Weill Cornell Medicine is a major referral center for complex and rare gastrointestinal disorders in infants and children.
Our programs for children integrate the expertise of pediatric anesthesiologists, pediatric radiologists, pediatric gastroenterologists, neonatologists, perinatologists and other surgical subspecialists who work collaboratively to coordinate a fully integrated plan of care.
Treatment, counseling and planning for corrective action can start before birth, while the child is still in the womb, through our involvement with the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Perinatal Center.
We also treat children with a variety of gastrointenstinal and hepatic and biliary malignancies. In addition to the primary resection of intraabdominal and gastrointestinal tumors, we perform hepatic resections and Kasai portoenterostomies for the treatment of biliary atresia. We are also an active member of the Children’s Oncology Group, the world’s largest organization devoted exclusively to childhood and adolescent cancer research.
Our physicians also treat the full spectrum of gastrointestinal disorders in older children. This includes diagnosis and treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease, intestinal motility disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticular diseases in children, hepatobiliary disorders and malrotation.
All care takes place at on kid-friendly pediatric floor, where a child life program and child-friendly operating rooms help smooth the transition for young patients’ stay in the hospital.
The pediatric surgical service is a crucial part of the Perinatal Care Center at Weill Cornell Medical Center. The pediatric surgical service promotes a team- based approach which involves antenatal consultations to parents and their families, interpretation of prenatal ultrasounds and MRI's as well as post-natal care of newborns with complex congenital malformations.
Our goal is to make the diagnosis of a potential congenital malformation antenatally, and provide education to parents and their families about the fetal diagnosis. We provide careful guidance throughout the pregnancy and the birthing process and provide the best care to infants post-natally. Since the infants often have other associated congenital malformations, we work in conjunction with other nationally recognized leaders to provide a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach to the infant's care.
Our experienced team offers expert pediatric surgical care by professionals who have expertise in addressing the needs of infants born with a variety of malformations. The team consists of nationally-renowned surgeons, neonatologists, anesthesiologists and other subspecialists who are experienced in the special needs of infants with these problems.
We offer the most advanced surgical therapy including minimally invasive techniques to repair major abdominal and chest malformations. We perform the full spectrum of pediatric surgical procedures which include head and neck anomalies, thoracic malformations, abdominal malformations as well as tumors. Some of the common problems that we treat are listed below.
Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH)- This condition occurs when the diaphragmatic components do not fuse properly allowing the abdominal organs like the stomach, spleen, liver and intestines to enter the chest cavity. The defect can occur on the right side or the left side, but more commonly on the left. Babies with CDH have small, underdeveloped lungs due to the presence of the abdominal organs in the chest. We offer a comprehensive plan of care for infants born with these anomalies including pre-natal consultation with our neonatologists. Surgical approaches include an abdominal approach as well as a minimally invasive thoracoscopic approach for repair.
Congenital lung malformations- are a family of structural abnormalities of the lung which arise from arrors in the embryologic development of the lung. The categories of malformations include Congenital Cystic Adenomatoid malformation (CCAM), Pulmonary sequestration, Bronchogenic Cyst and Congenital Lobar Emphysema. Many of these malformations are diagnosed on routine pre-natal ultrasound and are fixed after birth. The type, extent, and location of the malformation, dictate the amount of lung to be removed and the timing of the surgery. Both thoracotomy and thoracoscopic techniques are used to treat these malformations.
Esophageal Atresia and tracheoesophageal fistula - Congenital esophageal atreisa represents a failure of the esophagus to develop a continuous passage. Instead, most commonly it ends as a blind pouch and the distal end connects with the trachea. The presence is suspected in an infant with excessive salivation and is frequently accompanied by choking after birth. These are usually fixed shortly after birth by a thoracic approach whereby the fistula is divided and the two ends of the esophagus are connsected to each other. These infants often learn to eat and swallow normally. Watch our video on Esophegeal Atresia HERE.
Intestinal Atresia- a condition in which a portion of the intestine has not developed properly i.e. duodenal atresia, jejunal atresia. The infant is often born with bilious vomiting and a blockage in the intestines. Operations are performed after birth to restore intestinal continuity. The surgical approach for duodenal atresia usually involves bypass procedures where the blockage is bypassed and for intestinal atresias involve removal of the obstruction and re-anastomosis.
Abdominal Wall defects- Omphalocele and Gastroschisis are the most common abdominal wall defects. An omphalocele is a birth defect in which the infant's intestine or other abdominal organs stick out of the umbilicus. In omphalocele, the intestines are covered by a thin sac. Gastroschisis usually involves a protrusion of the intestine without a sac on the right side of the umbilical cord. These anomalies are usually fixed shortly by a variety of techniques which involve progressive closure of the abdominal wall.