At the end of our 7th surgery day we had performed surgeries on 111 patients. November 6 will only be a partial day of surgery as we are preparing to have a final clinic of Friday morning and then depart for Caracas. We hope to provide surgeries to a total of 122 patients by tomorrow afternoon.

Many of our blog readers may never have visited a surgical suite and had an opportunity to view a cleft lip surgery. The following is a quick view of what happens during a typical surgical procedure.

The procedure begins with considerable documentation and background work including the sterilization of all surgical instruments.


The anesthiologist sedates the patient before surgery begins.


Surgery begins and the surgeon is often accompanied by multiple doctors, assistants, and onlookers.


The surgeon stands throughout the operation and generally wears special magnifying glasses to observe the details of the cutting and suturing (stitching). The sutures are made with special curved needles with an attached thread.