Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are all University of Miami pediatric surgeons board-certified?

Yes, all of our surgeons are board certified in general and pediatric surgery, including some in surgical critical care.

2. Will I be able to stay in my child’s room following surgery?

Yes, under most circumstances, parents can stay with their children. However, each case is special, so be sure to check with your doctor ahead of time.

3. How will I find out the details about my child’s surgery time?

On the evening before the day of surgery, the hospital staff will call your home and tell you what time to bring the child to the hospital and after what time they must not have any food or liquids by mouth.

4. Will my child need blood tests before surgery?

Most healthy infants or children will not require any major pre-operative tests or bloodwork.

5. Are UM Pediatric Surgeons available at all times?

Yes, our Pediatric Surgeon are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can best be reached through the hospitals’ operator or main phone number.

Provided by the American College of Surgeons:

6. What is the pediatric surgeon’s role in treating the child?

Pediatric surgeons are primarily concerned with the diagnosis, preoperative, operative, and postoperative management of surgical problems in children. Some medical conditions in newborns are not compatible with a good quality of life unless these problems are corrected surgically. These conditions must be recognized immediately by neonatologists, pediatricians, and family physicians. Pediatric surgeons cooperate with all of the specialists involved in a child’s medical care to determine whether surgery is the best option for the child.

7. What is the focus of pediatric surgery?

Pediatric surgeons utilize their expertise in providing surgical care for all problems or conditions affecting children that require surgical intervention. They participate in transplantation operations, and like most surgeons today, they use laparoscopic techniques for some operations. They also have particular expertise in the following areas of responsibility:


Pediatric surgeons have specialized knowledge in the surgical repair of birth defects, some of which may be life threatening to premature and full-term infants.


Pediatric surgeons, in cooperation with radiologists, use ultrasound and other technologies during the fetal stage of a child’s development to detect any abnormalities. They can then plan corrective surgery and educate and get to know parents before their baby is born. Prenatal diagnosis may lead to fetal surgery, which is a new forefront in the subspecialty of pediatric surgery. Application of most fetal surgical techniques is still in the experimental stage.


Because trauma is the number one killer of children in the United States, pediatric surgeons are routinely faced with critical care situations involving traumatic injuries sustained by children that may or may not require surgical intervention. Many pediatric surgeons are involved in accident prevention programs in their communities that are aimed at curbing traumatic injuries in children.

Pediatric Oncology

Pediatric surgeons are involved in the diagnosis and surgical care of children with malignant tumors as well as those with benign growths.

8. Where do pediatric surgeons work?

Pediatric surgeons practice their specialty in a variety of medical institutions, including children’s hospitals, university-related medical centers with major pediatric services, and large urban community hospitals.

9. How are pediatric surgeons trained and certified?

Pediatric surgeons must have graduated from an accredited medical school and must have completed five years of graduate surgical education in an accredited general surgery residency program. Then, they must complete two additional years of full-time education in an approved fellowship program in pediatric surgery. Following completion of their two-year study in the subspecialty of pediatric surgery, they must pass a written examination to ensure that their surgical knowledge is of the highest level and an oral exam to determine their ability to manage a variety of surgical problems in infants and children. In order to take this examination, they must first become board certified in general surgery. After these requirements have been fulfilled, surgeons are granted a special certificate in the subspecialty of pediatric surgery. This certificate must be renewed every 10 years to ensure that every pediatric surgeon is competent and up-todate with regard to advances in pediatric surgical care.

10. What differences can a pediatric surgeon make?

Pediatric surgeons specialize in the surgical care of children. They are surgeons who, by training, are oriented toward working with children and understanding their special needs. In addition, they work with various specialists who are also oriented toward children and toward providing high-quality, safe, and emotionally supportive care for their patients. When a pediatric surgeon performs an operation, it is the culmination of an orderly and detailed process involving pediatricians, family physicians, and other medical specialists who work together to treat the whole child. For pediatric surgeons, one of the most satisfying and fulfilling aspects of their profession is that the majority of their patients will live long into the 21st century. Pediatric surgeons are able to save whole lifetimes, and have the opportunity to follow their patients through a productive young life into adulthood.