John H T Waldhausen, MD

"The opportunity to positively affect the lives of children and to work with a team of highly skilled professionals in achieving that goal is a tremendously fulfilling and rewarding experience. Helping to train the next generation of pediatric surgeons allows me to have an impact on our field that far exceeds the limited number of patients I will see in my career. Each pediatric surgeon will take care of maybe 15,000–20,000 children over a career, but each person we train will do the same, as will each one that person trains, and so on. So the impact on our field and what we give back to society has the potential to become much larger than ourselves."

  • John Waldhausen, MD is a professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine. 

    In addition to his work in pediatric general and thoracic surgery, he is also an attending for the Division of Transplant Surgery.  Additionally, he attends at Seattle Children’s clinics in South Sound and Bellevue. Waldhausen’s primary research is in clinical outcomes. His clinical activities cover the broad range of pediatric surgery with a focus on minimally invasive surgery, congenital surgical problems and pediatric cancer surgery. Waldhausen received his MD from Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania. He completed his residency at the University of Virginia and his pediatric surgery fellowship at Seattle Children’s.

    • Donna Seaside CA 06.04.22

      My daughter was diagnosed with congenital lobar emphysema when she was an infant. Dr Waldhausen was the lead surgeon to remove her right upper lobe in Jan of 2001 Today she has recently graduated from the US Naval Academy and attending nuclear engineering school to become a female officer of nuclear submarines. Dr Waldhausen if you read these comments. Your reassurance and detailed personable explanation was and will always be my calm. Ashley does not remember those days but has the physical scar and stories. She knows your name. “Dr Waldhausen the Doctor that removed my right upper lung and told my mom it would be the best thing to do.” Thank you Dr Waldhausen. Thank you! She has done well. Thank you!

    • Dennis Seattle WA 09.21.17

      Dr. Waldhausen, alongside Dr. Park and Pinto are saving my sons life. We have made it successfully through Phase one of Neuroblastoma protocol with our toddler in remission. We had heard great things about Dr. Waldhausen before meeting him. Sometimes people have a hard time living up to their reputation. The doctor was kind, relateable and totally put our minds at ease in the midst of a surgery aimed at removing a tumor that had wrapped itself around arteries and veins and major organs. When the four plus hour surgery was over he came out and said "I think we got it all". Sure enough the restaging tests a month later confirmed that. It's a beautiful thing to see a person living their purpose the way he is. Truly a blessing from God.

    • Ryan Port Orchard, WA 05.31.17

      Dr. Waldhausen is a very well known surgeon. He has separated several sets of conjoined twins. The nurses told us how amazing he is and his incredible reputation. Our daughter had a relatively normal intestinal surgery. It seemed like our surgery was too easy for Dr. Waldhausen. I mentioned this to him and he told me, "Every baby is important to me." I believed him. He came and checked on our daughter every single day for two weeks after the surgery. We were impressed with his professionalism and follow up. Thank you Dr. Waldhausen.

    • Ellis Mercer Island, WA 05.26.16

      My son was born in 2001 with a defect in his bowel and lower intestine. He was transported by ambulance from the hospital where he was born to Seattle Childrens. After he was examined by the team in the Emergency Department, Dr. Waldhausen introduced himself to us and told us that our son was being taken to the operating room for immediate surgery. The immediate risk was a perforation of his intestine because he was not able to evacuate his bowel. The surgery to address this issue took about two hours. Immediately following the surgery, Dr. Waldhausen found us and told us that he was not sure that there wasn't a nick remaining on his intestine, so they were going to open him back up to check. (My son was 3 days old at the time, so this was terrifying). After surgery number two Dr. Waldhausen reassured us that everything was ok and informed us of what was to follow. Due to the nature of the defect, there were other associated issues that could exist so a variety of specialists had to run many tests to determine if they were present. Fortunately none were present. Three days later another surgery, this one to create an abdominal stoma to allow my son to pass solid waste. Over the next six months there would be four more abdominal surgeries and then follow-up care for the next 12 months. Throughout the entire ordeal, Dr. Waldhausen was patient, thorough, and supremely talented. We are blessed to live in the Seattle area and to have had Dr. Waldhausen care for our newborn son.

