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Surgery Services for Children

Surgery Services for Children

While you hope your child or teen never needs surgery, when they do, you want the highest quality and most appropriate care tailored to their specific situation from healthcare professionals with the special training to deliver exceptional surgical care for children.

Innovative, Child-Focused Surgical Care Close to Home

At OU Health in Oklahoma City, you’ll find the highly trained and experienced pediatric surgery experts, who perform more than 1,800 pediatric surgeries each year, as well as comprehensive surgical services and advanced surgical technologies available only at Oklahoma’s academic health system.

Comprehensive Care Backed by Research

Committed to caring for children 24/7, your child’s pediatric surgeons take a team-based approach to care that gives you access to multiple health disciplines and specialties for a complete view of your child’s particular condition. You gain access to extensive research and leading clinical trials that develop powerful medicines and innovative procedures to expand your child’s options for health and healing.

Multidisciplinary Team-Based Approach to Care

When you choose pediatric surgical services from Oklahoma Children’s Hospital at OU Health, you and your child benefit from family-centered care that makes you a valued member of your child’s multidisciplinary surgery team, involved in all aspects of care from your first introduction through the time you return home. You can depend on the surgeon and the pediatric surgery team to follow up with you directly, monitor your child’s progress and oversee all aspects of care, large or small, for as long as necessary.

Top-Quality Surgery for Children’s Health Conditions

If your child needs a surgical procedure, the pediatric surgery experts at The Children’s Hospital at OU Health stand ready to provide care for the full spectrum of routine and complex children’s health conditions such as:

Surgical Services for Every Need

From surgical equipment designed for pediatric procedures and the region’s only fellowship-trained pediatric anesthesiologists to the private rooms where you can stay with your child and provide comfort, everything at The Children’s Hospital at OU Health works for your child. As you consider your child’s health needs, you can take advantage of surgical procedures for a wide range of conditions, including many types of cancer, as well as neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, organ transplant and many more.

You’re assured of accurate diagnosis and monitoring through pediatric-specific imaging and radiology services that help doctors evaluate your child’s condition and determine the next steps in their care. And if needed for a serious health issue, our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) provides round-the-clock care for the most critically ill children.

Child Life Specialists

Helping to make your child’s surgery and hospital experience at OU Health as understandable and close to normal as possible, certified Child Life specialists at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital use developmentally appropriate language and interactive dolls to explain the process and demonstrate what to expect.

Find out more about Child Life programs for your hospitalized child.

Pediatric General & Outpatient Surgery

One of the many surgical specialties and subspecialties, pediatric general surgery focuses on conditions affecting children’s digestive health, including the esophagus and stomach, as well as other organs and muscles in the abdomen. General surgeons also treat thyroid conditions, diseases of the skin, breast and soft tissues, and thoracic complaints and they perform trauma-related surgery.

When you work with OU Health’s dedicated pediatric general surgeons, you gain access to the specialized services and resources of Oklahoma Children’s Hospital at OU Health in Oklahoma City. And your child benefits from the skilled healthcare professionals, research, innovation, technology and tools of our academic medical center that produce the best possible outcomes for your child’s particular situation.

Whether we’re your child’s first and only experience with a medical procedure or we become like family and see you and your child for extended hospital stays throughout their childhood, you can expect clear communication, compassion, confidence and trustworthy leadership to deal with any situation or level of care, no matter how complex.

Learn more about children’s digestive health.

Outpatient (Same-Day) Surgery

Advances in medical technology and surgical techniques allow many health conditions to respond well to less invasive surgical procedures that no longer require a hospital stay.

At OU Health, outpatient (same-day) surgery lets you take advantage of the full range of services at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital while your child typically returns home later the same day to fully recover. You and your child’s OU Health doctors and surgical team will determine whether to use same-day surgery for your child’s procedure.

Upon discharge from a same-day surgical procedure, you’ll receive instructions about how to care for your child during postoperative recovery, any medications needed and the plans for follow-up appointments with the appropriate physicians.

Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery

To treat your child’s congenital heart condition, with all its unique aspects, you want the best of everything. At the all-inclusive Oklahoma Children’s Hospital at OU Health in Oklahoma City, you’ll find Oklahoma’s first and only comprehensive children’s cardiothoracic surgery program designed specifically and only for cardiac kids. Through the extensive experience gained by treating hundreds of children each year and the focused attention on children’s heart care, you can look forward to results at OU Health that meet or exceed the achievements of some of the most successful programs in the nation.

With access to highly trained pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons and specialized operating rooms, anesthesia, cardiac ICU facilities and around-the-clock intensive care at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital, you and your child benefit from a wide range of options to care for any heart condition, from relatively minor to highly complex.

Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery

In addition to traditional open surgery, your child’s condition may respond to an alternative approach that eliminates the need for an incision through the breastbone. Using either laparoscopic or robotic-assisted techniques, your child’s skilled surgeon works with tiny precision tools through small incisions in the rib cage, which means your child typically experiences less pain and discomfort, as well as a quicker recovery.

