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Children's Surgery

pre-teen girl sitting in her hospital bed smiling, with doctors speaking gently to her

The pediatric surgery program at Inova Children’s Hospital is a regional leader in innovation and outcomes, with expertise in all types of surgical procedures for children including complex treatment for children’s cardiac conditions. Pediatric surgery is available at Inova Children’s Hospital, Inova Alexandria Hospital and Inova Loudoun Hospital. Services vary by location.

Our Team

A team totally dedicated to your child's care and recovery

Each physician and clinician associated with our pediatric surgery program has one goal: to provide your child the highest level of surgical care and to make his or her hospital experience as comfortable as possible before, during and after surgery.

Inova's Child Life specialists are specially trained clinicians who dedicate themselves to easing the anxiety and stress affecting children during a hospital stay or outpatient procedure. Our Child Life experts are available at Inova Children's Hospital and Inova Loudoun Hospital. Because your child is unique, our Child Life specialists tune in to your family, culture and stage of development.

Our Certified Child Life specialists are trained to meet the psychosocial needs of children undergoing medical experiences. They have an undergraduate degree in child life or related field, have completed a child life internship, and are certified with the Child Life Council. Many have gone on to complete a Master's degree and fellowship in the field of child life. This specialized training equips child life specialists with the skills and expertise required to help prepare and support children through their medical experiences.

Specialized Programs and Services

Our national recognition means excellence in care for your child

Inova Children's Hospital performs more than 4,000 pediatric surgeries and over 800 sedation/infusion procedures each year. Our state-of-the-art pediatric surgery center offers inpatient and outpatient surgical services for children, adolescents and their families including:

  • A nationally ranked pediatric cardiac surgery program recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top programs in the country
  • Dedicated pediatric anesthesiologists and specialized nurses at the forefront of pediatric medicine
  • Nursing care that is ranked nationally in the top 10 percent by our physicians
  • Certified Child Life specialists trained to prepare and support children and families through every aspect of the surgical experience and hospital stay
Conditions and Treatments

Inova conducts surgeries in the following specialty areas:

  • Cardiac
  • Craniofacial
  • General surgery
  • Kidney transplant
  • Musculoskeletal tumors
  • Neurosurgery
  • Ophthalmology
  • Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
  • Scoliosis
  • Spine
  • Surgical Oncology
  • Orthopedics
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Otolaryngology (ENT)
  • Plastic and reconstructive
  • Podiatry
  • Trauma
  • Urology

Our most frequently performed pediatric surgery is an appendectomy, with a mean length of stay of 2.1 days. Our complication rate is 1.6 percent lower than the top 15 percent of high-performing hospitals.

Patient Information

NPO guidelines

Procedures requiring anesthesia or sedation require that your child fast before the exam or procedure. This is known as NPO (an acronym of the Latin, nothing by mouth).

NPO means no fluids (including water) or food are allowed for a specified number of hours before the exam. The requirements vary depending on the procedure and the age of the child.

Refer to our NPO guidelines in English or Spanish for details.

Preparing Your Child for Surgery

Please visit our Preparing for Surgery page for parents and children.