    • Stacey Seattle Washington 04.19.16

      In 1996 my daughter needed lifesaving surgery. Dr. W performed a miracle and successfully operated on her intestines. She weighed less then 1 lb 2 oz at the time. Today she is a young lady of 19 years, happy to be alive. Dr W was so kind to us then, so compassionate and capable. We see him occasionally in the halls of Children's and he always remembers us and comes over to say hello. I cannot possibly describe how great full I am to this man, this surgeon, this hospital, just thank you!

    • Tracey Seattle, WA 01.07.16

      In October of 2013, my 4 year old daughter, Angel, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. The tumor that needed to be removed was close to major organs. Dr. Waldhausen knew I was heartbroken and afraid. But I will never, ever forget how he looked me straight in the eyes and said " I am going to remove this tumor, and Angel will be fine". The fear left me. I felt nothing but peace when Dr. Waldhausen said those words to me. I remember telling Dr. W. "you are like a celebrity". He said something along the lines of " My daughter doesn't think so, she just thinks I'm a regular DAD". Regular Dad? Dr. W. isn't even a regular man. He is a Angel sent here by the good Lord to save lives. I trusted Dr. Waldhausen like I have never, ever trusted ANY man on this earth. I trusted him with my baby's life. My daughter is still here, a thriving, happy, skinny little kindergartener. Thank you Dr. Waldhausen. Celebrity? No, and Brad Pitt don't got nothing on you Dr. W. Oh and your little Jennifer Anniston looking colleague, Dr. Julie Park...well she is the one who asked you to do the surgery on my daughter, so I thank and recommend her too. Dynamic Duo, you and Dr. Park, going pound for pound and round for round. I love you guys and thank you so very much!!! You guys saved my child's life. Period.

    • Cjandis Livingston MT 10.04.15

      I am a former patient of Dr Waldhausen; it's been nearly 15 years since the last time I went in to see him. When I became his patient, I was recently diagnosed with FAP, a condition that causes many different tumors, cancers, growths and more. As a ten year old, I already had many pre cancerous polyps lining my colon and rectum. That's where Dr W came in. He reconstructed my bowels while removing my colon and rectum, using part of my small intestine in the reconstruction. Recently as an adult and now a mother myself, I've learned just how very good a surgeon this Dr is. Researching the likelihood of becoming a parent after this surgery, the odds weren't in my favor. Most women with my surgical history have to undergo treatments for fertility, as well as wind up having cesarean births due to scar tissue. I have been lucky to have three natural pregnancies an births without complications. Also, in my most recent surgery, my surgeon was impressed with how little scar tissue there was considering the operations I went through at the hands of Dr Waldhausen.

    • Michelle Seattle, WA 01.20.14

      I would recommend Dr. Waldhausen hands down. 13 years ago my son need a stint put in his common bile duct so as not to lose his liver and he was only 2 months old. Dr. Waldhausen was the first person who assured me that even though this isn't something anyone had performed on such a little baby before that he would be able to do it with the assistance of the Formidable Gastro Team and that Nicholas would come through. We watch how he cared for my baby and his attention to us as new parents was above standards. WE knew that if we had to let him go we were blessed that it was in the hands of this man. He came thru and then 3 months later had to remove our son's gall bladder. John, never stopped his communications with us and showed up to be charmed by his little patient every morning on rounds. We owe our son's life to him really and just on January 16th, 2014 we celebrated our son's 13 birthday and donated to Children's in honor of his Doctor and the team of individuals at Seattle Children's. Thanks. The Joy family.

