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Specialized services for unique needs
CHOC's nationally recognized surgical teams are specifically equipped to care for pediatric patients.

Pediatric Surgical Services

When a child needs a surgery, that child’s needs are very different than those of an adult patient needing the same or similar procedure. Our nationally recognized surgeons perform the latest procedures, using equipment that is customized to pediatric patients all the way from newborns to young adults—and our operating and procedure rooms are designed for safety, precision and efficiency.

At CHOC, we have specialized in pediatric surgery since we welcomed our first patients in 1964.

Specialized Care for Growing Bodies

Our physicians and other health care professionals are all specially trained to work with pediatric patients. We are proud to offer patients:

Smiling Boy

Surgeon and assistant in performing catheterization procedure

State-of-the-art Surgery Programs

Our expertise is second to none. The surgeons at CHOC are known for offering the latest procedures no matter how complex—including the use of minimally invasive surgery and robotic surgery methods.

We provide specialty surgical services in the following areas:

Our Procedure and Surgical Center

The Tidwell Procedure Center at CHOC features nine operating rooms and advanced technology and information systems including the daVinci Si robotic surgical system with Firefly fluorescence imaging; full operating room data, imaging and video integration and video conferencing; the ROSA robotic device for neurological procedures; StealthStation surgical navigation and O-arm imaging technology; and a patient tracking system that allows families to track a patient’s progress throughout the surgical procedure. Using the technology integration system iSuite by Stryker, CHOC was the first children’s hospital in the region to have a fully integrated operating room. Learn more about the technology in our ORs.

The center also features three state-of-the-art endoscopy procedure rooms, two surgical procedure rooms and a Gastrointestinal Motility Lab. The center provides procedural care for patients of multiple specialties such as gastroenterology, pulmonology, oncology, dentistry and other surgical specialties. An 18-bed pre-operative unit includes all private rooms, and an 18-bed post-anesthesia care unit is configured to meet the unique needs of a wide variety of patients, including those who received anesthesia for an imaging procedure. Two isolation rooms are available for patients with contagious conditions, and other glass-enclosed rooms are for critical care patients who require specialized technology and ventilators.

Also featured is a cardiac catheterization lab—a biplane lab with hybrid capabilities—where invasive and neuroradiology procedures are offered as well. The center also includes a dedicated electrophysiology suite for patients with abnormal heart rhythms, offering both radiofrequency ablation and cryoablation, as well as 3D mapping.

Patient- and Family-Centered Care

CHOC provides patient- and family-centered care because we understand that when one family member is ill or is in need of surgery, the entire family is impacted. The center is staffed with a dedicated child life specialist and family liaison to help make the surgical process easier for both patients and families. We know how important it is that our patients still feel and act like kids while dealing with the adult issues of surgery and that their families get the support they need to focus on what is most important: patient recovery.

We are committed to continually communicating with patients and their families so that they understand what is happening at every step of the way during their time in the procedure center. Our knowledgeable nurses and skilled surgeons and anesthesiologists are dedicated to making sure that each patient’s family is provided with the most accurate information throughout the surgical process. Learn more about the social and emotional support designed especially for children and their families.

The CHOC Difference

    • Everything we do is tailored to kids, from our pediatric-trained surgeons and staff, to our custom equipment, to our pediatric guidelines for anesthesia and pain management.

  • CHOC is the first hospital in Southern California and one of only four in the state to earn Level 1 Children’s Surgical Verification by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), recognizing excellence in quality improvement and patient safety.
  • We strive to use the latest and most minimally invasive techniques, including robotic surgery.
  • The first children’s hospital in the region to have fully integrated operating rooms.
  • patient- and family-centered environment, where an entire support team is oriented around a child and his or her needs.
  • We operate in a way that minimizes effects on a child’s future growth and function and ensures the shortest recovery possible—so kids can get back to being kids.
  • We specialize in surgery for children of all ages, from babies as small as 400 grams to young adults up to 19 years old.
  • Child life specialists are always at the bedside, explaining surgery in age-appropriate terms and limiting the stress that it can bring.
  • During the course of a pregnancy, prenatal testing may identify issues with a baby that will need surgical attention immediately after birth. Our surgeons partner closely with your family and with CHOC neonatologists and other subspecialists to make a comprehensive plan for your baby.

