There are many branches of surgery that treat children. These include Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery (ENT), orthopaedic surgery, plastic surgery, cardiac surgery, neurosurgery and ophthalmic surgery. Cardiac surgery, plastic surgery and neurosurgery are always based a large regional hospitals or children’s hospitals and within those departments there are surgeons who treat mostly or only children. ENT and orthopaedic surgery takes place at District General Hospitals as well as at specialist centres. In most hospitals surgeons in these specialities will treat both adults and children but in many regional hospitals and children’s hospitals there will be surgeons who exclusively treat children (eg Paediatric orthopaedic surgeons).
This is the term used to describe an adult general surgeon who treats children. Most adult surgeons do not treat children but in each District General Hospital there should be one or more general surgeon who treats the common minor surgical problems in children. Ideally such surgeons will have had at least 6 months training in a specialist paediatric surgical centre. They should provide dedicated children’s facilities for day surgery and work closely with medical paediatricians.
This is someone who only treats children. Such surgeons are generally based in large regional hospitals or children’s hospitals. They will have had at least 6 years training in the surgery of children. Although some of their work is the minor surgery of children (eg hernia repair, surgery for undescended testis, appendicitis etc) their main role is in the complex surgery of the newborn (neonatal surgery), major surgical diseases of children and surgery in children with complex medical disorders. These surgeons work with specialist paediatric anaesthetists and nurses
Paediatric surgery is the surgery of children. Many surgical specialities involve children but the term Paediatric Surgeon is used to describe a general surgeon (rather than an ENT, orthopaedic surgeon etc) who treats children. There are two recognised type of paediatric surgeons, specialist paediatric surgeons and general paediatric surgeons