    • Jaela Hamilton, Mt. 09.21.13

      Dr. Waldhausen was the first person to tell me everything was going to be alright with my son. At 17 weeks gestational our son was diagnosed with CPAM during our ultrasound. The only thing we could do was try to get as far along as possible in order to give our son the best chance of survival. We made it full term and my son came out screaming away showing off the set of lungs we had been praying for! At 5 days old Dr. Waldhausen took our son into the O.R. to remove the mass from his chest, this being the scariest day of my life I was crying uncontrollably and Dr. Waldhausen kindly said that everything was going to be alright. I waited to hear those words throughout my entire pregnancy hoping and praying that the doctors would tell me that things would be just fine but no one would because the outcome was unknown. However when Dr. Waldhausen took my boy into his care he knew that he would take care of him and that he would get through his surgery just fine. My family and I hold a very special place in our heart for Dr. Waldhausen. I highly recommend him, his professional manner is top shelf, his care is of the highest quality and his knowledge and expertise is exceptional!

    • Betsy Homosassa, Florida 03.05.11

      Dr. John Waldhausen was waiting for my husband at our newborn's bedside (10 years ago yesterday) when he arrived at Seattle Children's Hospital. Henry (our son) was born with a rare congenital defect - Cloacal Exstrophy with a Giant Ompholacele - and was taken via ambulance from Tacoma to Seattle Children's Hospital. I had to stay in Tacoma overnight, without my husband or first born. Dr. Waldhausen waited for Ken to arrive so that he could explain the diagnosis and answer any questions that he had. When I was released and got to Seattle Children's Hospital the next day, Dr. Waldhausen was so caring, compassionate, and professional that we immediately felt relief and were very optimistic about Henry's care. The professionalism and care that Henry received while under Dr. Waldhausen's direction was above par. Dr. Waldhausen answered every question we had, no matter how busy he was. Even after Henry was no longer under Dr. Waldhausen's care (Henry had moved on to the Urology Department) we would see him in the hospital corridor and he would stop and ask how Henry was doing and why we were there. Henry had a stint in the PICU for a collapsed lung at 6 months...Dr. Waldhausen came every day that week that to check on him. We have only amazing memories of Dr. Waldhausen and a nurse on his staff, Lanie Wishnie. God bless you both and thank you for your part in helping our amazing ten year old son, Henry. Betsy Licklider (Henry's Mom)

  • Award Name Award Description Awarded By Award Date
    SEATTLE TOP DOCTOR - 2022 Seattle Magazine 2022
    Seattle Top Doctor - 2019 Seattle Magazine 2019
    SEATTLE'S TOP DOCTOR - 2018 Seattle Magazine 2018
    SEATTLE'S TOP DOCTOR - 2017 Seattle Magazine 2017
    SEATTLE'S TOP DOCTOR - 2015 Seattle Met Magazine 2015
    SEATTLE MAGAZINE TOP DOCTOR - 2015 Seattle Magazine 2015
    SEATTLE'S TOP DOCTOR - 2014 Seattle Metropolitan Magazine 2014
    SEATTLE MAGAZINE TOP DOCTOR - 2014 Seattle Magazine 2014
    Seattle Magazine Top Doctor - 2013 Seattle Magazine 2013
    Seattle's Top Doc Seattle Met Magazine 2013
    Seattle Magazine Top Doctor - 2012 Seattle Magazine 2012
    U.S. News Top Doctor U.S. News and World Report 2012
     Top Doctor - Seattle Magazine Seattle Magazine Jan 1, 2009
  • Manuscripts in Refereed Journals

    • Merguerian PA, Grady R, Waldhausen J, Libby A, Murphy W, Melzer L, Avansino J
      Optimizing value utilizing Toyota Kata methodology in a multidisciplinary clinic.
      26169487 Journal of pediatric urology, 2015 Aug. : 11(4)228.e1-6

    Published Books, Videos, Software, etc.

