Maxillo-Facial Unit “Operation Face to Face the World”

Facial disfigurement – whether it is through birth defects, an accident, or an operation to remove a cancerous tumour – has a devastating impact on the sufferer and their family. Being disfigured not only threatens the life of the sufferers, but also their identity. In addition to social exclusion, these patients may experience difficulties eating, breathing and talking.

The Departments of Prosthodontics and Maxillo-Facial and Oral Surgery of the University of Pretoria, together with the Gauteng Department of Health, are committed to assisting people with facial disfigurements. “Operation Face to Face the World” is the innovative result.

 “Operation Face to Face the World” brings together the experience and expertise of a multidisciplinary team of specialists, including maxillo-facial and cranio-facial surgeons, head and neck surgeons, oncologists and radiologists.

This is one of only a very few centres countrywide where specialised maxillo-facial prosthodontics services are offered to patients who would otherwise not be able to afford life-changing surgical interventions.

More than 50 patients – from a little girl who was born without a nose to a man who lost his upper jaw to cancer – have already received life-changing treatment at the centre. However, a shortage of funding to cover the high cost of custom-made prostheses limits the number of patients that can be assisted. The result is long waiting lists and prolonged suffering of the patients. More than 60 people are in urgent need of treatment. The Gauteng Health Department and the University of Pretoria carry the salaries of these healthcare professionals as well as the cost of running the operating theatres. However, funding is needed for materials which form a substantial amount in the construction of prostheses.

To discuss a gift that will contribute to the reintegration of facially disfigured patients back into society, please contact 

Project Leader: Dr Cules Van den Heever Tel: +27 (0)12 3192437 [email protected]

Dean’s Office: Prof Tiaan de Jager Tel:   +27 (0) 12 319 2192 [email protected]

Published by Marinda Scholtz

Copyright © University of Pretoria 2021. All rights reserved.

FAQ's Email Us Virtual Campus Share Cookie Preferences