Department of Surgery | Conditions and Treatments

Abrasion

What is an abrasion? An abrasion is a superficial rub or wearing off of the skin, usually caused by a scrape or a brush burn. Abrasions are usually minor injuries that you can treat at home. When...

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Appendicitis

What is appendicitis? Appendicitis is a painful swelling and infection of the appendix (a narrow, finger-like pouch that branches off the large intestine). Doctors are not really sure what the...

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Choledochal Cysts

A choledochal cyst is a rare congenital swelling of the hepatic or bile duct of your child’s liver. This is the tract that transports bile produced by the cells to the gallbladder and duodenum (the...

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Circumcision

Circumcision is a surgical procedure to remove the skin covering the end of the penis, called the foreskin. In many cultures, circumcision is a religious rite or a ceremonial tradition. It is most...

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Cloacal Deformities

Cloacal deformities encompass a wide range of complicated defects in girls that occur during fetal development of the lower abdominal structures, particularly the intestinal and genito-urinary tracts,...

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Congenital Cystic Adenomatoid Malformation

A congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation (CCAM) is a benign (non-cancerous) mass of abnormal lung tissue usually located on one lobe (section) of the lung. CCAMs occur with equal frequency on both...

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Crohn’s Disease in Children

What is Crohn’s disease? Crohn’s disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) where one or more parts of a child’s intestinal tract become inflamed. Crohn’s disease is a chronic but highly...

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Esophageal Atresia

Esophageal atresia (EA) is a rare birth defect in which a baby is born without part of the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach). About 1 in 4,000 babies in the U.S. is born with...

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Ewing Sarcoma

Ewing sarcoma is a kind of cancer that grows in bones or soft tissues. The tumor was first described by a pathologist, Dr. James Ewing, in the 1920’s. Most often, it is found in the bones of the...

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Foker Process

You may have heard that esophageal atresia (EA) can be challenging to treat. Unfortunately, that's true. However, the dedicated, compassionate esophageal disorders team at Boston Children's is world...

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Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) is a digestive disorder that returns acidic or non-acid stomach juices, food or fluids back up into the esophagus. It is also called acid reflux or heartburn. When the...

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Gastroschisis

What is gastroschisis? Gastroschisis is a condition affecting newborns in which an opening in the abdominal wall fails to close during fetal development. Gastroschisis occurs in about 1 in every 5,000...

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Gynecomastia

Overview Gynecomastia is a condition in which above-average amounts of breast tissue form in males. This tissue is usually less than two inches wide. Typically located directly under one or both...

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Hemangioma

Overview When you saw that your baby had a birthmark, you may have been concerned. But rest assured that birthmarks are very common in infants—and most of them are pretty harmless. Your doctor...

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Inguinal Hernia

What is an inguinal hernia? A hernia is present when an opening is present in the abdominal wall through which a sac protrudes from the abdominal cavity through the abdominal wall. In pediatric...

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Hirschsprung's Disease

Hirschsprung's disease occurs when some of your baby’s intestinal nerve cells don’t develop properly, causing them to interfere with the movement of food and stools in the intestines. The intestine...

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Hydrocele

What is a hydrocele? A hydrocele is produced by fluid in the sac which normally surrounds the testicle. It often presents as painless swelling in the scrotum (the pouch that holds the testicle)....

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Hypospadias

Amid the joys of welcoming your child into the world, it can be very stressful to learn that he has been born with any kind of abnormality—especially one that may need surgery in the early months of...

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Liver Injuries

Overview Liver injuries The liver is the largest organ inside the body. It sits under the right lower ribs and may go all the way across to the left side. What are liver injuries? The liver, the...

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Midaortic Syndrome

What is midaortic syndrome? Midaortic syndrome is a very rare condition in which part of the aorta (the heart’s largest blood vessel) that runs through the chest and abdomen becomes narrow. This can...

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Neuroblastoma

Neuroblastoma is a cancerous tumor that begins in nerve tissue of very young children, usually beginning in the abdomen or adrenal glands. Abnormal nerve cells may be present before birth, but the...

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Omphalocele

Overview Parents of a child with an omphalocele An omphalocele is a birth defect in which some of your baby's abdominal organs protrude through an opening in her abdominal muscles in the area of her...

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Pectus Excavatum

What is a pectus excavatum? Pectus excavatum is a deformity of your child's chest wall. The breastbone, or sternum, and some of the ribs grow abnormally, causing a depression in the middle of the...

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Pilonidal Care Program

The word “pilonidal” means “hair nest.” Pilonidal disease is a chronic infection of the skin in the butt crease region. The condition occurs from a reaction to hairs rooted in the skin causing a “nest...

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Pectus Carinatum

What is pectus carinatum? Pectus carinatum is a deformity of your child's chest wall in which it is pushed outward. The condition occurrs in about 1 out of 1,500 children and more frequently in boys....

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Phimosis and Paraphimosis

What is phimosis and paraphimosis? Phimosis is a constriction of the opening of the foreskin so that it cannot be drawn back over the tip of the penis. This condition is a normal occurrence in the...

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Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS)

What is short bowel syndrome? Short bowel syndrome (SBS), or simply “short gut,” is a rare condition caused by the loss of a functioning small intestine. The small intestine is an important part of...

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Spleen Injuries

Overview What are spleen injuries? The spleen is soft and is surrounded by a tough covering, or capsule. If your child is hit or falls in a way that causes the left chest or upper abdomen to hit the...

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Thyroglossal Duct Cyst

About Thyroglossal Duct Cyst in children In the fetus, the thyroid gland forms at the bottom of the tongue. Early in fetal life it then “migrates” or moves from the bottom of the tongue downward to...

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Thyroid Nodules

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck that produces hormones that are important for growth and metabolism. A thyroid nodule is a solid or fluid-filled lump that forms within the thyroid...

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Tracheomalacia

Tracheomalacia is collapse of the airway when breathing. This means that when your child exhales, the trachea narrows or collapses so much that it may feel hard to breathe. This may result in a...

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Ulcerative Colitis

What is ulcerative colitis? Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease in which the inner lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum become inflamed. Inflammation usually begins in the...

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Umbilical Hernia

What is an umbilical hernia? An umbilical hernia is an opening in the abdominal wall around the belly button (umbilicus). In the developing baby (fetus), there is an opening in the abdominal wall just...

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Undescended Testicles (cryptorchidism)

What is an undescended testicle? Undescended testicles, also known as cryptorchidism, is a fairly common and normally painless congenital condition in which one or both of a baby's testicles (testes)...

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Vascular Malformations, Tumors, and Hemangiomas

Vascular malformations, tumors and hemangiomas all refer to a variety of non-cancerous birthmarks and lesions. Boston Children's Hospital is home to internationally renowned physicians for their...

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Wilms' Tumor

Wilms tumor (also called nephroblastoma) is a cancerous tumor in the cells of the kidney. Fortunately, with the right treatment, Wilms tumor is highly treatable. Wilms tumor can occur at any age...

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