    • Waldhausen JHT
      Pediatric General and Thoracic Surgery, Residents Manual
      Division of Pediatric General and Thoracic Surgery, 2013

    Other Publications

    • Merguerian PA, Grady R, Waldhausen J, Libby A, Murphy W, Melzer L, Avansino J
      Optimizing value utilizing Toyota Kata methodology in a multidisciplinary clinic.
      26169487 Journal of pediatric urology, 2015 Aug. : 11(4)228.e1-6
    • Merguerian PA, Grady R, Waldhausen J, Libby A, Murphy W, Melzer L, Avansino J
      Optimizing value utilizing Toyota Kata methodology in a multidisciplinary clinic.
      26169487 Journal of pediatric urology, 2015 Aug. : 11(4)228.e1-6
    • Waldhausen JHT
      Thyroglossal Duct Cysts
      PedSCORE Module. American Board of Surgery, 2015 April
    • Ricca RL, Waldhausen JHT
      Thoracoscopic Approaches to Congenital Lung Lesions
      SAGES Manual of Minimally Invasive Pediatric Surgery, 2015
    • McAteer JP, Sanchez SE, Rutledge JC, Waldhausen JH
      Isolated appendiceal typhlitis masquerading as perforated appendicitis in the setting of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
      24448913 Pediatric surgery international, 2014 May : 30(5)561-4
    • McAteer J, Waldhausen JHT
      Head and Neck Sinuses and Masses, Salivary Lesions
      Pediatric Surgery, 5th edition, 2014
    • Waldhausen JHT, Hilfiger M
      Conjoined Twins
      Operative Pediatric Surgery, 2014
    • Avansino JR, Goldin AB, Risley R, Waldhausen JH, Sawin RS
      Standardization of operative equipment reduces cost.
      24074655 Journal of pediatric surgery, 2013 Sept. : 48(9)1843-9
    • Wong TB, Rowell JC, Waldhausen JH, Parisi MA, Jonmarker C
      Anesthesia in a 12 year old boy with somatic overgrowth secondary to pericentric inversion of chromosome 12.
      23274076 Journal of clinical anesthesia, 2013 March : 25(2)135-7
    • Waldhausen JHT with Steve Gottlieb
      SCH Pioneers Less Painful, Costly and Time-Consuming Thoracoscopic Surgery for Vascular Rings
      Seattle Childrens Blog, 2012
    • Waldhausen JHT with Steve Gottlieb
      Deploying an Automobile Manufacturing Process to Serve Patients Better
      Seattle Childrens Blog, 2012
    • Mattix K, Healey PJ, Sawin RS, Waldhausen JH
      Parapagus conjoined twins with unilateral mesenteric venous outflow.
      21843733 Journal of pediatric surgery, 2011 Aug. : 46(8)1631-3
    • Waldhausen JHT
      Equal Access to Care Eliminates Racial and Socioeconomic Disparities in the Treatment of Appendicitis, Invited Commentary
      Arch Surg, 2011 : 146:161
    • Waldhausen JHT
      What Surgeons can learn from Toyota, in Jump Ropes to Genetics
      2011 : 146-147
    • Waldhausen JHT
      Fundamentals of Pediatric Surgery, 2nd edition, 2011
    • Waldhausen JHT
      Health Care Reform and Access
      Arch Surg, 2011 : 146:161
    • Waldhausen JH, Avansino JR, Libby A, Sawin RS
      Application of lean methods improves surgical clinic experience.
      20638518 Journal of pediatric surgery, 2010 July : 1420-5
    • Waldhausen JH, Grosfeld JL
      Journal-based continuing medical education for the Journal of Pediatric Surgery.
      20620298 Journal of pediatric surgery, 2010 June : 1079
    • Lao OB, Crouthamel MR, Goldin AB, Sawin RS, Waldhausen JH, Kim SS
      Thoracoscopic repair of congenital diaphragmatic hernia in infancy.
      20059390 Journal of laparoendoscopic & advanced surgical techniques. Part A, 2010 April : 271-6
    • Lao OB, Larison C, Garrison MM, Waldhausen JH, Goldin AB
      Outcomes in neonates with gastroschisis in U.S. children's hospitals.
      19866404 American journal of perinatology, 2010 Jan. : 97-101
    • Acierno SP, Waldhausen JHT
      Head and Neck Sinuses and Masses, Salivary Lesions
