The pediatric surgeons at Children’s Hospital Colorado are specially trained to treat infants, children, teens and young adults. They offer a range of tests, procedures and services for a variety of conditions, including tumors, chest wall deformities, lung disorders and more.
What services do we offer for pediatric surgery?
Our pediatric surgeons specialize in many kinds of surgery. Some focus on providing surgical treatment for common childhood conditions, such as acute appendicitis, lumps and bumps, and congenital hernias. Other pediatric surgeons focus on very specific surgical conditions such as cancer, trauma and burns, and conditions affecting the liver, kidney and the intestinal tract.
Prior to surgery, your child’s doctor may require an imaging test to plan the best way to approach the surgery. Many of our doctors also use imaging during the surgery itself so they can see inside the body in real time. We provide a range of imaging services, including computerized tomography (CT), fluoroscopy, interventional radiology, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nuclear imaging, positron emission technology (PET), ultrasound and X-rays.
Along with state-of-the-art technology to produce the images, we have a team of skilled radiologists to read them and collaborate with doctors on treatment.
Minimally invasive surgery
Our pediatric surgeons use minimally invasive surgery, which uses small incisions to help kids recover quicker after surgery. The types of minimally invasive techniques that we use include laparoscopic, thoracoscopic and endoscopic procedures.
One of the most frequent and most important operations that a pediatric surgeon performs is providing access for feeding. This can be a tube inserted through the abdominal wall directly into the stomach, called a gastrostomy tube or “g-tube” or “g-button.” Alternatively, a pediatric surgeon may be asked to place a catheter or port into a large vein to provide reliable intravenous access to deliver nutrition or medication. External tunneled catheters are often referred to as Broviac or Hickman catheters. If a patient does not need daily intravenous access, a subcutaneous port (port inserted under the skin) or Mediport may be placed. These devices also provide routes for intravenous medications and nutrition, blood draws and blood product transfusions. When nutritional support must continue at home, we will provide information on G tubes and at-home care and central lines and at-home care.
Subspecialties within the Department of Pediatric Surgery
Many of our pediatric surgeons have spent years and sometimes decades studying and perfecting surgery for very specific conditions, such as:
The Bariatric Surgery Center offers two types of surgeries to treat obesity – vertical sleeve gastrectomy and Roux-en-Y bypass surgery. These surgeries have been found to promote weight loss and reverse certain conditions associated with obesity. Our program has also done extensive research on bariatric surgery in teens and leads many studies related to bariatric surgery and its benefits.
Bowel management and surgical treatment of anorectal malformations
Our pediatric surgeons and urologists work together in the only pediatric center in the western United States dedicated to the surgical treatment of anorectal malformations. At the International Center for Colorectal and Urogenital Care, our specialists develop treatments to help kids with incontinence have a better quality of life. They perform surgeries for congenital conditions such as Hirschsprung disease, cloaca and fecal incontinence.
Chest wall deformities and the Nuss procedure
The Nuss procedure can improve the function of the heart and lungs for children with pectus excavatum or “funnel chest,” as well as improve a child’s confidence and body image. Learn more about the Nuss procedure, pectus excavatum and pectus carinatum.
Diaphragmatic hernia and congenital lung problems
Some babies are born with a hole in their diaphragm known as diaphragmatic hernia. Not only does this allow the intestines to push up into the chest, but it also interferes with normal lung growth and development. These babies can be very sick and require specialized critical care including extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), which we offer at our Colorado Fetal Care Center.
Surgeons at the Colorado Fetal Care Center specialize in prenatal (before birth) and newborn surgery and have extensive training in treating conditions that are diagnosed before birth. Our fetal testing and intervention services cover a wide range of congenital conditions.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) surgery
We provide specialized care for kids, teens and young adults with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. We have the only IBD center in the Rocky Mountain region.
Jaundiced infants and liver disease
The Pediatric Liver Center at Children’s Colorado includes pediatric and surgical specialists, who are nationally known experts in the management of this rare group of patients. One of the diseases, biliary atresia, can be treated with the Kasai procedure, which replaces the blocked bile ducts with a section of small intestine. If a child has liver disease that reaches a stage that requires transplantation, our experts at the Pediatric Liver Transplant Program are ranked as some of the best in the country.
Trauma and burns
Children’s Colorado is home to the only American College of Surgeons-verified Level I Pediatric Trauma Center in Rocky Mountain region. Our pediatric surgeons, sub-specialty surgeons, physicians, nurses and therapists care for children with single or complex multisystem trauma- and burn-related injuries. We coordinate pediatric transport within Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region. We manage patients from emergency, acute operative and ICU care through the outpatient and rehabilitative settings.
Children’s Colorado’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders is one of the top pediatric cancer treatment centers in the United States. Pediatric surgeons in the Surgical Oncology Program surgically remove cancerous and benign (non-cancerous) tumors from the kidney, liver, chest, stomach and other sites.
Vascular anomalies surgery
Our pediatric surgeons work with other specialists in the Vascular Anomalies Center to evaluate and treat patients with vascular malformations and tumors, such as hemangiomas. We sometimes use surgery to treat vascular anomalies.
If you have questions, or you would like more information about the Department of Pediatric Surgery, please contact us at 720-777-6571.