Family discussing pediatric surgery with their child

Three questions to ask before your child’s surgery

When children need medical care, choosing the right provider can put a parent’s mind at ease.

“Nothing is scarier as a parent than thinking or knowing something is wrong with your child. We treat that family like we would want our family to be treated, and we want to care for that child as we would want our child to be cared for,” said Dr. Charles Aprahamian, surgeon-in-chief at OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois.

When children need surgery, such as an appendectomy or repair of an umbilical or inguinal hernia, a provider specially trained in pediatric surgery brings additional expertise. Likewise, facilities that specialize in treating children have specialized technology to navigate through a child’s small body.

“Children are not just little adults. Children are different. That’s why we have a children’s hospital, and it’s why we have pediatric subspecialists here,” Dr. Aprahamian said.

Pediatric specialists

A pediatric general surgeon is a physician who went through the same training as a general surgeon for adults, then added a two-year fellowship specific for pediatric surgery.

They are experienced in surgeries of patients ranging from premature babies to young adults.Happy child with doctor and mother.

“When you choose a pediatric general surgeon, you’re taking your most precious resource – your child – to someone who has done dedicated training in the care of children,” Dr. Aprahamian said.

Questions to consider when choosing a doctor or surgeon are:

  • Where did he or she train?
  • Is he or she board-certified to care for children?
  • When scheduling surgery, does this facility have resources dedicated to the care of children?

Answers to these questions about your provider usually can be found online (OSF HealthCare has information about training, education and certifications in its online provider directory.)

Benefits for children and parents

The difference in choosing a dedicated children’s hospital for your child’s care is more than just the training and expertise of the medical staff.

OSF Children’s Hospital was created with kids and families in mind. From pre-op areas designed to keep kids at ease to child life services to keep them happy, OSF Children’s Hospital will care for all of your child’s needs.

For parents, this includes processes to make your child’s treatment as easy as possible.Happy family with their child after pediatric surgery.

Surgical procedures are always performed at OSF Children’s Hospital in Peoria, where surgeons have access to specialized equipment for treating children, and pre- and post-op appointments can be scheduled in one of more than 10 satellite clinics throughout Illinois.

“We want to do what is most convenient for that family. We try to make it as close to home as possible,” Dr. Aprahamian said.

When you schedule a surgery at OSF Children’s Hospital, families also have the option to visit and tour to see the facilities before they arrive for treatment, which helps both parents and children feel more confident.

About Author: Laura Nightengale

Laura Nightengale is a writing coordinator for OSF HealthCare. 

She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and worked as a reporter at a daily newspaper for five years before joining OSF HealthCare. 

When she’s not working, Laura loves to travel, read, and spend time with her family, including her sweet and ornery dog.

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Categories: Kids & Family