Paediatric surgery encompasses all the surgeries performed on children for any cause. The most common ones are performed to treat the birth defects of the child that may exist either from birth (congenital disorders) or after the birth. These abnormalities can be treated through surgical procedures that help in promoting the life expectancy of the child.
- Fetal surgery or Prenatal surgery- the surgery is performed on the growing fetus in the uterus
- Neonatal surgery- the surgery is performed after child birth
- Fetal surgery is a highly complex surgery that uses specialized techniques to treat the birth defects of the baby. With the wide spread knowledge of fetal imaging and fetal scanning, the birth defects are well detected and treated before the birth of the child.
- Fetal surgery is highly beneficial for early detection of fetal abnormalities, preventing life-threatening disorders and minimizing the risk of the mother and the child.
- Fetal surgery may be performed either by open fetal surgery or by minimal invasive fetal surgery. Below mentioned are the common fetal surgery procedures performed to treat fetal abnormalities.
- Fetal surgery to treat spina-bifida (abnormal growth of spinal cord)
- Fetal surgery to remove a tumor from the fetus
- Fetal surgery to remove cyst from the fetus’s lungs
- Minimal Invasive Fetal Surgery
- Shunt surgery for chest and bladder
- Fetal surgery for a hernia
- Radio frequency ablation for tumor removal
Neonatal surgery is performed after childbirth to treat various abnormalities and other complexities arising after birth. Depending on the severity of the condition, neonatal surgery can be performed either in an inpatient ward or an outpatient ward.
Preparing a child before surgery is essential to help the child cope with the post-surgery trauma and medical outcomes. The child or the care takers should be explained about the duration of hospital stay, the number of hospital visits required and the recovery process after the surgery.
The child or the care taker should be explained about the use of masks, head caps and gloves to prevent germs and infections.
Before the surgery, the child must refrain from taking any food to prevent gastric disturbances. They should also be explained about the use of anesthesia and the post-surgery effects of anesthesia.
The child may experience post-surgical complication such as:
- Decreased appetite
- Decreased physical activity
- Weight loss
- Numbness of hands and feet
- Bleeding at surgical site
Post-surgery follow-up and medical check-ups should be considered by the parents for the better recovery of the child from the surgery. The parents should help the child follow the diet and the medication regimen prescribed by the medical team for better surgery outcomes.