Orofacial cleft management by short-term surgical missions in South America: literature review

D. L. Best, T. L. Gauger, J. M. Dolan, L. A. Donnelly, K. Ranganathan, C. Ulloa-Marin, H. H. Sung-Hsieh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


There is a growing demand for surgical care in South America, particularly for patients with congenital orofacial clefts (OFCs). Short-term surgical missions (STSMs) have emerged as a means to deliver surgical expertise and alleviate this demand. The aim of this study was to review the quantity and quality of peer-reviewed reports on OFC repairs performed by STSMs in South America. A literature search was conducted using the PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and SciELO databases. The search was limited to articles published in English and Spanish. Descriptive statistics were used for the data analysis. The search yielded 65 studies related to OFCs. Eight (12.3%) were selected for full-text review. Only five (7.7%) articles met the inclusion criteria. The diverse study designs and heterogeneous types of data assessment among the selected studies hindered a comparison between them. This review found a sparse number of publications pertaining to OFC missions to South America. The articles that were included demonstrated inconsistencies in reporting patient care data. There is a need for a more efficient, streamlined method of reporting humanitarian missions for OFC repairs in order for healthcare professionals to fulfill research and ethical obligations and offer the best practices in patient-centered care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1373-1380
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • South America
  • cleft lip and palate
  • literature review
  • orofacial cleft
  • surgical mission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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