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Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Global outreach


The Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at SickKids has a long history of global outreach - offering our expertise to areas of the world's less fortunate.  In the early '80s, our Division led many multidisciplinary burn treatment and education missions to Guayaquil, Ecuador in conjunction with the Boston based charitable organization “Por Cristo”.

Dr. Howard Clarke, Dr. Ron Zuker and our nurses, therapists and Social Workers worked with the Guayaquil team, making visits two or three times per year to establish an up to date burn management centre. It went on to function on its own, providing care to countless unfortunate children. 

In the '90s Dr. William K. Lindsay, through a CIDA grant, created a wonderful burn education exchange program with the burn care providers in Lanzhou, China.  The Chinese teams visited burn centres in Toronto and many burn surgeons from Toronto taught and operated in China.



In addition to burn care, we have also focused on cleft lip and palate surgery.  Dr. Ronald Zuker, Dr. David Fisher, Dr. Greg Borschel and Dr. Karen Wong have worked extensively with the Norfolk based charitable organization “Operation Smile” providing free cleft surgeries through missions in Kenya, the Philippines, China, India, Egypt, Morocco, Cambodia and Brazil.  Many non-surgical members of our multidisciplinary cleft team at SickKids have also taken part in these rewarding missions. Dr. Zuker plays an active role on the executive of the organization and has recently set up the Operation Smile – SickKids Educational Exchange Program.  

We are committed to the multidisciplinary approach to cleft lip and palate treatment.  As such, we are actively involved in promoting this concept worldwide through administrative activities, educational exchange programs and working on the ground with the Toronto charity Transforming Faces.



All members of our Division are willing to give advice regarding complex problems that would benefit from our input without charge to anyone in the developing world.  We have often provided free surgical service when we are able to operate on these children at SickKids, either through the Herbie Fund, or other charitable groups.  For example, our Division has also participated in the SickKids “No Boundaries” missions to Peru and Nepal.

We are proud of our involvement in surgical outreach and hope to continue it in the future.