Our team of plastic surgeons in Chengde are:
Dr. Frank R. Walchak, Spokane, WA
Dr. Paul D. Angelchik, Glendale, AZ
Dr. James Leake, Marrietta, GA
Dr. Alex McCulloch, Colorado Springs, CO
The team keeps three operating room busy eight to ten hours a day. The operations variety from some of the less complex cleft lips to the difficult palates and children in need of several procedures. They were also part of the team that screened the children at the start of the mission and daily visit the children in the post op room and on the ward. They meet with the family to stress the requirements of child’s post operative care.
To repair a cleft lip, the surgeon makes an incision on either side of the cleft from the mouth into the nostril. He then turns the dark pink outer portion of the cleft down and pulls the muscle and the skin of the lip together to close the separation. Muscle function and the normal shape of the mouth are restored. The nostril deformity often associated with cleft lip may also be improved at the time of lip repair surgery.
To repair a cleft palate, the surgeon makes an incision on both sides of the separation, moving tissue from each side of the cleft to the center or midline of the roof of the mouth. This rebuilds the palate, joining muscle together and providing enough length in the palate so the child can eat and improve their speech.