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Brian Sommerlad is an honorary consultant plastic surgeon at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, and at the St Andrew’s Centre for Plastic Surgery, Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford. He was the first Clinical Director of the North Thames Cleft Lip and Palate Service (GOStA).

He is a past president of both the British Association of Plastic Surgeons and the Craniofacial Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

Although involved in many aspects of plastic surgery, his main activity now is centred around surgery for children and adults with cleft of lip and palate and associated conditions.

He has been particularly involved in the development of the operating microscope for cleft palate repair and in refining surgery for repair of the muscles in cleft palate, and in re-repairing the cleft palate as an alternative to pharyngoplasty in some patients. Details of publications on these and other subjects can be found in his online CV.

He regularly visits countries where cleft lip and palate services are less well-developed, to work with local surgeons and to assist in their development of multi-disciplinary teams. He works regularly with cleft teams in Bangladesh, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Iran, the Kurdish region of Iraq, and Uganda.

He was co-founder and now Chairman of CLEFT, a charity established in 2007 to fund the research activities of the Great Ormond Street / St Andrew’s cleft lip and palate team and also to support the activities of teams in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Egypt and the Kurdish Region of Iraq. CLEFT aim to bridge the gap - physically in enabling surgical repair, scientifically in funding research which aims to bridge gaps in knowledge and internationally in helping to bridge the gap between the care available to children born with clefts in poorer countries and the care available in countries such as the UK.

A USB stick containing 7 complete cleft lip or palate surgical procedures is available on request and free to surgeons. For more information and to order click here.