Baby with cleftPediatric surgeons have the ability to bring smiles to patients and their families. Dr. John Teichgraeber, director of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in the Department of Pediatric Surgery, recently brought smiles and positive outcomes to patients in Mexico as part of a medical mission trip.

Traveling as part of a surgical team with Austin Smiles this past February to Veracruz, Mexico, the group treated many children and adults with cleft lip and palate. Teichgraeber, co-director of the Texas Cleft-Craniofacial Clinic, was able to not only bring smiles but hope to these patients, letting them know that people from abroad care about their quality of life.

The Texas Cleft-Craniofacial Team at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston (UTHealth) Medical School, in collaboration with Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, specializes in the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and long-term management of children with congenital or acquired cleft and craniofacial deformities. The team approach combines the expertise of physicians and allied healthcare professionals from across 13 different specialties and subspecialties to ensure patients receive coordinated, evidence-based care and experience the best possible clinical outcomes.

This team includes affiliated pediatric neurosurgeons, craniofacial surgeons ,and specialized anesthesiologists who use the latest surgical techniques and state-of-the-art equipment to diagnose and treat the most complex craniofacial abnormalities. By combining the talents of several surgeons, patients benefit from the high level of patient safety as well as the likelihood of fewer childhood surgeries and a more normal appearance.

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