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A Healthy Smile is Just the Beginning®

Young boy with severe cleft lip before and after undergoing an innovative surgical technique

Patients with severe cleft like Mathias benefit from the innovative technique developed by GSF.

Global Smile Foundation’s (GSF) article, Premaxillary Setback With Posterior Vomerine Ostectomy and Complete Bilateral Cleft Lip Repair: Report of a Case With Challenging Anatomy, will appear in the November 2023 issue of the Cleft Palate Craniofacial Journal. This article reviews the transformative surgical technique pioneered by GSF surgical volunteers to address a severe form of bilateral cleft lip (see photo).

In underserved areas, the absence of prenatal care and proper nutrition, among other reasons, not only increases the number of babies born with cleft lip and/or palate but also contributes to the higher rate of babies born with severe clefts. In addition, surgeons with good intentions but lacking the experience and knowledge to manage a severe cleft can inadvertently cause more harm than good.

Patients living with untreated or poorly treated severe clefts suffer even greater burdens. They experience a greater risk of early death and health problems, and their families are often isolated due to bullying and discrimination.

GSF’s model is based on providing the best quality cleft care for each individual patient. When taking care of patients with severe cleft conditions like Mathias, we’ve developed a method to ensure their best health results, taking into account factors like the cost of care, their ability to travel, and the availability of healthcare resources.

The article provides a case review of GSF’s innovative surgical technique to repair a severe cleft lip with a protruding premaxilla. Our Premaxillary Setback technique combines four procedures into one, providing a successful outcome for the patient, while eliminating both the cost and undue patient burden of undergoing separate procedures.

GSF is also proud that the author team includes three graduates of our Two-Year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Dr. Antonio Melhem (2022), Dr. Mario Haddad (2023), and Dr. Robert Younan (2023).

Find more GSF articles on our Publications page.