Pediatric general surgery focuses on abdominal contents including esophagus, stomach, small bowel, colon, liver, pancreas, gallbladder and bile ducts, and often the thyroid gland in children.
What is it?
Pediatric general surgery is a specialty that focuses on a broad range of systems and areas of the body of a child, from newborns to adolescents. Pediatric general surgeons are qualified to perform procedures in most areas of the child’s body, including the neck, skin and soft tissues, and vascular and endocrine systems.
What are the subspecialties?
The specialty of Pediatric General Surgery is a broad specialty with many associated subspecialties, but some of the commonly associated subspecialties include neonatal surgery, prenatal surgery, trauma, pediatric surgical oncology, and gastrointestinal surgery.
What are the commonly associated medical diseases and symptoms?
Due to the vast areas of the body that are covered by pediatric general surgery, there are a wide array of symptoms and diseases covered by this specialty. Common diseases are appendicitis, caused by an infection of the appendix, biliary atresia, a congenital condition where the liver does not excrete all of its fluids, and hernia, where a hole in the groin does not close after birth.
What are the commonly associated medical procedures?
Hernia repair is one of the most common medical procedures performed on children. Appendectomy is the surgical removal of a child’s appendix and a splenectomy is the removal of the spleen. Additionally, surgical treatments to remove parts of the liver and kidney are frequently performed.
Are there any preventative measures I can take?
Parents are encouraged to ensure that children are properly hydrated and nourished. A nutritious diet has been shown to improve organ functions and control weight loss, while keeping their immune system healthy.
What are the common misconceptions about this specialty?
A common misconception is that pediatric surgeons are not as skilled as adult surgeons. This is untrue however, as pediatric surgeons must undergo additional training. This is demonstrated by the fact that there are fewer surgeons in this specialty.
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