Local plastic surgeon to observe National Smile Day

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Independent Staff Report

WEST HOLLYWOOD — A local plastic surgeon will celebrate National Smile Day May 31.

Dr. Robert Beinrauh is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Kaiser Permanente who resides in West Hollywood.

Beinrauh has been volunteering as a cleft surgeon with Operation Smile since 2010 and has since completed over 20 missions to Asia, Africa and South America.

Operation Smile is celebrating National Smile Day by highlighting some of the volunteers whose dedication to providing children with the life-saving gift of a new smile has made the world a better place. One of those volunteers is Beinrauh, who said he initially chose plastic surgery as his specialty with the idea of helping others in need.

“It is the most underrepresented specialty globally due to the cost of training these types of surgeons,” he siad.

Beinrauh was first exposed to Operation Smile during an international fellowship and was immediately inspired by its mission.

Beinrauh is aware of the importance that a smile can have on the health and dignity of patients with cleft conditions.

“The health benefits are great,” he said. “Children and adults need functioning palates for proper speech. Truly one of the most important things that human beings need is an ability to communicate. Giving people this ability opens their life to innumerable opportunities.”

Through his work with Operation Smile, Beinrauh has provided countless patients with new smiles thereby helping them to breathe, eat, speak and live a better quality of life in greater confidence.

“I love this work because I feel like a true healer,” he said. “Having the ability to alter people’s lives for better and getting pure joy and happiness back to you from them and their families is something that is indescribable.”

Since 2018, National Smile Day has been celebrated on May 31. It was created by Dr. Tim Stirneman and Jim Wojdyla of Compassionate Dental Care in Illinois, to share the power of a healthy smile.

National Smile Day is observed simply by smiling and sharing with others how smiling improves your day. For patients of Operation Smile, free cleft repair surgery provides them with a new and healthy smile and improves their entire lives. 

Operation Smile revolutionized cleft surgery globally in 1982. With nearly four decades of experience as one of the largest surgical volunteer-based nonprofits, Operation Smile staff, its private-public partnerships and thousands of volunteers have improved the health and dignity of patients with cleft conditions, helping them to better breathe, eat, speak and live lives of greater quality and confidence.

“Volunteering with Operation Smile allows me to really affect people in a positive way — when they may never have the opportunity to have surgery or let alone see a doctor ever in their lives,” Beinrauh said.

“Volunteering with Operation Smile allows me to really affect people in a positive way — when they may never have the opportunity to have surgery or let alone see a doctor ever in their lives,” Beinrauh said.