Until Wednesday (3/6), free surgery for cleft lips and palate initiated by Persatuan Dokter Gigi Indonesia (PDGI) Berau and PT Berau Coal as the main sponsor have been done.

The surgery which was conducted for 2 days, starting from Tuesday (2/6), was indeed takes a long time. It was due to limited number of doctors and operating theater.

“We conducted gradually, for one instance in operating theater, we executed 3 patients. Each patient was handled by 2 surgeons, therefore 3 patients would require 6 surgeons”, explained drg Rustam Ambo Asse, Chairman of PDGI Berau.

For all patients, the surgery takes 3 days until today (4/6). “In addition to limited surgeons, the time was also insufficient for the overall surgery,” he added.

The doctors admitted that the surgery, which was started at 09.00 WITA until 18.00 WITA, could not be done haphazardly. There many requirements under consideration before starting the surgery.

“Especially the patients, because most of them were children, their health condition must be fit. Patients shall not suffer from cough or cold, because they will hinder the process of operation around the nose and mouth; inevitably, we must wait until they are fully recovered,” explained drg M Ruslin, Head of Surgeons, while interviewed in the midst of surgery yesterday.

Additionally, there are some other requirements which contribute to the successful surgery. “The age of children with cleft lips shall be minimum of 3 months, while for the palate, it shall be minimum of 1.5 years to prevent the nasal voice after the surgery”, he described further.

1 patient requires 1.5 to 2 hours of surgery. Moreover, there are many preparations and the process was rather complicated, which made the surgeons team to be more careful.

“Because the tissue to be placed around the lips is the tissue around the lips, the process requires a greater details to prevent damaging the existing tissue,” said the doctor specialized in surgery and maxillofacial.

Marta, Muhammad Safar’s mother, the cleft lips patient from Merancang Ilir expressed her excitement after finding out that her second son has undergone free surgery for the second time.

“Last year he had a surgery while he was still 6 months, however the result was good; my son was previously difficult to eat and drink, now he could manage that well. For the second surgery, the operation was conducted to upper lips and nose, and hopefully the result will also good,” she added.

Similarly, the mother of Muhammad Alfan and Muhammad Alfin also expressed her excitement. “This time, my twins were having surgery, hopefully the result will be the same as the previous one, moreover this time the operation tries to fix the overall portion (lips, gums, and palate, ed.):, said this Batu Putih resident.