State-of-the-art cleft surgery training tool to make UK debut

In a European premiere at the 14th International Cleft Lip, Palate and Craniofacial Congress (cleft 2022). Simulare Medical, a division of Smile Train, will bring together surgeons from around the world to test the newest innovation in the organization’s line of cleft training tools: the Simulare bilateral cleft lip and palate simulator.

A cleft, or gap in the lip or soft palate, is the most common facial difference worldwide and affects around 1 in 700 newborn babies. In the UK, cleft surgery is usually performed within 12 first months of a baby’s life NHS. However, hundreds of thousands of children living in resource-poor communities around the world do not have access to the life-saving treatment they desperately need.
Developed by leading plastic surgeons, the Simulare Medical Bilateral Cleft Lip and Palate Simulator is an anatomically accurate, realistic, and invaluable training tool that will reduce barriers to hands-on training for cleft surgeons in low-resource communities and worldwide, enabling Smile Former to empower local medical professionals with the training, funding and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children in need. For more information see the IDTechEx report on 3D Printing in the Medical and Dental Industry 2019 – 2029.

Global cleft experts who have the ability to simulate surgery with this world-class training tool reduce patient risk, lower training costs, and improve surgeon skills and confidence. Smile Train will be hosting a private workshop to visit Smile Train partners at Cleft 2022 on Thursday July 14 between 7:30am and 10:30am. The hands-on workshop, led by Dr. Roberto L. Flores, internationally renowned cleft surgery expert and member of the Smile Train Medical Advisory Board1will mark the European debut of the revolutionary simulator.

This simulator is just one of the many tools Smile Train uses to train healthcare professionals in over 70 countries where they have active programs. Through its locally-led, sustainable and scalable partnership model, the organization supports essential cleft care for children in their own communities and strengthens local health systems.

Printed with 3D technology, the simulator resembles the anatomy and texture of various tissue types such as skin, muscle, and fat to create one of the most realistic, true-to-life models available today. . This means that surgeons and trainees can practice and perfect realistic incisions, dissections and suturing outside of the operating room without risk to patients.

According to several studies*, surgeons who have trained with Simulare Medical simulators have proven to be better prepared for the many challenges and nuances of palate surgery. Sham surgery has been shown to improve outcomes for thousands of children born with cleft lip and palate across the world each year.

Ian Vallance, director of Smile Train UK, said: “Simply put, our bilateral simulator saves lives. But not only that, by equipping surgeons around the world with training tools such as our simulator, we can dramatically improve the lives of children, giving them the opportunity to s “Giving partner surgeons access to this breakthrough technology means that wherever a child lives, they can have access to the same high-quality cleft care and treatment. The European launch of our simulator at Cleft 2022 is a really exciting time for us – it means we continue to develop hundreds of partners When local surgeons have access to the most advanced tools, it enhances their ability to provide the best possible care and enables them to perform surgery with complete peace of mind safety, wherever they are in the world.

Find out how you can help give children in need the opportunity to live, thrive and, of course, smile at

About Smile Train:

Smile Train empowers local healthcare professionals with the training, funding and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children around the world. We offer a lasting solution and a scalable global health model for treating cleft, dramatically improving children’s lives, including their ability to eat, breathe, speak, and ultimately thrive. To learn more about how Smile Train’s sustainable approach means donations have both immediate and long-term impact, please visit external link.

About the 14th International Cleft Congress, Cleft 2022:

Held every four years, Cleft 2022 will be a hybrid (in-person and online) event in Edinburgh, United Kingdom (UK) from July 11-15, 2022. Smile Train is the proud premier supporter of Cleft 2022 and connects the cultures and generations, providing opportunities for hundreds of international lunge leaders and experts from 46 countries to:

  • build capacity and make meaningful connections
  • exchange knowledge and research in multidisciplinary areas of cleft management, from surgery to technological advances
  • strengthen cleft care globally, regionally and nationally

Throughout the week-long event, Smile Train and its partners will host an array of cleft experts to present research and best practices regarding comprehensive cleft care.

Source and top image: PHA Group

Christine E. Phillips