A cleft lip is an opening in the lip. A cleft palate is an opening in the roof of the mouth. About one in 700 babies is born with a cleft lip and/or palate because parts of the face and mouth failed to come together properly in the early months of fetal life. Due to genetic traits, poor medical care, and lack of treatment, children with cleft lip and palate deformities, along with their families, are ostracized with no chance for a productive future.
The physicians of Austin Smiles perform 50-75 surgeries annually at Dell Children's Hospital of Austin. Austin Smiles also travels to Latin America to do several medical missions a year. Since it was founded in 1987, Austin Smiles has completed over 4,500 corrective surgeries to children and those needing assistance.
The corrective surgery provided by Austin Smiles surgeons allows restoration of close to normal speech, hearing, eating, and enhancement of the breathing ability to a child. The family's ability to pay does not influence the quality or availability of care received from the Austin Smiles surgeons.
Eighty-five percent (90%) of the funds raised by Austin Smiles are used to provide medical services that support our mission. Only ten (10) percent of the funds we raise are used for administrative or fundraising purposes.
To accomplish our mission, Austin Smiles has three parts to its agency: