dr Knight returns home to settle and to bring the world to Sydney. His pursuit to acquire this knowledge and skill set has led Dr Knight to live and work on four continents and study in 11 countries with additional advanced fellowships in craniomaxillofacial and aesthetic/cosmetic surgery from some of the best institutes internationally.
Dr Knight’s practice amalgamates all this experience and knowledge into one service designed to focus on the needs of his clients, listening and working with them to define a vision of what they want to achieve and then apply techniques from around the world to bring state-of-the-art results.
- Specialist Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic/Cosmetic Surgeon (FRACS)
- Specialist Craniomaxillofacial and Paediatric Plastic Surgeon (FRACS)
- Aesthetic Surgeon – American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons and the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons
- Doctorate in Medicine
- Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery
- Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency – AHPRA
- Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
- Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons
- Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons
- American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons
- American Society of Craniofacial Surgeons
- Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
- American College of Surgeons
- International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons
- International Society of Plastic and Regenerative Surgery
Dr Justine O’Hara
“As a female plastic surgeon, I have a unique understanding of some of the issues our patients face. As a mother I also know how important the best outcome is for our patients, both adult and children.”
Dr Justine O’Hara
Dr O’Hara is a fully qualified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon with experience nationally and internationally with interests in facial aesthetics, body contouring, breast surgery, microsurgery, reconstruction and skin cancer.
Education and Training
She attended University of Sydney attaining an MBBS with Honours in 1999, after a Science Degree at University of Queensland. She then completed 8 years of rigorous training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery training under the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons across Sydney and New South Wales tertiary hospitals. Dr O’Hara was awarded her Fellowship in 2013, training across all aspects of Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery. She was appointed as a Consultant in 2013 at the esteemed Royal North Shore Hospital and Concord Hospitals. She is a member of the governing bodies RACS, ASPS, ASAPS and is active in governance and patient outcomes.
Dr O’Hara further travelled to gain super-specialist training in the United Kingdom with Fellowships in Aesthetic Surgery with Mr Barry Jones, in Craniofacial Surgery at the inspiring Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children, in Microsurgery at Cambridge University Hospital and in Burns Surgery at St Andrew’s Centre for Plastic Surgery. After this vast and detailed greater experience in Plastic Surgery, she was invited to be a Craniofacial Consultant at the outstanding Great Ormond Street Hospital. There she was privileged, inspired and challenged in her Consultant role operating on special children, challenging the norm, innovating, researching and achieving fantastic outcomes.
As a female surgeon and a mother with a busy life to juggle, Dr O’Hara understands and would enjoy helping you be the very best version of you.
Dr Kelly Thornbury
Dr Kelly Thornbury is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon who performs a variety of surgical procedures at Pure Aesthetics, including Breast Enlargement, abdominoplasty, labiaplasty, face lift surgery and more. She strives to provide exceptional surgical care by working closely with every patient to determine the most beneficial solution for their personal needs. After listening to their concerns, Dr Thornbury customises each treatment plan according to the individual’s unique goals.
Education & Training
Dr Thornbury received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Newcastle, studying Medical Radiation Science (Diagnostic) and graduating with merit. She was then selected into the university’s Medicine program, during which time she received the distinguished Carl Mason Memorial Prize.
After graduating with distinction, Dr Thornbury was accepted into the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons’ Plastic and Reconstructive Surgical training program, where she collaborated with public hospitals that have been globally recognised for their high-quality surgical care. While training in this program, Dr Thornbury focused on plastic and reconstructive care, burns and hand surgery, as well as aesthetic surgery under the leadership of top Specialist Plastic Surgeons in private hospitals. As part of her clinical training, Dr Thornbury received a Master’s Degree in Surgery at the University of Sydney, researching paediatric craniofacial surgery and burns surgery.
In addition to the care she provides at Pure Aesthetics, Dr Thornbury is an active member of multiple professional organisations, including the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.
Dr Thornbury understands that achieving the desired result comes from a collaboration between patient and surgeon. She will help each patient explore their surgical options and delivers personalised care from the first consultation, during the surgery and throughout the recovery period.