The Division of Pediatric Surgery consists of three full-time pediatric surgeons (Samuel Smith, M.D., Sidney Dassinger, MD and Todd Maxson, MD). We are very active in thoracoscopic and laparoscopic procedures including Nissen fundoplications, pyloromyotomies, VATS, endorectal pull-through, etc. We perform routine and advanced procedures including minimally invasive CDH repair, pulmonary lobectomies, endorectal pull-throughs, aortopexies etc. We also utilize the daVinci system with fellows working at both console and bedside. The Pediatric Surgical Service has full responsibility in collaboration with neonatology for care of surgical patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care and Pediatric Intensive Care Units. ACH functions as a Level I Pediatric Trauma Center with more than 700 admissions per year. These cases are a mixture of blunt and penetrating trauma.
Arkansas Children’s Hospital is the 6th largest children’s hospital in the country (270 beds). Our pediatric surgery service performs over 2400 cases per year. Our pediatric surgery residents average between 1000 and 1400 operative cases during their fellowship. Our state-of-the-art Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) currently has 90 beds and is expanding. The NICU provides a good mix and volume of neonatal index cases. As the only pediatric hospital in our state (population 2.7 million), Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) serves as “the” tertiary pediatric facility in Arkansas with two full-time helicopters, a fixed-wing aircraft and several ground transport units.
One of our major strengths is teaching. Our entire faculty brings a commitment to working closely with the pediatric surgery residents. Each of the attendings takes call 3-4 days at a time. This allows better continuity for patient care rounds and a clear sense of who gets the consults and who gets priority in the OR. We have three specialty nurses and have recently added an Advance Practice Nurse. At any given time, we have from two to four Junior Medical Students, three first year Surgery Residents, and a fourth year Surgery Resident rotating on our service. This allows an excellent opportunity for the Pediatric Surgery Residents to be actively involved in teaching.
Pediatric Surgery Residents are involved in the preoperative and postoperative management of all surgical patients since we have no other off site practices. In the current managed care environment, we feel that this is an important advantage of our program over many of the others. We have three all-day clinics per week that are staffed by the residents and attending staff. This allows involvement in both long and short term follow-ups, as well as the initial evaluation of new patient conditions ranging from inguinal hernias to choledochal cysts.
Additional information about our Pediatric Surgery Training programs can be obtained from our Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) web site.