Dr. Magill travels to Peru with the Global Smile Foundation

by | Jun 11, 2020

Dr. Christina Magill usually sees patients in her Anchorage office, at the Alyeska Center for Facial Plastic Surgery, but she recently returned from a trip far from Alaska.

Dr. Magill was part of a special team of doctors and medical staff that traveled to Trujillo, Peru, to provide treatment to impoverished children with cleft lips and palates.

“We saw 120 patients in screening, and we were able to do 45 surgeries in five days,” she said. “That was the focus of the mission – to provide this service.”

Dr. Magill and the other medical professionals were part of a team sent by the Global Smiles Foundation, an organization that has helped children with cleft deformities for 28 years.

She said without treatment, the Peruvian children face a difficult future as adults.

“They’re social isolated,” said Dr. Magill. “Not only are they stigmatized, because of their appearance and ridiculed, many children, as they become adults, stay home-bound and don’t interact with their community.”

The doctor said the experience was far more than professionally rewarding.

“We always think we’re changing the lives of these children, but they also change our lives,” she said.

Dr. Magill was in Peru, from May 26 through June 3, and she plans to return next year, in order to provide follow-up care to the young patients she treated there.

“It makes you – when you come home – realize there’s always work to be done here, as well,” said Dr. Magill. “There’s plenty of children here that need just as much focus and follow-up and service.”

If you would like to learn more about the Global Smile Foundation, go to