The Pediatric General Surgery Section provides comprehensive services for babies, children, and adolescents. Pediatric general surgery is the original pediatric surgery service from which most of the other pediatric surgical subspecialty services have evolved over time.
Pediatric surgeons have completed five full years of general surgery training. Additionally, these surgeons have completed two further years of training in the surgical care of children through one of the subspecialty training programs approved by the American Council on Graduate Medical Education.
Pediatric surgeons are trained very broadly. They do most of the operations within a child's abdomen. However, they also have been trained to do thoracic surgery (pulmonary resection, tracheoesophageal fistulae, duct ligation); gynecological surgery (ovarian, vaginal and uterine abnormalities in preadolescent females); urological surgery (hydroceles, undescended testes); head and neck surgery (lump, bumps, and thyroid surgery); and surgery on the extremities.
Pediatric surgeons provide corrective and reconstructive procedures for a wide variety of congenital anomalies. Examples include children afflicted with diaphragmatic hernias, neonatal bowel obstruction and abnormalities of the anal region. Pediatric surgeons also generally perform most of the surgery for children with solid tumors like Wilms' tumor, neuroblastoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, teratoma and lymphomas.
The pediatric surgery service likewise offers minimally-invasive procedures when appropriate. The most commonly performed examples of these operations are laparoscopic cholecystectomy, splenectomy, appendectomy, anti-reflux procedure and video-assisted thoracoscopy. Areas of special interest include congenital diaphragmatic hernia and Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO). The ECMO program at Ochsner was the fourth in the nation and the first in the American Southeast.