The first U.S. doctors to work in Communist Vietnam have operated successfully on 101 children, who suffered mouth deformities, the official Vietnam News Agency said Saturday.

It said former Prime Minister Pham Van Dong received the doctors from "Operation Smile" at the presidential palace in the capital, Hanoi, on Friday and told them he hopes the two countries increase cooperation in medical and other fields.Seven plastic surgeons and two other physicians corrected cleft lips and palates of children at the Olof Palme Institute for the Protection of Children's Health, said the report, monitored in Bangkok.

"Operation Smile" is a Norfolk, Va.-based agency and one of various private charitable groups that have responded to a U.S. government call for more humanitarian aid to Hanoi.