Professor Ilankovan is a Consultant Maxillofacial Surgeon at Poole Hospital in Dorset and Medical Director of the Wentworth Clinic.
He obtained his medical degree in 1984 from the Welsh National School of Medicine after initially graduating in dentistry in Kandy, Sri Lanka. He received a Fellowship in Surgery, Maxillofacial Surgery and Dentistry from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and England. His post graduate training took him across to the UK from Wales to Scotland to the well renowned Canniesburn Hospital in Glasgow and then to the north east, where he finally settled down in Dorset in 1993. He also trained at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA and practiced cleft lip and palate surgery in India and additionally trained in head and neck surgery in Beijing, China.
He has more than ninety publications in peer reviewed journals and various chapters in books and his own book published in April 2015 on Local Flaps and Facial Reconstruction; ꞌ a defective based approachꞌ.
When he was appointed as Consultant to Dorset, and soon set up the Head and Neck Service at Poole Hospital and now it is an extremely thriving unit with six surgeons and two oncologists. He started a microvascular service at Poole Hospital and has developed various innovative techniques in reconstruction.
His anatomical research into transconjunctival approach identified a new plane which has revolutionized the transconjunctival blepharoplasty. This anatomical finding is the basis for the "septal reset" approach in lower blepharoplasty. He is a keen promoter of the use of the calvarial bone (skull bone).
He is a promoter of minimal access surgery. In 1998, he published a research paper on the tibial trephine bone grafting technique which won the BAOMS award. He published the technique of minimal access neck dissection with simultaneous free flap reconstruction. This is the innovative ′keyhole′ cancer surgery.
He is one the few Maxillofacial Surgeons in the UK who practice and promote facial aesthetic surgery for trainees and surgeons. He is the Founding Fellow and Honorary Secretary of the Association of Facial Plastic Surgeons.
In 2012, he gave the ꞌBAOMS Orationꞌ in an international joint conference on the topic of; ꞌQuest for Aestheticsꞌ explaining the close association of the past and present techniques of facial reconstruction versus facial rejuvenation and the quest for aesthetic surgery. This landmark presentation has been an instrument for trainees to take up the section of the specialty seriously.
He set up the Skin Cancer Surgery Service in Dorset, working initially with five Dermatologists. This resulted in publications and presentations on various skin cancer care and management. Past trainees consider his unit as a ′finishing school′ in head and neck reconstruction. This year he published his book on local flaps in facial reconstruction; a defect based approach which has been used by different specialties who are involved in skin cancer surgery.
He was honored in 2011 by the Peking Union Medical School in Beijing with a Professorship in Head and Neck Surgery for his contribution towards this specialty. He is the first overseas surgeon to receive this award. Bournemouth University has offered a Personal Chair and he has set up the first MSC course in skin cancer.
He was elected as the President of the British Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons for 2014 and his conference at the Edinburgh International Conference was recognized as the best in the last twenty years. He was also elected as the Honorary Fellow of the American Association of the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and the Balkan Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. During his time as the President of the BAOMS he set up Fellowships for trainees to learn areas of specialty which is not available in day to day practice particularly in robotic surgery, facial reanimation, vascular malformation and aesthetic surgery.
His main contribution now on Facial Aesthetics is introducing minimal access procedures which simplifies facial aesthetics as a day case under local anaesthetic.
In addition to these clinical duties he takes special care for patients and their families. He set up a charity called ꞌ About Face. The charity has a house opposite Poole General Hospital and is probably the only Head and Neck Charity in the UK with these facilities . It provides support, counselling, care to patients and families. The house also has a laboratory for trainees to practice skills and an up to date library. Internationally he has set up cleft care centres in India and an orphanage in Sri Lanka.