Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation Celebrates Milestone In Cleft Surgeries

Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation Celebrates Milestone In Cleft Surgeries

Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation Celebrates Milestone In Cleft Surgeries

Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation Celebrates Milestone In Cleft Surgeries

Over the weekend, the plastic surgery and maxillofacial teams at Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) accomplished a significant milestone by completing their second round of independent cleft surgeries. A total of 9 successful procedures were performed, including 6 cleft lip repairs and 3 cleft palate repairs.

This achievement is a testament to the ongoing collaboration between GPHC and Smile Train, an international charity dedicated to providing Comprehensive Cleft Care. GPHC achieved certification as a Smile Train Centre last year, marking four years of successful partnership.

The journey with Smile Train at GPHC began in 2019 under the guidance of Dr. Louise LaBerge and Dr. Richard Raker. Dr. Rajkumar, Dr. Aguila, and Dr. Arturo were trained in cleft lip, cleft palate, and anaesthetic care, respectively. The expertise of the local surgical team has grown over the years, allowing them to take on supervisory roles. As of 2023, GPHC’s surgical and anaesthetic capabilities for cleft patients are fully conducted in-house.

Following the “teach a man to fish” model, the initial three trainees have become educators themselves, training new staff under their supervision. The success of this model highlights the sustainability and capacity-building approach employed by Smile Train and GPHC.

In 2022, GPHC expanded its services to include Nutrition and Speech therapy components. Ms. Lambert and her team of nutritionists work closely with patients to achieve feeding goals and improve overall health. Parents and caregivers of children with clefts are educated on specialized feeding techniques. After palatoplasty, speech therapy is administered to enhance the speech development of young patients.

The ultimate goal is to correct cleft lips when the patient is at least 3 months old and cleft palates when they are at least 9 months old, provided they are in good health.

To date, GPHC – Smile Train has successfully completed surgical corrections for 71 patients, including 41 primary unilateral cleft lip repairs, 8 primary bilateral lip repairs, 39 cleft palate repairs, 6 oronasal fistula repairs, and one alveolar bone grafting.

Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation remains committed to transforming the lives of children with cleft conditions, ensuring they receive comprehensive care and support for a brighter and healthier future.

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