Sunday, April 27, 2008

lip service

a cleft lip patient at screening day
at the beginning of the surgery

the lip being stitched together.
Dr. Gary and Dr. Mark in action. They are both wonderful (and very kind) surgeons.

the final sutures. notice the lip is together now.
my dear friend Becky and one of our cleft lip patients.

This week I was able to observe a cleft lip surgery.
Cleft lip/palate repairs are my favorite surgery on the ship. The kids (and sometimes adults) come to us with gaping holes in their faces. Most are rejected by their families and communities; some have even been abandoned and left to die.
A no-risky surgery that is takes about an hour gives them a new face and an entire new life. It amazing and simple.
When i was first learning about cleft lip/palate surgery, I went on CHOP's website (the hospital I use to work at) and found that 14 specialties are involved with the surgical care and rehabilitation of these children. In West Africa, they are just rejected.
more photos from surgery here
I love that we are able to alter the entire trajectory of their life in an hour.

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