      Pediatric Surgery, 5th edition, 2010
    • Jensen AR, Waldhausen JH, Kim SS
      The use of a spring-loaded silo for gastroschisis: impact on practice patterns and outcomes.
      19528383 Archives of surgery (Chicago, Ill. : 1960), 2009 June : 516-9
    • Jensen AR, Goldin AB, Koopmeiners JS, Stevens J, Waldhausen JH, Kim SS
      The association of cyclic parenteral nutrition and decreased incidence of cholestatic liver disease in patients with gastroschisis.
      19159741 Journal of pediatric surgery, 2009 Jan. : 183-9
    • Riehle KJ, Magnuson DK, Waldhausen JH
      Low recurrence rate after Gore-Tex/Marlex composite patch repair for posterolateral congenital diaphragmatic hernia.
      18022433 Journal of pediatric surgery, 2007 Nov. : 1841-4
    • Acierno SP, Waldhausen JH
      Congenital cervical cysts, sinuses and fistulae.
      17346566 Otolaryngologic clinics of North America, 2007 Feb. : 161-76, vii-viii
    • Waldhausen JH, Redding GJ, Song KM
      Vertical expandable prosthetic titanium rib for thoracic insufficiency syndrome: a new method to treat an old problem.
      17208544 Journal of pediatric surgery, 2007 Jan. : 76-80
    • Lee SL, Beyer TD, Kim SS, Waldhausen JH, Healey PJ, Sawin RS, Ledbetter DJ
      Initial nonoperative management and delayed closure for treatment of giant omphaloceles.
      17101356 Journal of pediatric surgery, 2006 Nov. : 1846-9
    • Waldhausen JH
      Branchial cleft and arch anomalies in children.
      16616308 Seminars in pediatric surgery, 2006 May : 64-9
    • Kim SS, Lau ST, Lee SL, Waldhausen JH
      The learning curve associated with laparoscopic pyloromyotomy.
      16185119 Journal of laparoendoscopic & advanced surgical techniques. Part A, 2005 Oct. : 474-7
    • Kim SS, Lau ST, Lee SL, Schaller R Jr, Healey PJ, Ledbetter DJ, Sawin RS, Waldhausen JH
      Pyloromyotomy: a comparison of laparoscopic, circumumbilical, and right upper quadrant operative techniques.
      15978445 Journal of the American College of Surgeons, 2005 July : 66-70
    • Casale P, Grady RW, Waldhausen JH, Joyner BD, Wright J, Mitchell ME
      Cloacal exstrophy variants. Can blighted conjoined twinning play a role?
      15311049 The Journal of urology, 2004 Sept. : 1103-6, discussion 1106-7
    • Weidner BC, Waldhausen JH
      Swenson revisited: a one-stage, transanal pull-through procedure for Hirschsprung's disease.
      12891494 Journal of pediatric surgery, 2003 Aug. : 1208-11
    • Kim SS, Waldhausen JH, Weidner BC, Grady R, Mitchell M, Sawin R
      Perineal reconstruction of female conjoined twins.
      12483645 Journal of pediatric surgery, 2002 Dec. : 1740-3
    • Waldhausen JH, Cusick RA, Graham DD, Pittinger TP, Sawin RS
      Removal of chest tubes in children without water seal after elective thoracic procedures: a randomized prospective study.
      11949746 Journal of the American College of Surgeons, 2002 April : 411-5
    • Powel D, Hirschl R, Waldhausen JHT, eds.
      Not a Textbok
      American Pediatric Surgical Association On line Reference., In develop
  • Presentations Title Event Location Date
    Predictors of Lung Function Decline Over 5 Years in Children with Early Onset Scoliosis (EOS), Redding GJ, Roth M, White K, Krengel W, Emerson J, Bompadre V, Waldhausen JHT, Joshi A. Submitted to American Thoracic Society 2015
    Characteristics of Obstructive Lung disease in Children with Early Onset Scoliosis, Hurn H, Redding G , White K, Krengel W, Waldhausen JHT, Megan M, Bompadre V, Joshi A. Submitted to ICEOS, Boston 2015
    Longitudinal Trends Over 5 Years in Cobb angle, Lung Function, and Nutritional Status in Children with EOS, Redding G, Bompadre V, Roth M, Anigian K, Garza Z, Emerson J, Waldhausen JHT, White K, Krenge K, Joshi A Submitted to SRS 2015 2015
