Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Craniofacial Surgery

Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Craniofacial Surgery was started in the year 1999. Named after the mother of Sri. N. Vinaya Hegde, the present Chancellor of Nitte University, this centre was built with the vision to cater to the health of the underprivileged.

In the initial years of its formation, the centre received its financial help from the Smile Train organization, a social welfare organization providing help to several centres throughout the world. This was later taken over by the Cleft Children International, another organization founded by Prof. (Dr.) Hermann F. Sailer. This was the first centre in the world to be funded by this organization and till date, this centre has been associated with the organization.

Prof. (Dr.) Krishna Shama Rao headed the centre in the initial years after its commencement. Since 2007, Prof. (Dr.) Vikram Shetty has taken over as the Director of this centre till date.

The centre caters primarily to management of cleft children from far and wide, especially from Kerala and Karnataka, children from underprivileged families who are unable to receive quality health care.

Screening camps in various parts of Kerala and Karnataka are undertaken to reach out to the underprivileged families. Here, qualified doctors travel to examine patients and bring them to the centre for further management. Patients are provided with travelling allowances for their regular visits to the hospital till the end of treatment.

The centre not only provides free surgery to these patients but also a comprehensive medical and other surgical care, free of cost. Patients with cardiac anomalies, orthopaedic and other associated disabilities are also taken care of. On an average, around 80 – 100 surgeries are performed in a month and over 1000 surgeries are performed in a year.

Patients receive quality medical and surgical care. Surgeries are performed in state of the art operation theatres, where highly qualified surgical personnel perform surgeries utilizing advanced surgical armamentarium and other accessories. Patients are operated only after a proper presurgical workup and good postoperative care is also provided. Regular follow- up of all patients is done. Mid treatment care such as dental care and other medical problems and co- morbidities are taken care of. Children suffering from various syndromes undergo genetic testing and genetic counselling.

The centre not only receives cleft patients but also patients suffering from various syndromes like Pierre Robin sequence, Treacher Collins Syndrome, Hemifacial microsomia to name a few. Comprehensive workup is performed by the centre with aid from various other departments to provide the best treatment to these patients. Proper surgical planning is made and with the aid of various other departments, this centre performs cranioplasties, skul bone repositioning and other complex procedures that are not performed in various other centres in the country. The results of the surgeries performed are found to be at par with those of the best centres in the world.