The pancreas is very important to a child’s normal growth and development. It sits in the back of the abdomen, behind the stomach and does two things: 1) It produces enzymes, which help with digesting food and 2) it produces hormones such as insulin and glucagon, which help control blood sugar. In the fetus and newborn baby, the pancreas produces almost no pancreatic enzymes (amylase and lipase); then, the child’s pancreas starts making these enzymes, which help in the digestion of food. Production of these enzymes is at full adult levels by age 2 years.
There are four parathyroid glands along the behind the thyroid glands and near the edges of the gland. They are pea-sized and control calcium levels in the body. The most common disease of the parathyroid glands in children is hyperpararthyroidism.
Patent Ductus Arteriosus
Protrusion deformities of the anterior chest wall are 10 times less frequent than depression deformities. Associated disorders, including congenital heart disease, Marfan’s syndrome, spine abnormalities, and musculoskeletal defects are as frequent as in patients with pectus excavatum. The deformity typically is mild or absent in early childhood and becomes increasingly prominent during the rapid growth in early adolescence.
Pectus excavatum, or funnel chest, is a congenital malformation of the anterior chest characterized by a prominent depression of the body of the sternum, usually involving its lower half to two-thirds. The lower rib cartilages bend posteriorly to form a depression. The first and second ribs, and the upper sternum are essentially normal. Asymmetric deformities are common, with the depression being deeper on the right with the sternum being rotated posteriorly to that side. In most instances however, the depression is involves the lower half of the sternum and is symmetrical with a decrease in the depth of the chest cavity.
Perianal and Perirectal Abcess
Pyloric stenosis is the most common disorder causing vomiting in infancy which requires surgery.
There are numerous definitions for short-bowel syndrome (SBS). The simplest definition is that there is inadequate intestine to maintain normal nutrition by eating. Because infants and children require increased calories to grow and develop, SBS can have a more devastating effect in these patients.
Solid Chest Tumors
he spleen was long believed to be an unnecessary organ that could be removed without causing any problems. Important functions of the spleen have now been discovered, however, including the removal of bacteria and waste from the blood, the making of antibodies, and the making of red blood cells.
Torsion of Testicular Appendix
Torsion of an appendix testis and appendix epididymis are common causes of torsion. Both of these are small tags of normal tissue attached to the testicle.
Thyroglossal Duct Cysts and Sinuses
The frequency of thyroid cancer has increased since the 1960’s, and is one of the most common pediatric cancers.
A thyroid nodule is a lump found in the gland. They can be malignant (cancer) or benign (not cancer). Although thyroid nodules are more common in adults than children, they are more likely (20-30%) to be malignant in children.
Thyroid Tissue at the Wrong Site (Ectopic)
Thyroiditis is enlargement of the thyroid gland from an autoimmune (antibodies to one’s own body) reaction. In this disease, the thyroid cells are damaged by antibodies. This is most commonly called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, or autoimmune chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis. It is a common cause of enlargement of the thyroid in children, although it is more common in adults. Hashimoto’s thyroid is 10 times more common in females.
Torsion of Testicular Appendix
Torticollis, or wry neck, results from scarring and a mass in the middle portion of the large muscle in the neck known as the sternocleidomastoid muscle.
Ulcerative colitis (UC) was described almost 150 years ago. Despite significant advancements in the knowledge of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), this disorder’s cause and treatment remain unresolved. Although classically thought of as a disorder of adults, many children are affected. The pediatric surgeon is often instrumental in caring for patients with this disabling disease.