Treatments and Services
Making Surgery Easier on Your Child
Our board-certified pediatric surgeons are skilled in a broad range of surgical approaches, including traditional “open” surgery and minimally invasive procedures. We have the experience to decide if surgery is even needed and which type will be best for your child.
We do more minimally invasive procedures on children for a broader range of conditions than any hospital in the region. Options include laparoscopic surgery, robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery and thoracoscopy. In these procedures, the surgeon:
- Makes smaller cuts
- Inserts thin tubes with a small camera and tools into your child’s body
- Controls surgical tools from outside your child’s body while watching on a video screen
After this type of surgery, your child is likely to heal faster with less pain and go home from the hospital sooner compared to traditional surgery. Read more about Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery (PDF) (Spanish).
Seattle Children’s surgeons have done more robot-assisted procedures for children than any other surgeons in the world. We use the robot for a wide range of surgeries and with young children as well as teens. We track the results of robotic surgery in children so we can improve techniques.
Read more about our world-class robotics program.
Managing your child’s pain after surgery is critical to their healing. That’s why we use regional anesthesia and pain medicines made especially for kids. Seattle Children’s has the largest team of anesthesiologists who treat only children.
The Specialized Care Your Child Needs
From managing a hernia or appendicitis to operating on the most complex condition, we provide expert care from birth through young adulthood. Care starts even sooner if a problem is found during pregnancy. Even though we are experts at surgery, in many cases we decide that a different treatment is better. All that adds up to better outcomes.
Depending on your child’s needs, they may see professionals in these Seattle Children’s programs.
If your child has trouble with bowel control because of a condition that affects their pelvic area, they may benefit from our 1-week outpatient program. Our team meets with you and your child to make a plan you can follow at home to prevent accidents.
Children with certain health conditions may need to have an opening through the wall of the belly into their stomach. This is called a gastrostomy tube (GT or G-tube). Our surgeons have a lot of experience placing G-tubes. Your child may need one if they are unable to eat enough food, drink enough liquids or take medicines by mouth. Sometimes the tube is needed for only a short time, sometimes for much longer. See Gastrostomy Feeding and Tube Care (PDF) (Spanish)
Seattle Children’s has the only program in the Northwest to focus on diagnosing and treating children with umbilical hernias and inguinal hernias. Hernias happen when part of the intestine or other tissue bulges through a weak spot in the belly. Our surgeons have performed thousands of hernia surgeries on children over the years, more than any other hospital in the region. Learn more.
Our surgeons work closely with other experts in Seattle Children’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center. If your child needs surgery, we offer both minimally invasive and traditional “open” procedures. In addition to surgeons, your child will get care from experts in digestive health, immune health, nutrition and psychology. Learn more.
Seattle Children’s Intestinal Rehabilitation Program is the only 1 of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, and 1 of the few in the United States. Pediatric general surgeons work together with transplant surgeons and gastroenterologists to find the best treatment options for your child. We use diet, medicine and surgery when needed. Our team helps to get the intestine working again if your child has intestinal failure.
For children whose intestines did not form properly before birth, we have some of the best survival rates for treating certain types of intestinal atresia.
Seattle Children’s excels at treating conditions that are present at birth, such as congenital diaphragmatic hernias. We work with families to diagnose disorders during pregnancy and prepare for the care their babies will need during delivery, at birth and after birth. Our transport team of physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists are national leaders in safely moving fragile newborns. Learn more about our Prenatal Diagnosis and Treatment Program.
We have the only pediatric Reconstructive Pelvic Medicine Clinic on the West Coast. Many different healthcare providers work as a team to diagnose and treat your child’s pelvic problem. The pelvic area includes the urinary tract, large intestine (colon), anus, rectum, internal sex organs and genitals. Our surgeons work with experts from Gastroenterology, Motility, Gynecology, Urology, Radiology and Pathology.
Our Surgery Pulmonary Follow-Up Clinic provides long-term care for children who have had major chest surgery that might affect their lungs. A team of experts at the clinic checks your child’s health and provides treatment and advice. We follow children with conditions such as congenital lung malformations or congenital diaphragmatic hernia. As needed, we can refer you to other experts and be a resource for your child’s pediatrician.
For the past decade, U.S. News & World Report has consistently ranked Seattle Children’s Cancer Center among the best in the nation. We treat the most complex cancer patients and have 1 of the lowest local recurrence rates of any center in the country. Other hospitals refer children to us with tumors that are especially difficult to remove safely.
Procedures such as sentinel lymph node biopsy help us decide the best therapy for children who have skin cancers or soft tissue cancers. Few children’s centers offer this. Learn more about surgery to treat tumors.
Teamwork Across Specialties at Seattle Children’s
Close collaboration among our specialists is a great strength of Seattle Children’s. Teamwork helps us give your child the best care possible. As needed, your child’s pediatric surgeon will work closely with Seattle Children’s specialists in:
- Bones and muscles (orthopedics)
- Brain and nervous system (neurosciences)
- Cancer and blood disorders
- Head and face abnormalities (craniofacial)
- Imaging to find and correct problems without surgery (interventional radiology)
- Urinary tract (urology)
- Organ transplants
- Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)
- Plastic surgery
- Prenatal diagnosis and treatment
- Newborn care (neonatology)
To make an appointment, you can call us directly or get a referral from your child’s primary care provider. We encourage you to coordinate with your pediatrician or family doctor when coming to Seattle Children’s. We see patients in clinic in Bellevue, Everett, Federal Way, Seattle and Tri-Cities.
Providers, see how to refer a patient.