Before and After: How Plastic Surgery Changed a Young Girl’s Life

Before and after photos of young girl who had surgery on craniofacial cleft

In a world of medical television dramas like the now defunct Nip/Tuck and reality shows like Botched, plastic surgery has gotten a bad rap. The often misunderstood medical professionals do much more than Botox, lip and butt injections or help patients pursue physical perfection. Plastic surgeons like Dr. Craig Hobar of HCA Healthcare’s Medical City Children’s Hospital in Dallas change more than just looks – he transforms lives.

The pediatric plastic and craniofacial surgeon, and man of faith, has used his gift to touch the lives of children in Dallas and all over the world. As founder and medical director of LEAP Global Missions, a non-profit that provides specialized surgical services to those in need, and in partnership with Medical City Children’s Hospital, Dr. Hobar has helped dozens of children whose craniofacial abnormalities were too severe and surgeries too complicated to undergo in their own country.

Among those children is Li Ying, a 16-year-old girl from China, who, according to Dr. Hobar, had the worst craniofacial cleft he’d ever seen. Ying has been under Dr. Hobar’s care for over a decade. Shunned by her community and unable to attend school due to her appearance, Ying lived a life of isolation until she was brought to Medical City Children’s Hospital through LEAP’s Landmark Program at the age of six.

Guided by his medical training and his spiritual belief, Dr. Hobar has performed four surgeries over 10 years to reconstruct Ying’s face – the first lasted 11 long hours. The fourth and final surgery occurred earlier this fall.

Today, Li Ying enjoys the life of an ordinary teenager.

In a world of airbrushing, filters and Photoshop, Dr. Hobar’s act of service is more than just skin-deep. His kindness, compassionate care, and a 10-year life-altering commitment to a young girl helped give her a fresh start, her first smile and a chance at a healthier, happier life.

About HCA Healthcare

HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's leading providers of healthcare services, is comprised of 182 hospitals and more than 2,300 sites of care, in 20 states and the United Kingdom. Our more than 283,000 colleagues are connected by a single purpose — to give patients healthier tomorrows.

As an enterprise, we recognize the significant responsibility we have as a leading healthcare provider within each of the communities we serve, as well as the opportunity we have to improve the lives of the patients for whom we are entrusted to care. Through the compassion, knowledge and skill of our caregivers, and our ability to leverage our scale and innovative capabilities, HCA Healthcare is in a unique position to play a leading role in the transformation of care.

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