    Pediatric Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infections: Contemporary Diagnosis, Management, and Outcome, Putnam LR, Richards MK, Sandvall BK, Hopper RA, Waldhausen JHT, Harting MT Submitted to The American Pediatric Surgical Association 2015
    Laboratory evaluation for pediatric patients with suspected necrotizing soft tissue infections: a case-control study. Putnam LR, Richards MK, Sandvall BK, Hopper RA, Waldhausen JHT, Harting MT Accepted at the AAP 2015
    VEPTR for Pediatric Thoracic Insufficiency and chest wall reconstruction 2001-2014, Lessons Learned LeBonheur Childrens Hospital Memphis, TN June 2014
    Utility of Onsite Interviews in the Pediatric Surgery Match, Downard, CD, Goldin A, Garrison MM, Waldhausen JHT, Langham M, Hirschl R Surgical Section of the AAP San Diego, CA 2014
    Optimizing Value Utilizing Toyota Kata Methodology in a Multidisciplinary Clinic, Avansino J, Libby A, Murphy W, Melzer L, Waldhausen JHT, Merguerian PA. Accepted for poster presentation at the Surgical Section of the AAP, San Diego, CA 2014
    Conjoined Twins Muller Jones Surgical Society Charlottesville, VA April 2013
    Vesicourethral reflux and febrile urinaty tract infections in anorectal malformations: a retrospective review, Sanchez S, Ricca R, Joyner B, Waldhausen JHT American Pediatric Surgical Association Marco Island, FL 2013
    Minimally invasive approaches to Crohns Disease, Faculty IPEG San Diego, CA April 2012
    Novel uses of the VEPTR for chest wall reconstruction UW Department of Surgery Grand Rounds Seattle, WA April 2012
    Standardization of Operative Equipment Reduces Cost, Avansino JR, Goldin AB, Risley R, Waldhausen JHT, Sawin RS Pacific Coast Surgical Association Napa Valley, CA 2012
    The Effort and Cost of the Pediatric Surgery Match Process: Are We Interviewing Too Many Candidates? Thatch KA, Islam S, Azarow KA, Chen MK, Downard CD, Lillehei CW, Waldhausen JHT, Oldham KT, Langham MR, Hirschl R Surgical Section of the AAP New Orleans, LA 2012
    When the fascia will not close: difficult abdominal wall closures in gastroschisis, invited lecturer Surgical Section of the AAP Boston, MA Oct. 2011
    16th Annual Congress of Peruvian Pediatric Surgeons, Faculty Cuzco Peru Sept. 2011
    The ACGME Case Log: General Surgery Resident Experience in Pediatric General Surgery, Gow KW, Aarabi S, Waldhausen JHT American College of Surgeons San Francisco, CA 2011
    Gastroesophageal Reflux, Anorectal malformations, Surgical Education, Novel uses for Titanium Rib Constructs in chest wall reconstruction, and Fetal Surgery 15th Annual Congress of Peruvian Pediatric Surgeons Lima, Peru Sept. 2010
    Tricks of the Trade in Pediatric Surgery, Rainbow Babies Hospital, Faculty International Web Conference March 2010
    Abstract Title: Atypical applications of rib and spine based constructs for the management of thoracic insufficiency syndrome (TIS), Song, Redding G, Waldhausen JHT Accepted at the International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST) Toronto, Canada 2010
    Atypical usage of the VEPTR implant for chest wall and spinal deformity 3rd International Congress on Early Onset Scoliosis and Growing Spine (ICEOS) Istanbul, Turkey Nov 1, 2009
    VQ asymmetry changes following rib and spine based treatment of TIS SRS 2009 unknown Jan 1, 2009


Board Certification(s)

Surgery (General Surgery)
Pediatric Surgery

Medical/Professional School

Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA


University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA

Clinical Interests

Minimally invasive surgery in children

Research Focus Area

Translational Research