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Pediatric Surgery

What is pediatric surgery?

If your child needs surgery, we are here to provide a caring environment to support your whole family, consulting with you at every stage. Our pediatric surgery team specializes in care for children up to the age of 14, providing world-class treatment using advanced surgical procedures and the latest equipment and surgical tools. We work with experts from across Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare (JHAH) to provide specialist care for all pediatric surgical conditions.

Pediatric surgical treatments, services and procedures

Often minimally invasive, our surgical procedures use the latest technology and expertise to effectively treat your child, while making them feel as reassured as possible. They include thoracic and abdominal procedures such as: hernia repair, gastrostomy tubes, Nissen’s fundoplication, cholecystectomy, splenectomy, appendectomy and others. We also perform bariatric and metabolic surgery, and treat abdominal undescended testis and intra-abdominal cysts.

If your child needs treatment for a congenital or acquired colorectal illness, we can help. Ailments treated include: imperforate anus, persistent cloaca, Hirschsprung’s disease, refractory ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, complex anorectal malformations, perineal disease, management of sphincter incompetence and rectal prolapse, and redo anorectal surgeries.

Our teams know the importance of ensuring your child feels comfortable if cancer treatment is needed, and we work hard to provide a caring environment to support your whole family. Our pediatric surgical team provides expert treatment if your child or adolescent is fighting benign or malignant tumors such as Wilms tumor; neuroblastoma; germ cell tumors; liver tumors or others.

Find out more about our child cancer services

Many thoracic problems that your child may be dealing with can be treated with minimally invasive surgery. Ailments we regularly tackle include: chest wall deformities, esophageal anomalies, lung anomalies, lung and pleural space infections, esophageal achalasia treatment, thoracic duct ligation, branchial cyst excisions and others. We also perform complex thoracic surgeries such as congenital pulmonary malformations resection, tracheal tumors and cysts excision, and esophageal pathologies treatment.

Find out more about our cardiothoracic surgeries

What to expect from our pediatric surgical services

If you have been told that your child requires surgery, it can be a difficult time for your family, and we aim to make the experience as easy to manage as possible. We will start by sending you confirmation of your child’s surgical clinic appointment by SMS and/or email. If you need to cancel or reschedule, our online health portal MyChart is easy to use, or you can call 800-305-4444 at least 24 hours before your appointment.

Try to arrive 15 minutes before your appointment and go directly to the reception area to check in/register. Within five minutes, a member of our nursing staff will carry out a physical assessment and check your child’s medical history with you. You can then expect a wait of around 20 to 30 minutes before meeting your surgeon.

Your meeting with the surgeon will last 20 to 30 minutes and will give us a chance to talk through with you how things will progress, and set out a treatment plan. We may be able to provide a diagnosis at this first visit, but often additional testing may be needed. Some of these tests can be done on the same day, and others might need a separate appointment or special preparation. Before you leave, our team will provide you with detailed instructions about what will happen next. If your child needs surgery, we will arrange it.

A few weeks before surgery, we will ask you to bring your child to the hospital for a preadmission visit, to assess their condition and talk through with you and your child what will happen before, during and after surgery. This visit will last about 20 minutes. Feel free to ask questions and request any information you need. You may also be invited to meet with the anesthesiologist, who will perform a further assessment.

About 24 hours before your child is due to have surgery, our pre-operation nursing team will give you a call to talk through your child’s health and confirm surgery. If you need to cancel surgery, please inform the team as soon as possible, to give other youngsters a chance to receive treatment in your slot.

We will let you know what time to check in and will ask that your child fasts from eight hours prior to arrival, and then drinks only clear liquids until two hours before surgery. Your dedicated team will tell you if medication your child may already be taking needs to be stopped, and you should bring all medication with you. Your child should shower and wear clean, comfortable clothes before coming to the operation. Children up to the age of 14 years must be accompanied by a guardian, who should be available at all times.

If your child is admitted to the hospital, there are a few things to consider:

Security – at admission, your child will be given a wristband that they will need to wear at all times during their stay at the hospital. Keeping it on is important to make sure they receive the right treatment.

Meals – food is an important part of treatment and wellbeing, and your child’s doctor will decide what is best for them to eat, based on their medical condition and nutrition status.

Clothing and amenities – a hospital gown and non-slip socks will be provided, and your child may wear appropriate clothing from home. 

Your room – your child will be given a single or double-occupancy room according to their medical condition.

Find out more about being an inpatient at JHAH

On the day of discharge, you will be given a letter about the medication your child will need to take following discharge, a supply of medication, their medical plan, and details of any follow-up appointments. During your child’s time in hospital, your dedicated team will discuss with you what will happen when they leave, and plan for the use of any equipment, services or special help they may require.

If additional support is needed after you leave hospital, a case manager will be assigned to your child. They will help arrange any necessary home care or physiotherapy.

Our patients say it best

The JHAH staff were friendly and helpful during my son’s knee surgery, which has already improved his quality of life. Thank you.

MyChart