The annual Smile Week, which provides plastic surgeons’ dedicated theatre time to assist children in need of facial reconstruction, began at Port Elizabeth’s Provincial Hospital yesterday.
Dr Chris van der Walt, the hospital’s plastic surgery department head, and a team of surgeons will carry out 12 reconstructive surgeries.
One of the surgeries, scheduled to be performed today, is a special nose construction for a little boy born without a nose.
Smile Foundation operations executive director Moira Gerszt said she was grateful for the ongoing support from all in the Eastern Cape who were making this week – sponsored by the Port Elizabeth International Airport for the third consecutive year – possible.
“It is so gratifying to have this ongoing support, and for the children of the Eastern Cape once again to benefit from it in such a meaningful way.
“The Smile Weeks give the surgeons involved an opportunity to operate on many more children than on a normal weekly theatre slate, enabling more children to receive timeous surgeries.
“Dr Van der Walt is a caring surgeon who, together with his team of doctors and medical staff, offers a supportive environment that demonstrates the utmost sensitivity and care for the patients involved and their families,” Gerszt said.