The Repair of International Clefts in the Current Surgical Landscape

J Craniofac Surg. 2015 Jun;26(4):1126-8. doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000001682.


Cleft lip and palate (CLP) constitute a significant global disease burden. There are two general models that exist to deliver cleft care: surgical missions and comprehensive cleft centers (CCC). While surgical missions offer high quality surgical care to patients who would be unlikely to ever receive treatment, they may fail to provide sustainable solutions. The development of CCC is growing in popularity worldwide. CCC are permanent centers that offer a multidisciplinary team approach to the treatment of cleft lip and palate. Operation Smile has adopted the concept of specialized surgical care centers. These centers are shown to be safe, cost-effective, and provide sustainable solutions for cleft care. The authors discuss some of the benefits and drawbacks of the classic mission-based model and highlight why there may be a paradigm shift towards CCC.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cleft Lip / economics
  • Cleft Lip / surgery*
  • Cleft Palate / economics
  • Cleft Palate / surgery*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Humans
  • Medical Missions*
  • Surgery, Plastic / organization & administration*