Specialized Pediatric Heart Surgery Services

Pediatric cardiothoracic surgical procedures at OU Health include:

  • Neonatal and infant cardiac surgery – Repairs congenital and other defects in the heart or large blood vessels connected to it
  • Single ventricle surgery – Creates alternative method for blood circulation through the heart in a series of three surgeries between birth and age 3
  • Congenital coronary anomaly – Repairs misplaced coronary arteries connected to the aorta
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) – Provides breathing and heart function support during extended treatment for serious heart or lung conditions
  • Mononuclear cell therapy for hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) – Boosts right-side heart performance in preparation for potential surgical intervention

Learn more about pediatric cardiac and vascular surgery at OU Health. You also may want to participate with us in the Oklahoma City chapter of Mended Little Hearts, an online community for children, families and caregivers living with pediatric heart conditions.

Pediatric Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

With the tremendous advances in today’s plastic and reconstructive surgery, you and your family can shift from heartache to hope. If your child lives with a health condition or injury that would benefit from a plastic or reconstructive surgical procedure, you’ll find the best resources close to home at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital at OU Health in Oklahoma City.

At OU Health, you gain access to Oklahoma’s only comprehensive pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgery care team, as well as groundbreaking research, including a craniofacial imaging research center – one of only a few of its kind in the world – where dedicated specialists treat rare and unique pediatric conditions.

Take advantage of a wide range of plastic and reconstructive surgery services for children and teens including:

  • Cleft lip and cleft palate repair – Primary and secondary repair of cleft lip and cleft palate
  • Congenital conditions – Microtia correction; external ear abnormalities
  • Facial and skull surgery – Complex craniofacial syndromes, including craniosynostosis and hemifacial microsomia; congenital asymmetry of the face; distraction osteogenesis for small upper and lower jaw and Pierre Robin syndrome
  • Nose surgery – Rhinoplasty; obstructive sleep apnea correction
  • Speech disorder correction – Pharyngeal flap repair and pharyngoplasty for velopharyngeal incompetence

Learn more about children’s plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Pediatric Trauma Surgery

When your child experiences a traumatic injury, make your first thought about OU Health, Oklahoma’s only Level I trauma center, nationally verified by the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) to provide the highest level of care anywhere.

Because every second counts, you can rely on the dedicated trauma surgeons and emergency specialists at OU Health’s Trauma One Center – in fully equipped, comprehensive care teams stationed at the hospital 24 hours a day – to treat the most critical injuries immediately.

Learn more about children’s trauma care and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital at OU Health in Oklahoma City.

Family-Centered Care

As a parent or designated caregiver, you’re included in your child’s care and encouraged to provide any portion of it you feel you can manage. While your child stays in the hospital, physicians make formal rounds each morning to meet with you and your child’s care team.

Your child’s nurses complete an assessment every four hours and more often as needed. If permitted by doctor’s orders, your child always has access to snacks or you may request meals delivered to the room.

Preparing for My Child’s Surgery

Before surgery, your child’s doctor will give you specific instructions on what you should bring, what your child should wear and when your child can eat. To assure that your child can proceed with surgery while remaining as safe as possible throughout the process, you must carefully follow all instructions.

Instructions for Food or Drink Before Surgery

  • For a period of time before surgery, your child can have nothing to eat or drink. Your doctor may use the term “NPO,” which means “nothing by mouth.”
  • No food or milk products after midnight the day of surgery.
  • Two hours before arriving at the hospital, your child may have only clear liquids – any drink you can see through, such as Sprite, 7-Up, ginger ale, apple juice, water or Pedialyte.
  • If your child drinks breast milk, you may feed until 4 hours before arriving at the hospital.
  • If your child drinks formula, you may feed until 6 hours before arriving at the hospital.

As you get ready to bring your child to the hospital, follow the guidelines below.

What to Bring

Bring a favorite toy or blanket and information about your child’s medications. Always prepare to spend one night at the hospital, “just in case.” A small overnight bag might include toothbrush and toothpaste, hairbrush, comfortable clothes, undergarments, pajamas, and socks or slippers. Do not bring any valuable items.

Where Your Child Goes After Surgery

Immediately after surgery, your child goes to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU), also known as the recovery room, to wake up. The process may take an hour or more. Depending on the procedure and the doctor performing the surgery, your child may spend the night in one of our comfortable private rooms or they may be discharged to go home.

When You Can Stay Overnight or Visit

If your child spends the night in the hospital, you’re encouraged to stay with them. One parent can always stay through the night. Your child won’t need to share a room because all pediatric patient rooms are private.

Visiting hours for the Outpatient Surgery area or the Recovery Room are flexible, with parents welcome at all times. Other visitors can take advantage of our spacious waiting room, although some restrictions may apply to visitors after 9 p.m.

More Information to Help You & Your Child Prepare for Surgery

Download and review the information below to help you prepare yourself and your child for an upcoming surgical procedure at Oklahoma Children’s Hospital at OU Health:

Your Pediatric Surgery Care Team

In addition to OU Health board-certified and fellowship-trained pediatric surgery specialists and subspecialists, as well as the region’s only fellowship-trained pediatric anesthesiologists, your child’s surgical care team may include professionals from multiple healthcare disciplines who also hold pediatric-specific training.

Depending on your child’s particular situation, your surgery care team may involve pediatric radiologists, emergency specialists, nursing care and support services, such as Child Life specialists.

Request an Appointment or Referral

Find out more about OU Health pediatric surgery services at The Children’s Hospital in Oklahoma City or ask your primary care doctor for a referral to the children’s surgery specialists at OU Health.

Call (405) 271-4357 or (405) 271-2222 today.