Surgery at UNC Children's

Pediatric Surgical Services

When a surgical procedure is the best treatment option for your child’s condition, trust UNC Children’s pediatric surgical specialists, who perform more than 6,500 pediatric surgeries each year—more than any other hospital in North Carolina.

Kid-Friendly Care

Kid-Friendly Surgical Care

When you choose UNC Children’s for your child’s surgical procedure, your entire family will benefit from specialty-trained surgical and anesthesia experts who focus on minimizing stress and anxiety. Our team will offer comfort and support from the moment your child walks through our doors until s/he is ready to return home.

N.C. Children’s Hospital’s newly renovated surgical suite is the largest in the state dedicated exclusively to children. It includes six pediatric-specific operating rooms and two procedure rooms built, equipped, and staffed to care for the specific needs of children.

Your child will feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible thanks to the Children’s Hospital’s special touches, including:

  • Colorful artwork throughout the general pediatric surgical suite, including murals on operating room walls and ceilings to ease anxiety
  • Pre- and post-operative areas stocked with fun activities
  • A wagon ride to the operating room for toddlers and young children
  • An invitation to bring a favorite stuffed animal or blanket to the operating room
  • Child life specialists who offer non-medical preparation and support, as well as games and activities
  • The state’s largest team of dedicated, Board-certified pediatric anesthesiologists to safely manage your child’s unique sedation and pain management needs

If your child is having a less complex surgical procedure that does not require a post-surgery hospital stay, s/he may be scheduled for surgery at UNC Medical Center’s Ambulatory Care Center, where you’ll find same level of expertise and compassion from our pediatric surgical care team. Our pediatric surgical experts perform more than 1,000 procedures at the ACC each year.

Support For Parents

You’ll appreciate our dedicated nurse clinicians who take the time to explain your child’s surgery and guide you through the experience, so you can focus on supporting your loved one. Find answers to parents’ frequently asked questions about surgery at UNC Children’s.


Pediatric Surgical Services We Offer

UNC Children’s offers the full spectrum of pediatric surgical treatments.

UNC Children’s pediatric anesthesiology team has more than a dozen board-certified pediatric anesthesiologists, plus certified nurse anesthetists. They are experts in delivering safe, effective anesthesia and pain control, providing specialized services to more than 12,000 children each year.

Our general pediatric surgery program is among the largest in North Carolina, consisting of five board-certified pediatric surgeons and three board-certified pediatric nurse practitioners. That team performs over 3,000 operations per year at N.C. Children’s Hospital and at Chatham Hospital in Siler City, including

  • Surgeries of the abdomen
    • Liver, gallbladder, spleen, and pancreas surgery
    • Gastroenterology surgery (digestive tract), including those related to short gut syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease
  • Thoracic (chest) surgery unrelated to the heart, including the repair of chest wall deformities and procedures involving the lungs, trachea, and esophagus
  • Hernia repair
  • Neonatal surgery and fetal surgery
  • Trauma surgery

UNC Children’s clinical home, N.C. Children’s Hospital, is also one of few hospitals in the region that provides care for every pediatric surgical subspecialty, including:

Minimally Invasive Surgery for Children

UNC Children’s pediatric surgical specialists offers the most advanced surgical techniques. Nearly one-third of the surgeries we perform use minimally invasive techniques, such as laparoscopy. If a minimally invasive procedure is the best treatment option for your child, s/he will benefit from:

  • Smaller incisions and scars
  • Less pain and discomfort
  • Fewer complications
  • Quicker recovery

Robotic-Assisted Surgery

N.C. Children’s Hospital is the only hospitals in North Carolina where you’ll find pediatric surgical specialists performing robotic-assisted surgeries.

With the Da Vinci® Surgery System, your child’s doctor uses 3-D images to guide extremely precise robotic arms. The technology allows your doctor to safely and effectively perform surgical procedures through very small incisions. UNC Children’s surgeons have performed more than 55 robotic-assisted surgeries for children.

Fetal Care

Fetal and Neonatal Care

UNC Children’s general surgery team works in concert with neonatal and maternal-fetal medicine experts at UNC to offer the best care to “high risk” mothers and their babies, starting even before birth. We provide prenatal evaluation and perioperative care of infants with surgically correctable congenital problems. These include lung lesions and masses, congenital diaphragmatic hernias, gastroschisis, omphalocoele, intestinal obstructions, congenital tumors and teratomas, and more.

Depending on your baby’s diagnosis, available options may include fetal surgery to repair specific birth defects while the baby is still in the womb. Whatever the intervention, you can rely on our compassion and expertise from diagnosis through care and treatment and beyond.

Outpatient (Same Day) Surgery

If your child’s surgery can be performed on an outpatient basis—meaning your child returns home the same day—you’ll enjoy a streamlined experience that offers the safe, high-quality medical care you expect from UNC Children’s. Common same-day surgeries performed by our pediatric surgical experts include:

  • Ear tube placement
  • Hernia repair
  • Lump and cyst removal
  • Undescended testes repair


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Find Family-Centered Care at UNC

At UNC Children’s, you’ll find friendly, compassionate staff who are experts at working with children and families. We’ll do our best to ease your anxiety, help you understand your child’s medical condition so you can make informed choices about their care, and offer whatever additional support you need. You can help make your experience go as smoothly as possible by exploring our patients and visitors section to learn about:


UNC Cystic Fibrosis Family Newsletter

We are always looking for ways to keep you better informed. Take a look at the CF Family Newsletter, published quarterly. You can help make the newsletter even better but sharing any ideas for the next newsletter or submitting an article to include. If you have a contribution, please contact Kelly Moormann.

Spring 2022

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Ask for a Referral

You’ll need a physician’s referral for pediatric surgical care at UNC. For more information, talk to your doctor, or call us at 919-966-4220.

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