Pediatric surgery involves the surgical treatment of a wide range of pediatric diseases from infancy to young adulthood, from top to toe. It includes abdominal, thoracic, urological, hand surgery therapies, as well as minor interventions such as the treatment of moles and inflammatory nail diseases. The child should not be treated as a small adult. They have different illnesses, different responses to interventions, a different healing capacity, and very different needs. With the proliferation of minimally invasive surgery in pediatric surgery, most body cavity surgeries are performed by video endoscopy instead of the earlier open, exploratory surgery, which results in less stress and pain, and significantly better aesthetic results.
When and with what kind of symptoms should you consult a pediatric surgeon?
It is recommended to visit a pediatric surgery clinic for the following problems and symptoms:
- In case of suspected hernias
- If appendicitis is suspected
- In case of gallstones
- For dermatological problems if the need for surgery arises (for moles, sebaceous cysts, ingrown nails)
- For trigger finger (stenosing tenosynovitis)
- In case of a joint or tendon ganglion
- For bone growth cases
- For undescended testicles
- If a tight foreskin (phimosis) is suspected
What happens during a pediatric surgery examination?
A pediatric surgeon, in addition to being an excellent diagnostician, needs to be a brilliant surgeon, with the ability to reassure both the child and his or her anxious parents. They need to be as patient and understanding as a crying infant, an ever-moving toddler, a defiant toddler, an older child dreading an examination, or even an introverted adolescent requires.
That is why a pediatric surgery examination is rarely shorter than half an hour. The most important part of the study is gaining the child’s trust and resolving the parent’s concerns. There is always time for conversation, for play, and explaining through drawing. Children are most often examined in their natural environment - standing, sitting, running, or on their mother’s lap so as not to be exposed to the frightening experience of laying on a cold examination table. Of course, pediatric surgery is always preceded by a detailed and careful examination aimed at ensuring the utmost safety for the young patient during their treatment.
How should you arrive for the examination?
While it is important to have the available previous findings on hand, it is most important to prepare the child for the examination. The child needs to know in advance what will happen during the examination. On the way to the clinic, you can play with the child being at the examination and prepare with questions.