When it comes to fixing cleft palates and other common birth defects, Dennis Bucko, MD, a plastic surgeon affiliated with Scripps, can speak with a great deal of authority.
Dr. Bucko is a longtime member of the all-volunteer Mercy Outreach Surgical Team (M.O.S.T.), which travels to Mexico every year to provide free surgeries to children who are born with common birth defects such as cleft palates.
In a recent article in the UT San Diego, Dr. Bucko explains what cleft palates are, why they occur and how they are repaired.
While the problem is normally treated at a young age in the United States, that is not often the case in less-developed countries where access to medical care is far more limited.
Dr. Bucko said he once repaired the cleft lip of an 80-year-old woman who said she was going to die soon and wanted to look good when she got to heaven.
Read the full story in the UT San Diego: Cleft palate requires surgeries but treatment can be successful.