is important that you be honest with
your child. In a non-threatening way,
being careful not to use words that
will make the general peadiatric
surgery sound scary. Let
your child know what's going to happen.
Make your explanation age-sensitive.
Don't overwhelm a younger child with
detailed (and scary) explanations.
Remember to tell your child that you
will be close to him throughout the
entire hospital visit. Children often
feel much less apprehensive when they
know they're not going to be left
of General Surgery
Division of General Surgery diagnoses and
treats surgical conditions in infants, children,
and adolescents. Typical diagnoses include
inguinal hernias, umbilical hernias, pyloric
stenosis, undescended testes, and appendicitis.
Congenital and acquired lesions of the head
and neck, chest, abdomen, gastrointestinal
tract, and endocrine organs as well as skin
lesions are frequently seen in our clinic.
Division is staffed by physicians who are
certified by the American Board of Surgery
with special competence in pediatric surgery
whose areas of expertise range from gastrointestinal
diseases (i.e., gastroesophageal reflux,
inflammatory bowel disease, and gallbladder
disease) to tumors, newborn surgery (including
the neonatal Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation
Program [ECMO]), laparoscopy, and thoracoscopy.
Fetal consultations and child abuse consultations
are also provided through our general surgery
service. Twenty-four-hour pediatric surgical
care is available through duPonts Emergency
- Diagnosis of pediatric
- Treatment of
pediatric surgical conditions
- Fetal consultations
- Pediatric trauma
General Pediatric Surgery
How much should I tell my child beforehand
is important that you be honest with your
child. In a non-threatening way, being careful
not to use words that will make the surgery
sound scary. Let your child know what's
going to happen. Make your explanation age-sensitive.
Don't overwhelm a younger child with detailed
(and scary) explanations. Remember to tell
your child that you will be close to him
throughout the entire hospital visit. Children
often feel much less apprehensive when they
know they're not going to be left alone.
my child have two different procedures done
(by two doctors at the same time)?
it is possible for more than one procedure
to be accomplished at the same time, as
long as it is considered to be safe for
the child. It is also possible for more
than one surgeon to perform the procedures.
you perform any plastic surgery?
pediatric surgeons always perform plastic
surgical techniques to make certain that
patients have the best cosmetic results
possible, and do perform some plastic surgical
procedures. They do not perform complex
What is a hernia?
inguinal hernia is an opening in the muscle
of the groin in which a portion of the intestine
(or ovary, in girls), can pass through.
It may be large or small, and usually appears
as a lump or swelling in the groin or scrotum
in boys, or in the labia in girls. An umbilical
hernia develops when the muscles in the
abdomen (around the belly button) do not
fully close before birth, and some intestine
protrudes into the opening.
Will the operation and treatment for a hernia
make my son sterile?
The operation is a perfectly safe operation
and will not cause a male to become sterile.
In fact, fixing a hernia prevents it from
becoming stuck, which in turn prevents damage
to the testicle.
long will my child be in the hospital after
your child is having an outpatient procedure,
he or she will probably be in and out of
the hospital in the same day. For inpatient
procedures, the length of stay varies, depending
on the procedure and your child's rate of
recovery. If your child has major abdominal
or thoracic (chest) surgery, he will probably
be in the hospital for five to seven days.
If he follows the doctors' and nurses' postoperative
instructions closely, he will most likely
go home sooner. Length of stay often varies
from child to child, so be sure to ask your
surgeon about the timeline for your child's
How much pain will my child have after surgery?
child may experience soreness for one to
two days after a common outpatient procedure
such as a hernia operation. The doctor may
give him a regional nerve block or caudal
block during the procedure while he or she
is asleep, and then prescribe pain medication
for him to use after the surgery. Parents
are often surprised at how quickly their
children recover after an outpatient procedure.
Keeping your child quiet and restful may
become the real challenge!. For inpatient
procedures, the surgeon and anesthesiologist
will develop a pain treatment plan for your
child together. They may give your child
a patient-controlled analgesia pump or a
postoperative epidural catheter. These therapies
allow your child to determine exactly how
much pain medication is used, and enables
him to access that medication almost immediately.
can my child resume full activity?
depends primarily on the procedure being
performed. Be aware that recovery timelines
can vary from child to child. Your child's
doctor will be able to give you specific
information about when your child can go
back into action.
How soon after surgery may I see my child?
may see your child when the medical team
determines that he is in a stable condition
in the recovery room or the Post-Anesthesia
Care Unit (PACU). You can usually see your
child approximately 30 to 45 minutes after
surgery, which is when they are usually
just becoming aware of where they are.
What sort of dietary restrictions will my
child need to follow before and after the
medical staff will give you detailed instructions
outlining what your child will and will
not be able to eat before and after the
surgery. The factors vary greatly depending
on local factors.
When can my child return to school?
length of time your child will need to wait
before returning to school will vary depending
on the type of surgery and your child's
response to it. Your child's discharge instructions
will usually note the date your child may
return to school.
When can my child take a bath?
most operations, children may bathe after
48 hours. For tonsil removal and ear tube
insertion procedures, it is important that
your child does not allow any water to enter
his ears. Some ear tube and tonsil patients
may shower after 24 hours, although some
are encouraged to wait until their return
Will my child vomit after the operation?
is a possible side effect of anesthesia,
but does not happen frequently. All of the
anesthesiologists at Nemours are pediatric
anesthesiologists, and therefore are trained
to make the anesthesia experience as comfortable
as possible for your child. Their child-centered
expertise, coupled with the use of new anesthetic
agents and anti-nausea medications, will
greatly reduce your child's risk of vomiting
to "Paediatric Surgery"