Pediatric General and Thoracic Surgery

Why Choose Us

Making Surgery Easier on Your Child

  • We do more minimally invasive procedures on children for a broader range of conditions than any hospital in the region. After this type of surgery, your child is likely to heal faster with less pain and go home from the hospital sooner.
  • 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.
  • Even though we are experts at surgery, in many cases we decide that a different treatment is better. More than 40% of the children we see go home without having an operation. See how we choose the best option for each patient.
  • We minimize radiation exposure when your child needs imaging studies. We have the region’s most advanced MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), which does not use radiation at all. Our computed tomography (CT) scanners use the lowest possible amount of radiation. In some cases, we can use a “fast MRI.” It is much faster than a typical MRI scan, and your child does not need sedation.

More Surgeries Equals More Expertise, Better Outcomes

A toddler girl walking

  • When it comes to your child’s health, experience matters. Our surgical teams have the skills to do it right the first time and to care for children with the rarest conditions. We have one of the most experienced pediatric surgery teams in the nation.
  • More cases mean superior skills and a sharper ability to decide if surgery is even needed. All that adds up to better outcomes. In 2017, we had more than 5,000 patient visits. Our doctors performed more than 2,700 general and thoracic surgeries.
  • Research shows that hospitals that do many procedures every year are more likely to have better results for their patients. We do more of these procedures than any other children’s hospital: pyloric stenosis, gallbladder removal and necrotizing fasciitis/severe soft tissue infections in children.
  • We focus on improving our techniques and outcomes. Our reported recurrence rate for congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is among the lowest in the world.
  • Many of our surgeons have been on Seattle Met’s Top Docs and Seattle Magazine’s annual Top Doctors lists for more than 10 years.

Specialists in Caring for Babies, Kids and Teens

Mother and son in hospital

  • Your child’s surgery team is specially trained to treat children of every age and developmental stage. Our patients range from 1-pound preemies in our Level IV NICU(Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) to 300-pound high school football players.
  • Children do not handle illness, injury, pain or medicine in the same way as adults. Even the way kids react to surgery, anesthesia and IV fluids is different. They need care designed just for them. That is why all our surgeons are board certified in pediatric surgery.
  • Our experts focus on how today’s treatment will affect your child as they grow and become adults. We base treatment plans on years of experience and the newest research on what is best and safest for children and teens. 

Verified Level I Children’s Surgery Center

Children's Surgery Verification seal

Seattle Children’s is verified as a Level I Children’s Surgery Center by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), and the first children’s hospital in Washington to earn this status. To become a Level I verified center, Seattle Children’s met essential and rigorous criteria for staffing, training and protocols for care ensuring our ability to appropriately care for our surgical patients.  

Why this matters

  • As of 2019, only 21 children’s hospitals in the country have received this designation, making us one of the best pediatric surgical centers in the United States.
  • We have a comprehensive staff of medical and surgical specialists ready to care for children 24/7.
  • We offer wide-ranging resources to address the most complex conditions.
  • We provide ongoing education for families, pediatricians and others.
  • We engage in research that ensures evidence-based best practices are used at the bedside with patients.
  • We coordinate and offer critical care transport by ground and air from other hospitals to Seattle Children’s. Our transport team consists of specially trained pediatric transport nurses, respiratory therapists as well as critical care and emergency medicine doctors, cardiac intensivists, hospitalists and advanced practice providers.
  • We offer the highest level of neonatal intensive care in Washington. Our 32-bed Level IV NICU is equipped to care for the tiniest and most critically ill newborns in our region. 

Multidisciplinary Team for Comprehensive Care

Consistently ranked one of the nation’s best children’s hospitals by US News and World ReportOnce again, Seattle Children’s is named among U.S. News & World Report’s best pediatric hospitals in the nation, which means your child will be cared for by the very best.

Our surgeons work with all the specialists your child may need. This includes teams in:

Research to Advance Care

  • Our surgeons helped create guidelines to improve diagnosis and treatment of appendicitis for kids in Washington state. The standards mean less radiation exposure for children.
  • Dr. Kimberly Riehle’s research in the lab aims to help injured livers regain the ability to grow back after surgery or illness.
  • Research by Dr. Adam Goldin helps parents and doctors make informed decisions about the best care for kids with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
  • Seattle Children’s researchers are studying the effectiveness of crowdsourcing reviewers to improve trainees’ robotic surgery skills. Learn more about C-SATS (Crowd-Sourced Assessment of Technical Skills).

Support for Your Whole Family

  • At Seattle Children’s, your family has a full team behind you. From our appointment schedulers to our pediatric nurses, our team is trained to work with children and their families. Our facilities and equipment reflect this kid-friendly, family-centered approach.
  • Child life specialists are important members of our team. They work with you and your child to help relieve tension, ease fears and feel more in control about your family’s hospital experience.
  • We work with many children and families from around the Northwest and beyond. We can help with financial counseling, schooling, housing, transportation, interpreter services and spiritual care. Learn about our services for patients and families.
  • Our surgeons have skilled hands and caring hearts.

Here When You Need Us

  • If your child has urgent medical needs, we see them the same day in our clinic or emergency room. For non-urgent conditions, we offer appointments within 1 week, often much sooner.
  • Our hospital has coverage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by a pediatric surgeon.
  • We see children at clinics in Seattle, Bellevue, Federal Way, Everett and Tri-Cities. See our locations and contact information.
  • Depending on the type of surgery your child needs, the procedure will be done at our hospital in Seattle or our Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center. For families in the Tri-Cities, we do some operations at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland.

Born With Liver on the Outside, Teen Is a Champion Gymnast

A girl on a balance beam

Before she was born, Kendall was diagnosed with giant omphalocele, a type of abdominal wall defect. Shortly after her birth, Seattle Children’s surgeons used a “paint and wait” treatment that let surgery wait until she was 17 months old. Now 14, she thrives as an award-winning gymnast.

Contact Us

Call our General and Thoracic Surgery Department at 206-987-2794 for an appointment, a second opinion or more information.

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.

Providers, see how to refer a patient.