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Patient Resources

Medical Care

• Operation Smile Vietnam provides free reconstructive surgery for children and young adults who suffer from cleft lips, cleft palates, burns, and other facial deformities.
• Operation Smile Vietnam uses Operation Smile’s Global Standards of Care for all of its Medical Missions.

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 25 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 Smiles 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 includes 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.
• The safe surgery and healthy recovery of our patients is our primary concern.
• Translators are available throughout the medical evaluation and surgery process.
• All Operation Smile Medical volunteers have been credentialed to ensure that the patient is getting the best possible care.

All operations conducted by Operation Smile Vietnam are 100% free of charge.

All patients who receive surgery will receive:

  • Financial support 100,000 -150,000 VND for transportation
  • Financial support 100,000-150,000 VND for meals during the time staying at the hospital

Free dental care is provided to all Operation Smile patients


  • Every patient will receive a free medical evaluation.
  • A medical evaluation involves the patient being examined by these specialists: Pediatrician, Plastic Surgeon, Anesthesiologist, Dentist, Otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat specialist), Child Life Specialist and a Speech Pathologist.
  • A medical record is made for each patient. The patient’s photo is taken and the patient’s vital statistics are taken, i.e. height, weight, temperature, etc.
  • The patient will be asked about their medical history.
  • A blood test will be taken.
  • A list of with the names of the patients and their medical record numbers, as well as the date and time of their surgery, will be displayed and read out for all the patients and their guardians to hear and/ or read. Not all patients will receive surgery.
  • The patient will be admitted to the hospital one day before their operation.


  • The patient must check in with Operation Smile volunteers one day before surgery.
  • 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 surgery the medical professionals will meet with the guardian and patient to explain important information regarding the surgery and what to do after the operation.
  • Before entering the operating room, the patient is given a special set of clothes to be worn to ensure that everything is clean.
  • Parents/guardians are not allowed in the operating room. Medical professionals will take care of the patient until the surgery is complete.
  • When the patient is ready he/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 has been 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. One parent or guardian stays with their child here.
  • Most patients who have had cleft lip repairs will go home the day after surgery.
  • Patients who have cleft palate surgery may stay for two or more nights. A patient’s hospital stay will be free of charge while under the care of the Operation Smile medical team.

Post-Surgical Follow Up Care

  • Patients are strongly advised to return for their post-operative medical examination one week, six months and one year after their operation.
  • Patients will be given the dates and locations for these post-operative medical examinations.
  • Patients will be photographed when they return for their follow-up exam so that Operation Smile can record another new smile.

Speech Therapy

  •  The speech pathologist will have one speech session with the patient prior to the surgery and also a speech training session after the surgery. This will help the patient to improve their speech after their cleft lip and/or cleft palate has been corrected.
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