Free smiles for CT kids

Dozens of disadvantaged children are undergoing free reconstructive surgery at Tygerberg Hospital.

The Smile Foundation operates on disadvantaged children at the Tygerberg Hospital on 23 November 2012. Picture: Chanel September/EWN

CAPE TOWN - A local woman says reconstructive surgery means her child will no longer be bullied at school.

Dozens of disadvantaged children are undergoing surgery at Tygerberg Hospital this week, thanks to the Smile Foundation.

It has helped more than 200 children with facial abnormalities, such as cleft lip and palates, in 2012 alone.

Some 34 children will undergo operations this week.

The foundation's Michelle Gertsz says, "It's been the second largest Smile Week that we've done this year. The doctors have been working very hard since Monday."

Nurse Gladys Oliphant, who helps care for many of the children after surgery, says they have been working non-stop.

"We give fluid diets to the bigger children."