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Paediatric Surgery

Paediatric Surgery

What is Paediatric Surgery?

Paediatric Surgery is the only surgical speciality which is defined by the patient's age rather than by a specific condition. 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.

Principles of neonatal and paediatric surgery

  • History and physical examination of the neonate and child
  • Maintenance if body temperature
  • Assessment of respiratory and cardiovascular function
  • Metabolic status
  • Fluids, electrolytes and metabolic response
  • Vascular access
  • Paediatric trauma

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.

Paediatric Surgical specialties include:

  • Neonatal surgery (birth to4 weeks)
  • General pediatric surgery
  • Surgery for cancerous and noncancerous tumors
  • Trauma surgery
  • Laparoscopic surgery
  • Endoscopy (bronchoscopy, esophagoscopy, peritoneoscopy and thoracoscopy)
  • Noncardiac thoracic (chest) surgery