Learning About “Day of Smiles”

17 years ago, Dr. Joel Levin, Plastic Surgeon with Baptist Hospital of Miami, was very active with the international organization Operation Smile, and asked them for a mission. The experience was very successful and “Day of Smiles” was born.

Dr. Levin explains before the surgery, children do not want anyone to see them. After the operation they are reborn. Surgery changes their lives.

Cleft lip and cleft palate are the most common surgeries performed by the Day of Smiles missions, the expert affirms. However, he explains during the day, they perform other procedures for facial deformities, hands or congenital problems.

Transcript
Tell me the motivation in the history behind this creation. >The history of it is interesting I’ve been active with a large organization called Operation Smile, which is international and about 17 years ago I asked them if they could do a mission utilizing Baptist Hospital. It was an operation smile mission and they did and it was very very successful after that Baptist wanted to be more involved and basically took over and they changed the name from Operation Smile to “day of smiles” and in Operation Smile the logo is changing lives one smile at a time and indeed it does in so many ways these kids will typically do this… they don’t want anybody to see them and after that they there’s a lot of smiles that go around — I think we have some images doctor if you’ll allow me to — sure — Ask our director to show some of these images and you tell me what types of surgeries you perform. Let’s see if we could take some of those do we have them here we go so this is one image obviously of a teenager. >This I think is a day of smiles and they interviewed these kids eyes it’s not closed up enough I could see what we did — but what types of surgeries are more common — At the day of smiles it started out with cleft lip and cleft palate surgery, and then it’s segwayed into other facial deformities and then we got involved I’m a hand surgeon and doctor freshwater unfortunately has passed away but great hand surgeon we did congenital deformities of the hand we’ve done all kinds of things, we’ve done gender dysphoria surgery and it’s it’s segwayed into kids with problems a lot of them congenital problems and that’s what we do to this day.
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