Austin Smiles – The Austin Plastic Surgery Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization creating smiles and improving lives in Latin America and providing support to cleft patients at the Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas. Austin Smiles has worked to improve the lives of over 5,000 patients, collaborating with our medical partners abroad to provide excellent continuum in cleft care.
Cleft lip and cleft palate are collectively known as orofacial clefts. These birth defects cause the child’s mouth and/or oral cavity to form improperly, leaving a visibly conspicuous gap between the mouth and the nose (cleft lip) and/or a gap in the roof of the mouth (cleft palate). In many cases, both conditions are present, effectively creating a continuous gap through the child’s face and into his or her palate. Untreated cleft lip/palate has many consequences including negative effects on speech, hearing, appearance, and physical and psychological well-being. Children can have problems with their ears and sinuses. Cleft can interfere with the development of the jaw with surgery often being needed to correctly align the jaw.
Oral clefts are among the most widely known and common craniofacial abnormalities. Approximately
one in 700 children worldwide is born with a cleft lip and/or palate. And cleft does not discriminate –
while there are identified causes in poor prenatal care, in many cases, factors causing a cleft abnormality cannot be identified.
Because many Latin American countries have limited access to adequate medical resources, and their
residents lack sufficient income to afford necessary medical treatment, Austin Smiles has worked in
these regions for over 30 years. We give people the access to day-to-day interactions without facial
deformities – access that many of us might take for granted.
Everyone who experiences these incredibly positive transformations—the families and friends of
children whose clefts were successfully repaired, as well as many of the children themselves once they become adults—is compelled to donate their time, money and/or resources to the cause of treatment outreach. Once people understand the miracles treatment provides for children born with orofacial cleft, they feel compelled to help. It’s simply a no-brainer.
In a typical one-week mission, Austin Smiles will change the lives of 60 children. To date, we have
completed many thousands of reconstructive surgeries on the nearly 4,000 children we have reached in Latin America. It is incredibly powerful and gratifying to reunite on subsequent visits with happy, healthy and attractive young adults whom we first met as infants with severe orofacial deformities.
Austin Smiles also works closely with the Clinical Nurse Specialist and Medical Social Worker at the
Craniofacial and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery Center at Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas to provide program and financial support for patients and their families by : serving as a resource of information for anyone affected by cleft lip/palate and referring anyone needing assistance to the appropriate person or entity offering financial assistance on a case-by-case basis to patients in need, sponsoring cleft patients to attend “Camp Amigo,” a weekend overnight camp where participants enjoy outdoor activities, team-building exercises, and socializing with other young Texans affected by cleft lip and/or palate. And coordinating and funding social events throughout the year to bring fun and fellowship to patients and families.
Hi all! My name is Kacey and I am a realtor, a wife and a dog mom of 3 dachshunds in the wonderful city of Austin! I'm also a yoga & food lover, pretty good cook, wanna be crafter, hot tea drinker, movie watcher and most importantly I am the gal behind Austin Housewives in the City! I hope to see you at one of our Girl's Night Out events soon!!