Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital

Pediatric Surgery

The pediatric general surgery team offers infants, children and young adults general and specialized surgical care closer to home.

Update: We are now offering telemedicine consultations and follow-up appointments with the general surgery program, for the health and safety of our patients while coronavirus (COVID-19) is present in Florida. For appointment scheduling, please call 727-767-4170.

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Pediatric General Surgery has been verified as a Level 1 Children’s Surgery Center by the American College of Surgeons Children’s Surgery Verification Quality Improvement Program. Verified centers must meet standards that ensure that children facing surgery receive care under a multidisciplinary program with quality improvement and safety processes, data collection, and appropriate resources provided to them as patients at the hospital.
Johns Hopkins All Children's, based in St. Petersburg, Florida, provides a wide range of services including advanced miniature access and minimally invasive surgeryneonatal surgerycongenital diaphragmatic hernia surgery, chest wall deformity surgery, ambulatory wound services and oncology surgery.

Working with two community and regional hospitals and eight Outpatient Care locations, we offer comprehensive care closer to home with access to the latest treatments, procedures and technology.

General Surgery Conditions and Procedures

The Johns Hopkins All Children’s General Surgery team cares for and treats infants, children and young adults with a wide range of  common and complex  conditions. We use a variety of surgical procedures, including the latest minimally invasive techniques, to treat patients with surgical needs. Our team designs an individualized care plan for each patient’s condition and unique circumstance for the best possible treatment and recovery options. 

Some conditions we treat include:

  • Chest Wall DeformityOur Chest Wall Deformity program evaluates and treats children with common and complex chest wall deformities, including pectus excavatum, pectus carinatum, slipping rib syndrome and congenital rib anomalies.
  • Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH). Our CDH program addresses a condition that occurs when the diaphragm (the muscle that separates the abdomen from the chest) does not develop completely during fetal development, causing a hole where abdominal organs can migrate into the chest. When that happens, it doesn’t leave enough space for the lungs to develop normally, making it hard for the baby to breathe.
  • Esophageal and Airway TreatmentThe Esophageal and Airway Treatment (EAT) program at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital cares for infants, children and young adults with complex esophageal and airway problems. We believe every patient should have more than 80 years of good esophageal function. That's why we customize every patient’s care plan for the best results, and when possible, maintain the patient’s native esophagus for the best long-term outcomes.
  • Vascular Anomalies. The Vascular Anomalies and Birthmarks Program treats conditions that affect the capillaries, veins, arteries and lymphatic system. Our surgeons work alongside other specialists at our hospital to provide comprehensive treatment at one location.
  • Minimally Invasive SurgeryOur pediatric surgeons offer minimally invasive, single-incision surgery to treat a variety of common and rare conditions, resulting in less scarring, less pain and shorter hospital stays. Minimally invasive surgery uses a small incision hidden in the belly button and can be performed on babies as small as four pounds.

See more conditions>>

Some of the procedures we perform include:

  • Appendectomy. Appendectomy is a minimally invasive procedure to remove the appendix through one to three small incisions.
  • Hydrocele Repair. Hydrocelectomy repairs a hydrocele, a condition that causes the scrotum to swell with fluid.
  • Esophagoscopy. This procedure uses special viewing devices and instruments to diagnose and treat conditions of the esophagus and trachea.
  • Frenulectomy. Frenulectomy is a procedure to treat tongue tie (ankyloglossia), a condition that may cause feeding or speech difficulties.
  • Excision of Skin Lesions. This procedure removes skin lesions, including lumps, sores, skin cancer and other abnormal areas.
  • Wound CareOur Pediatric Ambulatory Wound Service Clinic offers a specialty program dedicated to providing comprehensive, supportive pediatric wound care for children.

See more procedures>>

Benefits of a Pediatric Surgeon

There are many advantages of having a pediatric surgeon care for your child. Pediatric surgeons have special qualifications and training for pediatric general surgery, including:

  • Seven years of training after medical school. Becoming a pediatric surgeon requires completing one of the longest training pathways in the U.S. medical system. Physicians train for seven years after medical school, with some physicians having additional fellowship training in research or critical care.
  • Certified in general surgery and pediatric surgery. Pediatric surgeons must pass two certifications before they can practice, one in general surgery and one in pediatric surgery.
  • Specially trained to operate from the neck to the pelvis. While adult surgeons usually focus on a specific organ or region of the body, pediatric surgeons are trained to operate on a defined age group from the neck to the pelvic region.
Learn more about the specialized training that pediatric general surgeons have.

Why Choose Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital?

Our pediatric surgeons are trained in the latest treatments and offer:

  • Board Certified Pediatric Surgeons. Board certified pediatric surgeons specialize in children’s surgery and our team are all board certified or board eligible. Although the American Board of Surgery allows a seven-year limit to be board certified, Johns Hopkins All Children’s requires our pediatric surgeons to be board certified within the first two years of hire.
  • Advanced surgical experience. Our surgeons are leaders in procedures used to treat some of the most complex conditions including chest wall deformities and congenital diaphragmatic hernias.
  • Personalized care. Our surgeons take a whole-team approach to treating conditions. We work alongside specialists and subspecialists across our hospital, including oncology, anesthesiology, maternal-fetal medicine specialists, pain management specialists and genetics, and are ready to meet a patient's needs all in one location.
  • An innovative approach to treatment. Our team is specially trained in minimally invasive procedures, including single incision “keyhole" surgical procedures. Minimally invasive surgery shortens hospital stays and healing time and lessens the pain and discomfort of surgery.
  • Comprehensive care. We have access to pediatric specialists and subspecialists throughout our hospital and can provide a seamless transition for patients who need additional specialty care beyond our services. 


We know you want what's best for your child. We're ready to assist you with your questions.

Request an appointment

Complete our online form and our team will contact you to schedule an appointment.

Call toll-free 800-456-4543 , ext. 4170.

Read more:

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Is a Level 1 Children’s Surgery Program

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has designated Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital as a Level 1 Children’s Surgery Center, a verification of excellence that is held by fewer than 50 children’s hospitals in the United States.

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Dr. David Kays Offers CDH Families Hope

When David Kays, M.D., was a child, his mother gave him a book about medicine, helping to set him on the path to becoming a surgeon. Now he is one of the best in the nation at treating congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), and serves as medical director of the hospital’s Center for CDH, the nation’s first inpatient unit solely dedicated to treating CDH. He talks about his journey to medicine, and how he came to specialize in CDH.

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Birdie’s Surprise

Babies with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) are often diagnosed before birth, but for Birdie, the diagnosis didn’t come until shortly after she was born. She and her family were referred to the Center for CDH at Johns Hopkins All Children’s, where babies like Birdie receive the specialized care they need to grow and thrive.

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