From traumatic injuries to complex malformations and everything in between, the Division of General Pediatric Surgery at Lurie Children’s treats conditions common and rare, from before birth to adolescence. Our surgeons, many with subspeciality expertise in areas such as colorectal conditions, surgical oncology and chest wall deformities, perform more pediatric operations than any other pediatric hospital in the Chicago metropolitan area. Our clinical teams use the most advanced techniques and minimally invasive approaches that are unique in the region. We have offices throughout the Chicago area, including surgical sites in Northbrook and Westchester, making our team especially accessible and convenient.
Furthermore, our team is dedicated to Lurie Children’s academic and educational missions by participating in research and by training the next generation of pediatric surgeons through acclaimed residency and fellowship programs.
The Lurie Children’s Difference
Lurie Children’s is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the #1 children’s hospital in Illinois. Here, the focus is placed entirely on children and their comprehensive wellbeing. To that end, our surgeons collaborate with a wide range of specialists — radiology, cardiology, neurology, gastroenterology, neonatology, oncology and general pediatrics — to provide multidisciplinary, individualized care within the same hospital. Each child receives the safest, timeliest and most appropriate treatment, including radiation-free imaging alternatives, as well as low-dose radiation protocols for pediatric CT scans.
Our physician-surgeons are able to perform children’s routine procedures, such as gallbladder removal, and also provide coordinated, multidisciplinary care for children with more complex conditions, such as congenital anomalies, complex tumors and colorectal conditions.
We aim to treat the child with the disease, not the disease itself. To do so we address all aspects of a child’s hospital experience, through individualized, multidisciplinary and culturally appropriate care that involves the whole family. Our family-focused approach includes the services of a full-time language medical interpreters, social workers, nutritionists and a child life specialist. The child life specialist works with pediatric surgery to help normalize the hospital experience for children undergoing minor and complex surgeries through use of medical play and other techniques. We use pain and anxiety-reduction approaches for wound care and other surgical procedures.
Our team provides surgical care at its downtown location but also in Westchester and Northbrook, where some patients may find more convenient access to care with the same specialists and level of care at the downtown location.
Our Pediatric Surgery Programs
While all members of The Division of Pediatric Surgery participate in the care of more routine procedures such as gallbladder and appendix removal, each of our surgeons also has unique specialty training to treat complex conditions in the most comprehensive way possible.
Browse our list of multidisciplinary programs to learn more about the expert-led initiatives that can help treat your child.
Our surgeons are established leaders and trailblazers in the field of pediatric surgery, providing the highest level of diagnostics, treatment and care. Children are not small adults – their growing bodies require special surgical approaches and in-depth understanding of child health. This is why all of our physicians receive two additional years of advanced training in pediatric surgery after training as general surgeons.
Our team includes 13 senior surgeons — all of whom have academic appointments at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine — two surgical fellows and 18 advanced practice nurses, all of whom are also trained in pediatric surgery.
Thomas H. Inge, MD, PhD, Lurie Children’s Surgeon-in-Chief and director of the Department of Surgery, is an internationally recognized surgeon-scientist. He has special training and expertise in weight loss surgery in children and teens, hernia repair, gastrointestinal surgery, and minimally invasive thoracic surgery. Dr. Inge’s research interests include investigating outcomes of surgical procedures in children and the health benefits of weight loss surgery performed in adolescence.
The Division of General Pediatric Surgery offers a surgery fellowship in partnership with Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. Review the Feinberg School’s information to learn how to apply.
Lurie Children’s offers the country’s second oldest pediatric surgery training program. In addition to training pediatric surgery’s future leaders in our fellowship program, we provide pediatric training for general surgery residents from a number of programs throughout the city.
Pediatric surgeons from around the world have benefitted from our surgical simulation training, which uses 3-D printed models and simulated procedures to teach advanced surgical techniques.
Perhaps the clearest illustration of how basic discoveries in the lab can lead to life-altering treatments comes from our very own Orvar Swenson, MD. In the 1940s, Dr. Swenson discovered the cause behind an often-fatal condition called Hirschsprung’s disease, marked by a malfunctioning colon. Swenson found that the condition stemmed from lack of nerve cells that would normally “tell” the colon to contract. Using this newfound knowledge, in 1948 Dr. Swenson performed a surgical procedure known as a “pull through,” which removed “diseased” portions of the colon and restored its function. That discovery has saved countless children’s lives all over the world. Dr. Swenson served as our chief of surgery from 1960 through 1973.
Your support is vital for our mission of transforming pediatric medicine and health of all children. Lurie Children’s Division of Pediatric Surgery relies on philanthropic funding to enhance its programs, services and research that alters the lives of children in Chicago and beyond.