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Pediatric Surgery Clinical Services

Pediatric surgeons treat infants, children, and adolescents with a wide variety of conditions, including congenital malformations (birth defects), traumatic injuries and burns, hernias, solid tumors, fetal conditions, vascular malformations, chest wall deformities, gastroesophageal reflux, severe obesity, and many other specialized problems. Many procedures are being performed using minimally invasive surgical techniques to limit the pain and enhance recovery.

The majority of services provided by the pediatric surgery faculty are performed at Children’s Hospital of Colorado on the Anschutz Medical Campus. In addition to comprehensive services at the main campus, we provide services at five satellite locations, as well as the University Hospital, Denver Health Medical Center, Saint Joseph’s Hospital, and Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs. The division chair, Thomas Inge, is also the only pediatric bariatric surgeon in the region, specializing in laparoscopic weight loss surgery for adolescents, and a national leader in study of surgical outcomes for these patients. The division faculty also have a strong commitment to pediatric trauma and critical care.

Minimally Invasive Surgery

Laparoscopy and thoracoscopy are now utilized for diagnoses as well as treatment of many standard pediatric surgery diagnoses. These include appendicitis, cholelithiasis, gastroesophageal reflux, lung lesions, Hirschsprung’s disease, chest wall deformities, splenic pathology, inguinal hernias, and tumors. These techniques are being requested and applied more and more because of the advantages of reduced recovery time, shorter hospital stays, less discomfort, smaller scars, and in some cases, lower costs.

Liver, Gallbladder and Bile Duct-related Surgery

The Pediatric Liver Center at Children’s Hospital Colorado is managed jointly by the hepatologists (liver specialists), pediatric surgeons, and transplantation surgeons. The multidisciplinary clinic is a regional resource, specifically designed to meet the needs of children with all kinds of liver and bile-duct diseases such as biliary atresia, choledochal cyst, and liver tumors (hepatoblastoma). The staff of the Pediatric Liver Center are internationally recognized for contributions leading to new discoveries in diagnosis, treatment and surgery for pediatric hepatobiliary disorders.

Oncology Surgery

Children’s Hospital Colorado is a regional referral site for treatment of pediatric cancer. Pediatric Surgery, in cooperation with Oncology, provides surgical care for infants and children with cancer, including surgical resection of tumors of the neck, chest, abdomen, and extremities, as well as placement of hundreds of lines and ports for intravenous access for chemotherapy.

Neonatal Surgery

Neonatal surgery is a vital area for training and education in pediatric surgery. Children’s Hospital Colorado is a regional referral center for infants with abdominal-wall defects such as gastroschisis and omphalocele, intestinal atresias, and cystic lung lesions such as congenital cystic adenomatoid malformations, bronchopulmonary sequestration, and hybrid lesions. In addition, we have a dedicated team that takes care of babies with respiratory problems, particularly those infants with pulmonary hypoplasia and hypertension, requiring cutting-edge therapies such as high-frequency ventilation, nitric oxide, and ECMO.

Bowel Management Program

The International Center for Colorectal and Urogenital Care at University of Colorado Pediatric Surgery Division of Children’s Hospital Colorado was established on February of 2016. Dr. Alberto Peña is the Director and Dr. Andrea Bischoff the Assistant Director. The Center specializes in the medical and surgical management of anorectal and urogenital malformations (imperforate anus, cloaca, cloacal exstrophy, urogenital sinus, vaginal atresia), Hirschsprung disease, idiopathic constipation, intestinal motility disorders, and fecal incontinence. The Center is integrated by a multidisciplinary team, including Dr. Duncan Wilcox (Surgeon in Chief and Chief of Urology), Dr. Veronica Alaniz (pediatric and adolescent gynecology), Dr. Jaime Belkind-Gerson (neuro-gastroenterology), Dr. Brent O’Neill (Pediatric Neurosurgery), Dr. Mark A. Erickson (Chief of Orthopedics) and Dr. Coutney O’Donnel (Orthopedic Surgery), Dr. Mark Lovell (Chief of Pathology), Dr. Timothy Crombleholme (Chief of Fetal Care Center), Rebecca Jacobson and Julie Schletker (nurse practicioners), Tiffany Edmonds (nurse care coordinator), Laura Judd-Glossy (psychologist), and Stefanie Curry (Social Worker). The Center offers a comprehensive management of these conditions, from the pre-natal stage until the adult life, with emphasis on the “Transitional Care,” in collaboration with Dr. John Vogel (Chief of Colorectal Surgery at the University Hospital), Dr. Ty Higuchi (Urologist), and Dr. Veronica Alaniz (Ob/Gyn).

Transplant Program

As a nationally recognized pediatric transplant program, Children’s Colorado has the only pediatric-focused multi-specialty transplant program in the Rocky Mountain region. Our team includes transplant surgeons, transplant nephrologists and hepatologists, pediatric transplant anesthesiologists, pediatric interventional radiologists, infectious disease specialists, pediatric intensive care specialists, transplant coordinators and nurses, transplant pharmacists, psychologists, dietitians, and social workers. The Liver and Kidney Transplant Programs were established in 1990. Living-donor kidney transplantation and liver transplantation are facilitated by a collaborative effort with the University of Colorado Hospital transplant programs. The liver transplant program offers living donation, split livers grafts, segmental transplants, and whole-organ transplantation.

Trauma Program

Children’s Hospital Colorado is verified by the American College of Surgeons and the State of Colorado as a Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center. We serve a large geographic area extending south from the Canadian border through Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Western Nebraska, Kansas, and the entire state of Colorado.

As a tertiary and quaternary referral center, Children’s provides comprehensive trauma care for the most complex pediatric injuries. This care begins at the time of initial contact with our transfer center (720-777-8838), which coordinates two-way communication between pre-hospital/referring hospital providers and our emergency-medicine physicians and trauma surgeons. This allows us to anticipate each patient’s unique needs prior to his or her arrival.

Pediatric trauma care at Children’s Hospital Colorado is provided by a multidisciplinary group composed of pediatric surgeons, sub-specialty surgeons, medical specialists, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, nutritionists, and rehabilitation specialists. Dr. Steven Moulton is Director of the Trauma Program.

See more info on the Trauma Program on the Children’s Hospital website.

Burn Program

Children’s Hospital Colorado is home to the only pediatric burn center in a seven-state region. Our burn team includes burn surgeons, specially trained nurses, physical and occupational therapists who specialize in the care of burn-injured children, child life specialists, a psychologist, nutritionists, and social workers.

Our focus, as a team, is to provide comprehensive burn care for children with all types of burn injuries, from very small superficial burns of the hands or face that heal on their own to very large, deep burns that require surgical management. Burn care at Children’s Hospital Colorado extends beyond the physical healing to include psychosocial support. Support programs include school reentry, burn camps, and community engagement through our outreach efforts and juvenile fire-setting program. This work would not be possible without the philanthropic support of multiple donors and partner organizations, including Schomp Automotive, Denver Fire Fighters Burn Foundation, Hot Times Kool Cars, and the Colorado Firefighter Calendar group. The Director of the Burn Program is Dr. Steven Moulton.

See more info on the Burn Program on the Children’s Hospital website.