Training the future

St Hugh’s Hospital consultant Mr Muhammad Riaz has recently returned to Britain from Pakistan, where he has been donating his skills to charity.

As you might have already read about here, Mr Riaz, a consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon, practises at the Cleft Hospital, in Gujrat, Pakistan – a facility he helped to establish. He travels twice a year to carry out charity work there, helping children who require facial surgery.

His pioneering work in correcting cleft noses, named the ‘Gujrat’, has changed the lives of many youngsters in the country. This trip, he arrived with the charity Overseas Plastic Surgery Appeal (OPSA) team in the late morning, and went to work after just a couple of hour’s rest. During his time at the hospital, Mr Riaz has been busy sharing his facial aesthetic surgery techniques with trainees and surgeons from the UK and Pakistan.


“Cleft nose is a complex deformity which is present in children born with cleft lip or cleft lip and palate. There is asymmetry of development of upper jaw bone,” he explained. “Cleft lip and palates are repaired in the early months of the child’s age. In some techniques, the nasal deformity is also corrected but in most of the patients the nasal deformity is corrected at or after puberty when the bony development is complete.

“These children have nasal blockage and severe nasal deformity due to malposition of nasal septum and hypoplasia and weakness of cleft side nasal cartilages.”

Mr Riaz is proud to offer his expertise to babies and children in Pakistan and under-developed countries – where clefts occur more frequently – through the Overseas Plastic Surgery Appeal. The Cleft Hospital is a leading authority on how to correct cleft; since 1995, it has performed more than 25,000 cleft surgeries. On each trip Mr Riaz undertakes, he and his fellow surgeons can operate up to 200 times.

Mr Riaz has been part of OSPA for many years as a trustee and medical team member. To find out more about Cleft Hospital Pakistan and its work, visit The photos with this article are from Mr Riaz’s Facebook page.