Pediatric surgeons utilize their expertise in providing surgical care for all problems or conditions affecting children that require surgical intervention. They participate in transplantation operations, and like most surgeons today, they use laparoscopic techniques for some operations.
They also have particular expertise in the following areas of responsibility:
- Neonatal: Pediatric surgeons have specialized knowledge in the surgical repair of birth defects, some of which may be life threatening to premature and full-term infants.
- Prenatal: Pediatric surgeons, in cooperation with radiologists, use ultrasound and other technologies during the fetal stage of a child’s development to detect any abnormalities. They can then plan corrective surgery and educate and get to know parents before their baby is born. Prenatal diagnosis may lead to fetal surgery, which is a new forefront in the subspecialty of pediatric surgery. Application of most fetal surgical techniques is still in the experimental stage.
- Trauma: Because trauma is the number one killer of children in the United States, pediatric surgeons are routinely faced with critical care situations involving traumatic injuries sustained by children that may or may not require surgical intervention. Many pediatric surgeons are involved in accident prevention programs in their communities that are aimed at curbing traumatic injuries in children.
- Pediatric Oncology: Pediatric surgeons are involved in the diagnosis and surgical care of children with malignant tumors as well as those with benign growths.