Operation Smile Thailand provides free reconstructive surgery for children and young adults who suffer from cleft lips, cleft palates, burns and other facial deformities.
Operation Smile Thailand uses Operation Smile’s Global Standards of Care (GSC) for all of its medical programs.
Global Standards of Care
– The Global Standards of Care include a rigorous credentialing process and a standardization of medical supplies and equipment that is based on the model of care that Operation Smile has perfected in 30 years of performing cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries. State-of-the-art equipment valued has been provided to Operation Smile’s partner countries to ensure that every patient treated by Operation Smile will benefit from the same sophisticated equipment, procedures, and highly trained and credentialed medical staff, no matter where they receive care around the world. Additionally, Operation Smile is providing emergency supplies in accordance with American Heart Association guidelines for pediatric and advanced cardiac life support.
Every Operation Smile's medical volunteer is credentialed to ensure that the patient is getting the best possible care. Operation Smile has a rigorous credentialing process for all Operation Smile medical volunteers that include pre-certification in their respective fields (surgery, anesthesia, pediatric medicine, dentistry, nursing, child life specialist, etc.), as well as a mandatory one-year training, evaluation and mentoring period.
Biomedical technicians ensure that medical equipment meets Operations Smile’s Global Standard of Care.
All operations conducted by Operation Smile Thailand are free of charge.
The safe surgery and healthy recovery of our patients is our primary concern.
Translators are available throughout the medical evaluation and surgery process.
Not all patients will be candidates for surgery. Patients will not receive surgery due to the following factors:
- Poor health
- High surgical risk
- Low surgical priority
- Not being an Operation Smile candidate (a patient does not have a condition that can be treated within Operation Smile’s scope of care).
- Too young
- Every patient will receive a free medical evaluation.
- A medical evaluation involves the patient being examined by these specialists: Pediatrician, Plastic Surgeon, Anesthesiologist, Dentist, Child Life Specialist and a Speech Pathologist.
- A medical record is made for each patient. The patient’s photo and vital signs are taken, i.e. height, weight, temperature, etc.
- The patient will be asked about their medical history.
- A blood test will be taken.
- A schedule will be generated for surgeries and Operation Smile Thailand staff will notify those candidates who have been scheduled for surgery.
- Not all patients will be selected for surgery.
- The patient will be admitted to the hospital one day prior to their surgery.
- The patient will usually be discharged from the hospital the day after surgery.
Post-Surgical Follow-Up Care
- The patient will be notified one day prior to their surgery
- Patients will be admitted to the pre-operative ward of the hospital the afternoon prior to their surgery day.
- Patients are not allowed to eat eight hours prior to surgery.
- Patients will be medically evaluated in a pre-operative area prior to going into surgery.
- Before entering the operating room, the patient is given a special gown.
- Parents or guardians are not allowed in the operating room. Medical professionals will take care of the patient until the surgery is completed.
- When the patient is ready he or she will be taken to the operative room by a member of the Operation Smile medical team.
- After the operation is complete the patient will go into the recovery room.
- Once the patient is discharged from the recovery room he/she will be brought to the post-operative ward.
- The post-operative ward has enough beds for all patients. The patient’s parent or guardian stays with their child there.
- Most patients who go through cleft lip repairs get discharged the day after surgery.
- Patients who undergo cleft palate surgery may stay for one or more nights. A patient’s hospital stay will be free of charge while under the care of the Operation Smile medical team.
- Medical professionals meet with the patient and their family to explain important information regarding the surgery and to provide post-operative instructions.
Speech Pathology Treatment
- Patients are strongly advised to return for their post-operative medical examination one week, six months and one year after their surgery.
- Patients will be given the dates and locations for these post-operative medical examinations.
- The post-operative examination determines the next step of the patient’s medical treatment plan. The patient’s photograph will be taken for medical documentation.
- Patients requiring additional surgery will be scheduled for surgery during upcoming Operation Smile medical missions.
- Patients needing speech therapy after surgery will be scheduled for follow-up speech sessions.
Operation Smile Thailand provides free speech pathology services to children with cleft cleft palate who have received reconstructive surgery.
Most of our patients require speech therapy since speech outcome in cleft palate patients depends on articulation and nasal resonance.