Westmead Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care

New Specialists for the Month



Neurosurgery and Spine Surgery

Dr Prashanth J Rao is an Australian trained Neurosurgeon who underwent training at The Prince of Wales Hospital, Royal North Shore Hospital, Westmead Hospital and The Canberra Hospital. He obtained fellowship in Neurosurgery from Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 2016 and then completed PhD in Spine at The University of New South Wales.

Dr Rao is a Neurosurgeon with special interest in spinal surgery and peripheral nerve surgery and has undertaken extensive sub-specialty training in the area. He has also published numerous papers in the field and has a strong interest in academic medicine and research.

Dr Rao underwent further specialisation in minimally invasive spine surgery, spinal tumours and complex spine surgery at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and peripheral nerve surgery at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore, London. He believes in personalised multidisciplinary care for optimal outcome for the patient.

Contact Details

Westmead Specialist Centre, Suite 17, Cnr Mons & Darcy Roads, WESTMEAD NSW 2145
T (02) 9650 4200 | F (02) 8322 1889 | W www.brainandspinesurgery.com.au



Pain Medicine and Anaesthetics

Dr Alister Ramachandran is an internationally trained specialist in Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine. He has been extensively trained in the fields of Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine in various healthcare systems; India, UK & Ireland, New Zealand and Australia. Dr Ramachandran was awarded dual specialist qualifications in the field of Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine in both Australia and Ireland. He has a special interest in the Interventional Pain Medicine and has completed the World Institute of Pain certification (FIPP); which is the highest level of accreditation in the field of interventional pain management.

Dr Ramachandran has over 16 years of experience in Anaesthesia and he has been helping patients with chronic pain for the last 7 years. During this period, he has learnt various approaches in treating patients and applies the best available, incorporating evidence based medicine in the field of pain medicine. He currently heads the multidisciplinary pain service at Westmead Hospital and has hospital appointments in pain medicine and anaesthesia at Nepean Hospital. He is passionate about Pain Medicine and is actively involved with the Faculty of Pain Medicine (FPM) as a supervisor for post graduate pain trainees and a Faculty of Pain Medicine examiner. He is also dedicated to research in this challenging field and has authored book chapters and presented widely in the field of pain medicine.

Contact Details

Westmead Specialist Centre, Suite 10, Cnr Mons & Darcy Roads, WESTMEAD NSW 2145
T (02) 8999 1054 | F (02) 8999 1059 | W www.painmed.com.au



BSc (Med), MBBS (Hons I), MMed (ClinEpi), FRACP, FRCPA

Dr Abir Bhattacharyya is a haematologist with special interests in leukaemias, lymphomas, coagulation disorders and bone marrow transplantation and has been working as a consultant since 2013. Dr Bhattacharyya graduated with MBBS, Honours class I, from the University of New South Wales in 2003 followed by completion of joint physician and pathology training specialising in clinical and laboratory haematology. He then undertook a fellowship in bone marrow transplantation at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney in 2013 followed by a two year research fellowship at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington USA, from 2014 to 2016.

Dr Bhattacharyya has practice rooms with Specialist Services Medical Group as well as working as a part time staff specialist in the haematology department of Westmead Hospital. He is enthusiastic about providing rapid and quality haematological management of patients referred from general practice and other specialties.

Contact Details

Westmead Specialist Centre, Suite 3, Cnr Mons & Darcy Roads, WESTMEAD NSW 2145
T (02) 9687 0922 | F (02) 9687 0922



BAppSc (Speech Pathology) MSPAA, CPSP
Paediatric Speech Pathologist

Melissa has over 19 years of clinical experience working in Sydney, in rural communities, and hospitals in England. She has worked in the Special Care Nursery, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Postnatal Ward at Westmead Hospital where she has gained extensive experience in the assessment and management of feeding difficulties in neonates and infants. Her areas of expertise include feeding difficulties related to craniofacial anomalies, cleft lip &/or palate, prematurity, complex medical conditions in the newborn and tongue tie. Melissa has many years of clinical experience working with infants who have breast and bottle feeding difficulties, difficulties transitioning to solid foods as well as transitioning infants from tube to oral feeding. She has worked in the tongue tie clinic at Westmead Centre For Oral Health and is an expert in this field having been involved in research looking at The Impact of Lingual Frenotomy on breast and bottle feeding in babies up to 6 months of age.

Melissa was part of the multidisciplinary “Oral Motor Functional Therapy Clinic” at Westmead Hospital for many years. She has experience in saliva management working with infants and children with disabilities. Melissa was awarded the Churchill Scholarship in 2004 where she visited universities in Japan to study Oral Motor Functional Therapy and using palatal plates.

Melissa has extensive postgraduate training in Paediatric feeding. She has a certificate of accreditation in the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Feeding Program. She is a registered provider with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIS).

Contact Details

Westmead Doctors, Shop 6, Coles Westmead, 29 - 33 Darcy Road, WESTMEAD NSW 2145
T (02) 9687 4000