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Operations, Big and Small


What does a 300-pound high school football player with appendicitis have in common with a tiny newborn with the birth defect gastroschisis? Children’s General and Thoracic Surgery providers can give both the care they need.

If your child really needs surgery, are you sure the surgeon is experienced enough to be able to handle any contingency? Even straightforward operations can turn out to have variances that only an experienced team of pediatric surgeons can handle. That's why you should come to Children's.

Dr. John Waldhausen, chief, General and Thoracic Surgery

We Specialize in Kids

In 2006, our doctors performed more than 2,000 general and thoracic surgeries on children at all ages and developmental stages — from infants through teens — to treat a range of conditions, including those that affect the chest, abdomen and pelvis.

We use the most advanced diagnostic and surgical techniques and state-of-the-art equipment, and all our surgeons are board certified in pediatric surgery, which means they have special training in operating on children. This matters because children have different needs for surgery, anesthesia and recovery than adults do.

Surgery or No Surgery?

You might be surprised to know that more than 40% of the children and teens seen in General and Thoracic Surgery go home without needing an operation. We’ve found that some conditions commonly treated with surgery are actually better treated using other therapies. So even though we're a surgical team, we often use nonoperative methods to help our patients.

If an operation is the best method for your child's condition, we offer expertise in a broad range of approaches, including minimally invasive procedure. This means a smaller scar, less pain during recovery and a shorter hospital stay. We do more minimally invasive surgeries on children for a broader range of conditions than any institution in the region.

Experience to Handle Whatever Arises

Looking at all types of surgery that we do, Children’s also has the lowest complication rates and fewest repeat operations of any institution in the region doing pediatric surgery. Our surgeons, nurses and other care team members have the breadth and depth of knowledge to manage any condition, along with the unexpected issues that can arise during treatment. You can feel assured your child is in good hands, before, during and after their operation.

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