Childrens Plastic Surgery Returns To Capetown After Lockdown
Tygerberg Hospital
Doctor Liezl du Toit performed several reconstructive surgeries throughout the course of the day. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Many of us here in the developed and prosperous West have been delighting in the return of elective surgery so that we can get our ‘Zoom Tweaks' done whilst we are still working from home.  From our position of privilege it is good to give a moment's thought to those for whom cosmetic and plastic surgery is not just a vanity issue or a social media embellishment.  Children' plastic surgery has been put ‘on hold' in many parts of the world during the pandemic.

This week the children's plastic surgery reopened at Tygerberg Hospital in Capetown letting it address the major backlog of child reconstructive surgeries such as cleft lip and palate procedures. Every Thursday, four children will undergo life-changing surgery.  Speaking to the local press Tannia Wenn said her 6-month-old daughter, Tiane Gia, was scheduled to have her surgery done earlier but because of the setbacks, she was unsure when the surgery would take place.

“With Covid-19, I thought it was not going to happen. But when I got the call, I felt as if I was high in the sky. I just wanted it finished because I think of her and that she's getting bigger,” said Wenn. With Cleft lip operations it is essential that the surgery is carried out sooner rather than later so a 6-month delay from lockdown can have a dramatic impact on the success of the operation.

Smile Foundation chief executive Hedley Lewis said the backlog in children's plastic surgery could not be addressed without funding and urged the public and corporates to donate.

I am really pleased to start a new week on such a positive note as our own children go back to school.  Over the coming years, the children in Capetown receiving their life-changing surgery will also be better equipped to enjoy their school years thanks to the work of a group of dedicated plastic surgeons.