A typical Operation Smile medical mission is comprised of up to 60 credentialed medical professionals (surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, paediatricians, dentists and others) from Canada and around the world who volunteer their time. Along with the medical team, we ship medical equipment, medicines, and supplies that meet our Global Standards of Care.



We’ve developed a highly-efficient process for evaluating and treating hundreds of children during our surgical missions with a priority of delivering the highest standard of care.

Before Surgery

As many as 500 children receive free physical examinations during a medical mission. For many, this is the first time they’ve received a medical exam or even seen a doctor or nurse. Around 100-150 of these children will also receive a surgery that will forever transform their lives.

After Surgery

The Post-Operative Care Program provides our patients with comprehensive care after surgery by evaluating their health, the progress of their surgical treatment, their speech and, if necessary, delivering further medical care.



Many Operation Smile Foundations establish centers that specialize in the treatment and care of children with cleft disorders and other facial deformities. Our centers allow us the opportunity to treat more children year-round and provide more in-country educational opportunities for medical professionals and the families of children born with clefts.

Our centers offer children free continuous access to surgical and post-operative care, in addition to related care such as dental treatment, orthodontics, periodontic treatment, maxilo-orthopedic, nasoendoscopy, speech language pathologists, nutrition education, child life specialists, medical professionals including psychologists, physical therapists, and ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists. Some centers also offer services in genetics, audiology and neuropediatrics. Our centers offer the ongoing related care that is crucial for the local populations.



Based on our international medical mission model, teams of in-country medical volunteers conduct local surgical missions to take care of children in their communities throughout the year. In the last several years, more than 60% of missions follow the local model as we continue to build sustainable health care systems in the countries where we operate.


Some of the children who come to us for help have severe disfigurements too complicated to treat during a typical two-week medical mission. Through the generosity of sponsors, we can arrange to have a child and a guardian brought to Australia, Italy, South Africa, the Philippines or North America, where the child can receive the quality of care they need.



Partner countries also provide dental care programs that range from dental consultation and treatment during medical missions, to dental and orthodontic medical educational conferences, to ongoing orthodontic and dental care at our care centres.




“Every child that has a facial deformity is our responsibility. If we don’t take care of that child, there’s no guarantee that anyone else will.”

- Kathy Magee, Operation Smile Co-founder