Surgery Guides

At CHOC, we understand that the hospital can be a scary, unpredictable place and that children better cope with hospital stays when they trust the hospital staff and feel safe. Our associates build positive relationships with patients and their families while keeping the overall atmosphere calm and child friendly. We do everything possible to make our hospital a home away from home during both inpatient and outpatient surgery and procedures.

Our comprehensive guides to the surgery process are intended to help patients and their caregivers feel confident and prepared for an upcoming surgical procedure. We encourage caregivers to read through all of the guides – including the After Surgery Guide – before the patient’s surgery. We also encourage you to print pages you may find helpful for reference as you prepare for the child’s procedure. This information pertains to all patients, from those undergoing outpatient noninvasive procedures to those undergoing major, invasive inpatient surgeries.

This guide provides the information families need to ensure that everything is in place before the patient’s surgery. Whether a child is having an elective outpatient procedure or a major invasive surgery requiring an inpatient stay, all procedures and surgeries should be taken very seriously. This information should not take the place of information or instructions provided by the child’s surgeon.

The CHOC Day of Surgery Guide provides details about what to expect upon arrival and during the preparation for a surgery or procedure.
Caring for a patient after surgery is serious business, regardless of the type of procedure. It is important to follow all of the instructions provided by the patient’s health care team. Our after surgery guide can help parents prepare for what to expect after surgery but should never replace the patient’s physician's at-home care instructions.
Friends and family can be a great resource during difficult times. Through our years of experience caring for children and their families, we have established visitor guidelines that are best suited to support the child and his or her family while at CHOC.

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Pediatric Anesthesia

Child life specialist in operating room while anesthesia is being given to patientFinding out that your child needs surgery can be scary for parents to hear. You want to know that your child is in the best hands possible, and the nationally ranked surgeons and pediatric anesthesiologists at CHOC specialize in the care of kids. Your child’s pediatric anesthesiologist is not only an important member of your child’s surgery team but also the entire perioperative experience (before, during, and after surgery). Read more about pediatric anesthesia.

Health Features

Babies and Surgery
Parents and caregivers can prepare for their baby’s surgery by asking questions about their baby’s problem. Learn more about preparing your infant for surgery in this Health feature.

Kids and Surgery
Preparing your child in advance and planning ahead for surgery will help make your child feel more comfortable about the surgery and recover better and faster. Learn about how to prepare your child for surgery in this Health feature.

What Parents Need to Know About Cleft Palate Repair
Cleft lip and cleft palate are anomalies of the mouth and lip where the sides of the lip and the roof of the mouth do not fuse together as they should. Learn about how cleft palate is surgically repaired in this Health feature.

Contact Us

Any questions about your child’s surgery should be directed to your surgeon’s office.

Getting to the Tidwell Procedure Center

Patients must arrive at CHOC Hospital in Orange two hours before surgery is scheduled to begin. Caregivers should park at the main entrance of the hospital. Valet service is available. Learn more about visiting the Tidwell Procedure Center.

Get printable maps of our campus in English or Spanish.

1201 W. La Veta Ave. | Orange, CA 92868

To schedule a consultation with a CHOC pediatric surgeon, please call 714-364-4050.

Tidwell Procedure Center

Click on image for directions.

Answers from the Experts

Patients and caregivers often have a lot of questions regarding surgery. We are proud to offers answers to some of the most popular questions received by our nurses and physicians.

Prior to a patient’s surgery or procedure, the surgeon may discuss the need for a blood transfusion. Read frequently asked questions about blood transfusions.
Prior to surgery, the patient’s physician will give the child’s caregivers a careful explanation of what procedure will be performed and the risks involved. Caregivers are asked to sign an “informed consent form.” This form states that the caregiver understand the risks and benefits of the child’s surgery. Read frequently asked questions about informed consent.
Some children have an allergy or sensitivity to latex (rubber). Read frequently asked questions about latex allergies.
After surgery, there may be physical causes of pain, but the sensation of pain also depends on complex mental and emotional factors. Read frequently asked questions about pain management.
Our surgeons answer questions including: What will my child feel like after surgery? Can my child eat or drink before surgery? Can I be with my child after surgery? Will my child be sedated? How do I lessen my child's fears? Get answers to these questions and more.
When a child needs surgery, the patient and family will learn many new terms that are commonly used by doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. Learn about the most common terms you may hear.