Mr Flapper was born in The Netherlands but was raised and educated in New Zealand. He completed his medical studies at the School of Medicine, University of Auckland, graduating in 1998. Early in his medical career he was drawn to the surgical specialties and the challenges that they offered. In 2003 Mr Flapper commenced his advanced surgical training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, being awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 2008.
The journey continued in Australia, with a fellowship post at the Australian Craniofacial Unit in Adelaide, one of only two standalone craniofacial units in the world. A further year of training followed at the prestigious Oxford Craniofacial Unit in the United Kingdom, before Mr Flapper returned to Adelaide, where he is currently employed as a full-time consultant at the Australian Craniofacial Unit.
Mr Flapper firmly believes in ongoing professional development and the importance of teaching future surgeons. In 2012, he had the honour of being the first scholar to graduate with a Master of Advanced Surgery in craniofacial surgery from Macquarie University. He continues to hold a teaching role at Macquarie University, supervising current scholars. Mr Flapper is also involved in training future surgeons both locally in Adelaide and nationally, through courses run by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. He is an examiner for the college.
Mr Flapper continues to work as a consultant surgeon at the Australian Craniofacial Unit, a Centre of Excellence in the multidisciplinary management of patients with craniofacial disorders. His role in the Australian Craniofacial Unit has seen him managing patients from throughout Australia, as well as overseas.
Mr Flapper conducts outreach clinics in Berri as well as a cleft lip and palate clinic in Alice Springs. In addition, he travels to Indonesia on a regular basis to teach local teams about the management of often challenging craniofacial conditions.
Mr Flapper also consults in private practice at the Adelaide Craniofacial Centre, 226 Melbourne St, North Adelaide.