© Tomas Sebek/MSF
06 Sep 17 08 Jan 20


We perform tens of thousands of life-saving operations each year.

From facial reconstructive surgery in Nigeria to dealing with the human cost of bomb blasts in Yemen, our surgical programmes can focus on a specific need, or be wide-ranging – reflecting the complexities of the places where we work. 

Our surgery falls into four major categories: infection/wound surgery, war surgery/major trauma, obstetric surgery and specialised reconstructive surgery.

“There are no words to describe the rewards of bringing life and hope to someone who, if you were not present, would have neither,” says Eve Bruce, a Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) surgeon from Ireland. 

“The two-year-old Afghan boy who fell into a vat of boiling oil, requiring dozens of procedures, smiling as he leaves the hospital. 

“The 12-year-old Palestinian boy, shot in the leg in conflict, sure he would never walk or play again, walking out with his family with all the hopes and dreams that a 12-year-old should have. 

“These are a few of the memories that will forever fill my heart and remind me why I became a doctor in the first place.”

Hover over this image for an interactive guide to our surgical programmes



Our surgical facilities and equipment can vary depending on the places where we work. 

In emergencies we may have to rapidly deploy tents or inflatable hospitals, as we did responding to the 2013 Philippines typhoon and the Nepal earthquakes in 2015.

However, most of the time, we support or take over existing medical facilities, usually in partnership with a country’s Ministry of Health. Examples include our projects in Ramtha, Jordan, and Boguila, Central African Republic.

We have built our reputation by ensuring a baseline level of quality wherever we work.

Though operating in the bush may be different to a state-of-the-art hospital, we support our staff with the equipment necessary to perform a range of surgical procedures, wherever necessary.