Port of Spain, December 14, 2009. The Ministry of Health is pleased to announce that a total of thirty-six (36) facio-maxillary plastic surgery operations were successfully completed at the San Fernando General Hospital, including pre-operative and post-operative follow up clinics through Operation Rainbow.

Operation Rainbow is a United States-based, nonprofit organization dedicated to performing free facio-maxillary plastic surgery for children and adults. Operation Rainbow was invited by the Ministry of Health to visit Trinidad and Tobago in October 2009. This was their third visit to this country, as they had previously conducted similar exercises in Trinidad and Tobago in 2004 and 2006.

Both children and adults benefited from these free surgeries, with 83% of the patients being children. Surgeries included cleft lip and palate repair, palatoplasty, and other surgical procedures.
Operation Rainbow was hosted by the South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) and was led by Plastic Surgeon Dr Michael Goldwasser, assisted by a team of fourteen (14). Members of the support team included Plastic Surgeon, Dr Talmage Raine, Anaesthiologist Dr Heather Nath and specialized nurses, medical assistants and a speech therapist. The lead doctor of the local medical team was Dr Ravi Lalla, the Plastic Surgeon based at the San Fernando General Hospital.

The Ministry of Health wishes to thank Operation Rainbow and the SWRHA staff who were involved in this endeavour and congratulate them on their success.