Operation Smile mobilizes its network of more than 5,400 medical volunteers from more than 80 countries who donate their time and talents to provide safe, effective cleft lip and cleft palate surgery, and deliver postoperative and ongoing medical therapies to children in low and middle-income countries. Since 1982, Operation Smile has provided more than 220,000 free surgical procedures for children and young adults including more than 62,000 children of Vietnam.
Our volunteer-based teams of international medical professionals repair cleft deformities, but equally important, they restore hope and renew lives by improving the physical, mental and social well-being of each child. In addition to short-term mission work, Operation Smile provides long-term, sustainable medical care through the establishment of year-round treatment centers. Through the implementation of educational programs and medical training, as well as contributing medical equipment and supplies, Operation Smile grows medical self-sufficiency in resource-poor environments.
Patient Advocacy Program
At Operation Smile we believe that all children deserve to live their lives with dignity. And for those suffering from cleft lip, cleft palate, or other facial deformities, dignity begins with a smile. But in many parts of the world, children with cleft lip and cleft palate are hidden away, too embarrassed to attend school, and face uncertain futures because their parents cannot afford to provide the surgery they need.
Together, our staff and volunteer medical teams repair clefts, advocate for patients, lead research into the cause, prevention, and treatment of cleft conditions, and ultimately aim to eradicate cleft defect in the country. This is made possible by the generous support of our donors, international partners, and volunteers.
Surgeries performed in-country by local medical volunteers account for more than 90% of the total number of surgeries provided. Operation Smile has developed comprehensive, hands-on education programs and trained hundreds of local surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and other health professionals so they can provide treatments within the communities. This contributes to human resource development in the field of maxilla-facial of Vietnam.