John H T Waldhausen, MD

John H T Waldhausen, MD

General Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, Transplantation, Oncology, Reconstructive Pelvic Medicine

On staff since October 1992

Children's Title: Division Chief, General Surgery; Program Director, Surgical Education and Training; Program Director, Surgical Residency

Academic Title: Professor of Surgery

Research Center: Center for Clinical and Translational Research

"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 chief of the Division of General and Thoracic Surgery at Seattle Children’s Hospital, and a professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He is also the director of the pediatric surgery fellowship program.

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 Federal Way, Bellevue and the TriCities. 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, Penn. He completed his residency at the University of Virginia and his pediatric surgery fellowship at Seattle Children’s.


  • 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)


Board Certification(s)

Surgery - General
Pediatric Surgery

Medical/Professional School

Penn State University Hospital - Milton S Hershey College of Medicine, Hershey


Surgery - General, University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville


Pediatric Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle

Clinical Interests

Minimally invasive surgery in children

Research Focus Area

Translational Research

Awards and Honors

Award Name Award Description Awarded By Award Date
SEATTLE'S TOP DOCTOR - 2014 Seattle Metropolitan Magazine 2014
SEATTLE MAGAZINE TOP DOCTOR - 2014 Seattle Magazine 2014
Seattle's Top Doc Seattle Met Magazine 2013
Seattle Magazine Top Doctor - 2013 Seattle Magazine 2013
U.S. News Top Doctor U.S. News and World Report 2012
Seattle Magazine Top Doctor - 2012 Seattle Magazine Top Doctor - 2012 Seattle Magazine 2012
 Top Doctor - Seattle Magazine Seattle Magazine Jan. 1, 2009


  • Waldhausen JH, Avansino JR, Libby A, Sawin RS
    Application of lean methods improves surgical clinic experience.
    Journal of pediatric surgery , 2010 July : 1420-5
  • Waldhausen JH, Grosfeld JL
    Journal-based continuing medical education for the Journal of Pediatric Surgery.
    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.
    Journal of laparoendoscopic & advanced surgical techniques. Part A , 2010 Apr, : 271-6
  • Lao OB, Larison C, Garrison MM, Waldhausen JH, Goldin AB
    Outcomes in neonates with gastroschisis in U.S. children's hospitals.
    American journal of perinatology , 2010 Jan. : 97-101
  • Jensen AR, Waldhausen JH, Kim SS
    The use of a spring-loaded silo for gastroschisis: impact on practice patterns and outcomes.
    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.
    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.
    Journal of pediatric surgery , 2007 Nov. : 1841-4
  • Acierno SP, Waldhausen JH
    Congenital cervical cysts, sinuses and fistulae.
    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.
    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.
    Journal of pediatric surgery , 2006 Nov. : 1846-9
  • Waldhausen JH
    Branchial cleft and arch anomalies in children.
    Seminars in pediatric surgery , 2006 May : 64-9
  • Kim SS, Lau ST, Lee SL, Waldhausen JH
    The learning curve associated with laparoscopic pyloromyotomy.
    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.
    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?
    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.
    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.
    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.
    Journal of the American College of Surgeons , 2002 Apr, : 411-5


Presentations Title Event Location Date
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