Pediatric surgery (sometimes spelled paediatric surgery) is a subspecialty of surgery involving the surgery of fetuses, infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. Many pediatric surgeons practice at children's hospitals.
Pediatric surgeons have completed a general surgery residency (medicine), then complete two more years of subspecialty fellowship training before they are eligible to take the board examination for official subspecialty certification. In the United States and Canada, approximately 35 surgeons complete training as pediatric surgeons each year.
Pediatric surgery arose in the middle of the 20th century as the surgical care of birth defects required novel techniques and methods and became more commonly based at children's hospitals. One of the sites of this innovation was Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Beginning in the 1940s under the surgical leadership of C. Everett Koop, newer techniques for endotracheal anesthesia of infants allowed surgical repair of previously untreatable birth defects. By the late 1970s, the infant death rate from several major congenital malformation syndromes had been reduced to near zero.
Common pediatric diseases that may require pediatric surgery include
- congenital malformations: lymphangioma, cleft lip and palate,esophageal atresia and tracheoesophageal fistula, hypertrophic pyloric stenosis, intestinal atresia, necrotizing enterocolitis, meconium plugs, Hirschsprung's disease, imperforate anus, undescended testes,...
- abdominal wall defects: omphalocele, gastroschisis, hernias,...
- chest wall deformities: pectus excavatum
- childhood tumors: like neuroblastoma, Wilms' tumor, rhabdomyosarcoma, ATRT, liver tumors, teratomas,...
- OnLine Pediatric Surgery Handbook
- The Division of Pediatric Surgery at Hasbro Children's Hospital - Providence, Rhode Island
- The American Pediatric Surgical Association
- The Canadian Association of Paediatric Surgeons - L'Association Canadienne de Chirurgie pédiatrique
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Division of Pediatric Surgery
- University of Bern, Pediatric Surgery e-Learning Modules