New Smiles... and so much more
For many patients, surgery is just the beginning of their smile journey. In fact, the journey starts at birth. We see many infants with cleft conditions shortly after they are born and well before it’s time to operate. These infants often need help because feeding can be difficult and can lead to malnutrition. Pre-surgical care and nutrition programs help ensure children are healthy and ready for surgery when the time is right.
After surgery, many children require follow up care. Laura (pictured top) was born with a cleft lip and palate and has been a patient her whole life. With her mom Nancy, she first visited Operation Smile Colombia when she was just two days old. Over the years, Laura’s had five surgeries, continuous dental and orthodontic work, and ongoing speech therapy. She’s grown up to be a vibrant teenager and she’s still part of the Operation Smile family.
We also care for families – before, during and after surgery – by supporting them with counseling, information, nutrition programs and instructional classes. In many countries local care centres have become essential hubs for coordinating and delivering care, providing help, and offering hope – especially during the pandemic.