Paediatric surgery began in the late 19th century, to correct birth defects. The development of a wider specialty did not truly start until the 1930s.
This was a welcome advance, medical issues children have are different from adults, as is their response to illness. They are still developing physically and mentally, with each year bringing new levels of behaviour and comprehension.
Their reliance on parents, or guardians changes over time, although they will always be a key factor in a child’s care. They offer reassurance, help to explain the need for surgery, what will happen and when.
Alongside the requirement for consent, our team believe that keeping parents well informed is part of good treatment. They help us to appreciate the right levels of involvement in discussion which suits each child.
Keeping older children informed can be a good thing, providing this assists them and puts them at ease over any treatment they undergo.
In one sense, children can have the same requirement for surgery as adults. Trauma is not rare in childhood, infections, or tumours can require surgical intervention, as well as sometimes subtle developmental issues.
In other senses, the approach to surgery may be quite different. A child is by nature on a continuum of growth, a surgeon needs to visualise the future to make good decisions in the present.
Where surgery will be visible, particular care must be given to aesthetic needs. Whilst this would be the case at any age, a child has more stages of life to go through and adapt to, along with more years ahead of them.
Reconstructive surgery can be a critical element for them and may again need to be planned ahead. Techniques have improved and surgical revisiting in the years ahead is less common but remains a possibility.
Care At Our Clinic
Providing curative paediatric treatment is our wish, along with considering our patient. The crucial need to minimise scars and maintain normal shape, or function is a key element in our approach to childhood surgery.
Supporting their self esteem is part of a successful outcome and of an integrated approach to childhood health, focused on the wellbeing of the whole child.
This requires an ethical approach, clear information and parental involvement, which together create good decisions. Surgery is not generally welcome at any age, yet can still be a positive experience.
We understand natural concerns and are here at any time to offer advice, to build the confidence which contributes to successful surgery.