The Division of Pediatric Surgery is made up of a dynamic group of surgeons representing all of the traditional subspecialty areas of surgery, including cardiac surgery, general surgery, orthopedics, otolaryngology – head and neck surgery, plastic surgery, urology and neurosurgery.
The division supports a number of pediatric surgical programs and is recognized as a world leader in pediatric transplantation and pediatric congenital heart surgery. It established the first Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) program in Western Canada. ECMO involves the use of an extracorporeal circulation to provide heart and lung bypass support for infants and children with critical lung and heart disease. Advanced thoracoscopic and laparoscopic surgery is also a featured program within the division.
Facilities and Technology
Clinical activity is based at the Stollery Children’s Hospital, Edmonton, which is recognized internationally for specialized surgical services, including expertise as a major pediatric trauma centre. It is the second-largest pediatric hospital in Canada. Approximately 10,000 procedures are performed annually at the hospital, which also hosts 25,000 surgical clinic visits per year. A recently completed $36-million redevelopment of the hospital’s operating suite gives it nine operating rooms in total, seven of which are state-of-the-art suites boasting modern infrastructure and equipment: Five new operating rooms and two new procedure rooms.
All operating rooms have been designed with modular and mobile equipment to meet the needs of all surgical disciplines, allowing for increased surgical activity through more efficient use of space and equipment. These facilities have been developed with the principle of “family centered care” as its primary focus. Another brand new facility that the surgeons access is the $16.1-million Stollery Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (PCICU) housed in the sixth floor of the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, where all pediatric cardiac procedures are performed. The 16-bed PCICU offers single-patient rooms where family members can sleep overnight. Single patient rooms enhance infection control measures and improve sleep patterns for patients.
The new PCICU was funded with $15.1 million from Alberta Infrastructure and $1 million from the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, for the building of the unit. In addition, the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation contributed $5.5 million towards specialized equipment within the PCICU. Families were involved in every step of the planning and design of the new unit, helping to build an intensive care space that will improve the health care journey for more than 500 patients annually.
Surgeons within the division are active in both clinical and basic science research. Current research activities include complex congenital heart surgery, surgical management of craniosynostosis, brachial plexus reconstruction, complex tracheal reconstruction and sleep disordered breathing in children as well as surgical oncology.
Teaching remains a major focus of the division, with members providing outstanding contributions to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching as well as taking part in continuing education activities locally, nationally and internationally. A number of junior faculty members have recently joined the division. These appointments were made to support not only clinical and research activities but also educational expertise. Each subspecialty area has surgeons with graduate qualifications in clinical epidemiology and educational research. These strategic appointments have been made in order to support modern, innovative and high-impact academic activities.
The Department of Surgery has made the expansion of its global surgery initiative a premiere focus of the department at large. Current activities within the division include an annual mission to Ecuador by orthopedic surgeons as well as a number of ongoing projects in continental Africa. A number of pediatric surgeons within the division are actively involved strategically and operationally in the global surgery initiative.