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Educating Excellence: Dr. Khurram Khan’s Training Visit at Tebow CURE



Caption: Dr. Khurram Khan (left), Tebow CURE Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr. Dino Buenaventura (middle), and Dr. Katrina Lobo (right) perform reconstructive surgery to repair a complex facial cleft case.


In February 2024, Tebow CURE Children’s Hospital of the Philippines (Tebow CURE) welcomed Dr. Khurram Khan—a distinguished consultant Plastic, Reconstructive, and Cosmetic Surgeon from Birmingham Children’s Hospital in England—to perform intricate cleft surgeries and share his expertise with Tebow CURE’s local plastic surgeons.

Dr. Khan is a member of the British Association of Aesthetic Surgeons (BAAPS), the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS), and the Craniofacial Society of Great Britain and Ireland (CFSGBI). His main specialist interests are looking after patients with facial problems resulting from cleft lip and palate, which include more complex cases like facial clefts.


Princess’s Story

Among the patients Dr. Khan encountered was Princess, who resides five hours away from the hospital. She was born with a rare condition called macrostomia, a congenital condition that means she has slits on either side of her mouth that go up in the direction of her ears. It makes her mouth look extremely wide.


Princess was born with macrostomia, a rare facial cleft occurring in only 1 in 60,000 to 300,000 live births.


Joana was shocked when she first saw her daughter’s face. She was stunned and filled with worries about Princess’s future. “Sometimes I wondered why Princess would not come out of our bedroom. Her sister would tell me that Princess was hiding inside, crying, because she was bullied,” Joana said through her tears.

Princess has not attended school because she fears being bullied. “She wasn’t able to make friends with the kids around our neighborhood. They would say she had a big mouth, and they would not let Princess join them when they played. Princess’s only friend is her younger sister,” Joana shared.

Because Princess’s condition is so rare, treatment opportunities are nearly nonexistent, and she’s never been seen by a specialist. The incidence of macrostomia varies between 1 in 60,000 to 1 in 300,000 live births. Thankfully, the town’s district healthcare worker learned about Princess’s condition and told her about Tebow CURE. “Princess told me she wishes to get her mouth fixed and go to school, and those words got me,” Joana recalled.

On February 15, Princess underwent reconstructive surgery to repair the cleft, led by Dr. Khurram Khan, alongside Tebow CURE local surgeon Dr. Dino Buenaventura and Dr. Katrina Lobo.

“These are not common cases in the UK. You don’t see them that often. The cases were challenging but really deserving cases. It was very humbling, and I feel very honored to try and help these children and young adults because often they have been turned down by others,” Dr. Khan shared.


Equipping Local Surgeons, Building Capacity, Ensuring Excellence

While at the hospital, Dr. Khan shared his expertise in correcting complex conditions, equipping local surgeons with essential techniques to perform such procedures independently—from cleft lip and palate repairs to rhinoplasties. This approach stands in contrast to other models, where visiting surgeons perform procedures without training local counterparts, resulting in inadequate follow-up care for patients.

At Tebow CURE, we strive to provide comprehensive care that supports all aspects of a child’s healing. Through our strategic partnership with Smile Train, the patients we serve not only receive surgical interventions for cleft lip and palate but also benefit from additional services. These include nutritional support, speech therapy, emotional counseling with spiritual ministry, and referrals to specialized orthodontists and dentists. Importantly, our patients see the same dedicated doctors throughout their treatment journey, ensuring continuity of care and personalized attention.

When asked how this type of training and side-by-side mentorship can help provide effective comprehensive cleft care, Dr. Khan answered, “Firstly, you need to focus on good primary surgery. You need to have robust follow-up so that you know your outcomes. Are there any speech issues? Do they need more surgery? What can I learn and adapt? Secondly, you do need to have a well-trained wider team of cleft-specific health professionals. Getting the surgery right at the beginning and assembling the wider team is essential, and the set up you have at Tebow CURE is ideal for building a comprehensive cleft care model. We all learn from each other.”


Unlike other care models, where different doctors may attend to a patient during each visit, at Tebow CURE, patients like Princess can expect to see the same medical professionals.


Strategic Partnerships: Collaborating for Sustainable Impact

Through training visits like Dr. Khan’s and strategic partnerships with organizations such as Smile Train, Tebow CURE continues to pursue its mission of establishing a lasting local presence to provide comprehensive care. These collaborations not only enhance immediate patient care but also contribute to shaping the future of surgical practices of local surgeons.

When you contribute any amount, your generosity extends beyond the confines of the operating room, providing children with the comprehensive medical and ministry care they need for complete healing. Join us in making a difference today by giving a gift.

About the Tebow CURE Hospital

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Tebow CURE’s mission is to provide every child living with a disability the physical, emotional, and spiritual care they need to heal. If you have questions about becoming a patient or a partner with CURE, please contact us.

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