Mission Trips

Two Southern Illinois plastic surgery residents Abigail Cochran and Ryan Schmucker, Robert Russell, clinical professor, Institute for Plastic Surgery, along with Maria Ansley, a medical photographer in the Institute for Plastic Surgery, were recently part of an Operation Smile International mission team to Chinendega, Nicaragua from Feb 19th-March 1st, 2014.

The team consisted of over 60 doctors, nurses, speech therapists, photographers, medical records, research, and other logistic and volunteer personnel who provided free surgical procedures and medical care to children and adults suffering from cleft lip and palate deformities, and other hand and head and neck congenital or acquired deformities.

The mission team screened 278 patients over two days and performed 112 surgical procedures over five days. Some patients and their families journeyed from several hundred miles to be seen and treated by the Operation Smile team.

Many of the cases were challenging but the mission was very successful. Pictures of some of the patients operated on by the Illinois surgeons as well as selected hospital scenes can be viewed on our website. For more information on the Nicaragua mission, go to Operation Smile.