The following is reprinted from the American College of Surgeons who owns the copyright.
What is a pediatric
When your child needs medical treatment, you want him or her to have the very best care available.
So it stands to reason that if your child needs an operation, you will want to consult with a surgeon who is qualified and
experienced in operating on children. Surgeons who specialize in general surgery often provide surgical care for children,
and they are fully qualified to perform many operations on children. In more urbanized areas of the country, another kind
of surgeon -- the pediatric surgeon -- is also available to provide comprehensive surgical care for children. Pediatric surgeons
operate on children whose development ranges from the newborn stage through the teenage years.
What is the pediatric surgeon's role in treating the child?
are primarily concerned with the diagnosis, preoperative, operative, and postoperative management of surgical problems in
children. Some medical conditions in newborns are not compatible with a good quality of life unless these problems are corrected
surgically. These conditions must be recognized immediately by neonatologists, pediatricians, and family physicians. Pediatric
surgeons cooperate with all of the specialists involved in a child's medical care to determine whether surgery is the best
option for the child.
What is the focus of pediatric
Pediatric surgeons utilize their expertise in providing surgical care for all problems or conditions
affecting children that require surgical intervention. They participate in transplantation operations, and like most surgeons
today, they use laparoscopic techniques for some operations. They also have particular expertise in the following areas of
Neonatal - Pediatric
surgeons have specialized knowledge in the surgical repair of birth defects, some of which may be life threatening to premature
and full-term infants.
- Pediatric surgeons, in cooperation with radiologists, use ultrasound and other technologies during the fetal stage of a
child's development to detect any abnormalities. They can then plan corrective surgery and educate and get to know parents
before their baby is born. Prenatal diagnosis may lead to fetal surgery, which is a new forefront in the subspecialty of pediatric
surgery. Application of most fetal surgical techniques is still in the experimental stage.
Trauma - Because trauma is the number one killer of children in the United States,
pediatric surgeons are routinely faced with critical care situations involving traumatic injuries sustained by children that
may or may not require surgical intervention. Many pediatric surgeons are involved in accident prevention programs in their
communities that are aimed at curbing traumatic injuries in children.
Pediatric Oncology - Pediatric surgeons are involved in the diagnosis and surgical care of
children with malignant tumors as well as those with benign growths.
How are pediatric surgeons trained and certified?
Pediatric surgeons must have graduated
from an accredited medical school and must have completed five years of graduate surgical education in an accredited general
surgery residency program. Then, they must complete two additional years of full-time education in an approved fellowship
program in pediatric surgery. Following completion of their two-year study in the subspecialty of pediatric surgery, they
must pass a written examination to ensure that their surgical knowledge is of the highest level and an oral exam to determine
their ability to manage a variety of surgical problems in infants and children.
In order to take this examination, they must first become board certified in general surgery. After these
requirements have been fulfilled, surgeons are granted a special certificate in the subspecialty of pediatric surgery. This
certificate must be renewed every 10 years to ensure that every pediatric surgeon is competent and up-to-date with regard
to advances in pediatric surgical care.
can a pediatric surgeon make?
Pediatric surgeons specialize in the surgical care of children. They are surgeons
who, by training, are oriented toward working with children and understanding their special needs. In addition, they work
with various specialists who are also oriented towards the next century. Pediatric surgeons are able to save whole lifetimes,
and have the opportunity to follow their patients through a productive young life into adulthood.