An Expert Team Approach
Our multidisciplinary team includes pediatric-trained surgeons, neonatologists and anesthesiologists who collaborate at a level not seen at most hospitals. The team also includes a dedicated neonatal nurse practitioner, anesthesiologists, specialized nurses, respiratory therapists, dietitians, pharmacists, speech therapists, occupational and physical therapists, social workers and case managers.
The team rounds jointly and discusses every baby’s care as a group, forming a treatment plan that may also call on the expertise of other specialty areas of the hospital. We believe in patient- and family-centered care, which means parents and families are also vital members of the team and are partners in every stage of their baby’s care.
Our surgeons represent virtually every specialty, including general and thoracic surgery, cardiac surgery, gastrointestinal (GI) surgery, neurosurgery, urological surgery, otolaryngological (ENT) surgery, plastic surgery, ophthalmologic surgery and orthopaedic surgery. In addition to dedicated clinical programs for congenital diaphragmatic hernia, short bowel syndrome and mandibular distraction, we treat the full spectrum of neonatal conditions:
- Intestinal malrotation and volvulus
- Micrognathia (undersized jaw due to Pierre Robin sequence, Treacher Collins syndrome)
- Myelomeningocoele (spina bifida)
- Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)
- Posterior urethral valve obstruction
- Sacrococcygeal teratoma (SCT)
- Tracheoesophageal fistula and esophageal atresia
- Ureteropelvic junction obstruction.
Surgery is performed in CHOC’s state-of-the-art operating rooms, or in the Surgical NICU. Critical technology is readily available, including extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and high-frequency ventilation. The Surgical NICU team is always in close communication with the operating room and anesthesia teams about each baby’s care plan. Unique processes and protocols have been developed to address pain management, recovery from anesthesia and hypothermia prevention.
A trained rehabilitation team is also available to assist babies with the challenges that can follow surgery, including wound healing and developmental therapy for physical, motor and feeding skills.
After surgery, babies recover in the Surgical NICU for as long as necessary in a comfortable space that promotes healing and low stress. As a baby heals and becomes stabilized, we encourage parents and families to hold, feed and care for them just as they would at home. Learn more about parenting in the NICU.