Katherine A. Barsness, MD, MS

Katherine A. Barsness, MD, MS

Katherine A. Barsness, MD, MS

Attending Physician, Pediatric Surgery; Director of Surgical Simulation

Associate Professor of Surgery and Medical Education, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Associate Director, Clinical and Translational Research, Stanley Manne Children's Research Institute

Appointments & Referrals

312.227.4210 (1.800.KIDS DOC)

About Me

Additional Information 

Dr. Barsness is a pediatric surgeon who specializes in traditional and minimally invasive treatment of a spectrum of congenital and acquired diseases in newborns, infants, children and adolescents, including anomalies of the lung, esophagus, diaphragm and intestines. She treats pediatric tumors, pyloric stenosis, achalasia, inflammatory bowel disease, malrotation of intestines, diaphragmatic eventration, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, congenital intestinal anomalies, median arcuate ligament syndrome (MALS) and diseases of the spleen and ovaries, among other conditions.

Dr. Barsness is a nationally and internationally recognized authority on pediatric surgical education and a leader in simulation-based training designed to teach advanced pediatric surgical techniques and skills.

As a physician-scientist, Dr. Barsness devotes her time to the development and evaluation of protocols for improving surgical performance. Her research interests include validated measures of surgical skills, curriculum design, pediatric surgical training and minimally invasive surgeries for congenital anomalies.

Dr. Barsness is at the forefront of using 3-D printing and computer-aided design to improve surgical training and performance of complex repairs in newborns with a range of congenital malformations of the upper digestive tract and chest wall.

Dr. Barsness was instrumental in the concept and development of a global simulation-based educational program designed to improve training of pediatric surgeons in developing regions that lack the educational infrastructure to bring advanced skills to practice.

Dr. Barsness is the recipient of a number of teaching awards and the author or co-author of several textbook chapters and numerous peer-reviewed publications. She is part of a core group of faculty members overseeing graduate and post-graduate simulation-based training at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Procedures Performed

  • Thoracoscopy for congenital lung abnormalities, esophageal atresia, tracheoesophageal fistula, lung biopsy, cyst and tumor resections, thymectomy, and other abnormalities of the chest;
  • Laparoscopy for congenital abnormalities of intestines (duodenal/intestinal atresia, Meckel’s diverticulectum, mesenteric cysts and duplications, Hirschsprung’s disease, Imperforate anus), achalasia, median arcuate ligament syndrome (MALS)
  • Gastroesophageal reflux, inflammatory bowel disease, gallstones, low profile (button) gastrostomy tube insertion
  • Treatment for chest wall deformities (pectus excavatum, pectus carinatum, Poland’s disease)
  • Splenectomy
  • Appendectomy
  • Adrenalectomy
  • Ovarian surgery/oophorectomy 
  • Laparoscopic treatment for malrotation of the bowel
  • Surgeries for intra-abdominal organ abnormalities
Clinical Interests: Advanced minimally invasive surgery in neonates, infants, children and adolescents including congenital anomalies of the lung, esophagus, diaphragm and intestines; tumors of the chest and abdomen; pyloric stenosis; pectus deformities of the chest; inflammatory bowel disease; splenectomy for hematologic disease; ovarian disease; single site laparoscopic surgery for a variety of intra-abdominal diseases​

Education & Training

Education: University of Tennessee College of Medicine, 1998,

Postgraduate Training: Fellowship in pediatric surgery, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh-University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 2005-2007; Residency in general surgery, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, 1998-2005

Board Certifications: General Surgery, Pediatric Surgery


Research Interests: Training protocols for improving surgical performance, validated measures of surgical skills, curriculum design, pediatric surgical training, minimally invasive surgeries for congenital anomalies, 3-D printing and computer-aided surgical training

Call 1.800.543.7362 for Insurance information. 1.800.543.7362


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