Sections & Programs

Pediatric Surgery

Welcome to The University of Chicago Section of Pediatric Surgery. We are proud to be a part of one of America's premier universities and to share with you our rich surgical history matched only by our ongoing commitment to excellence in patient care, research and teaching.

The Pediatric Surgical Subspecialty group at the University of Chicago performs more than 4,000 operations each year for a variety of childhood diseases. The clinical faculty offers world-renowned expertise in all aspects of pediatric surgical care with complete, well-balanced programs in General Surgery, Otolaryngology, Neurosurgery, Orthopedics and Urology.

The hallmark of the Pediatric General Surgery program is an AGCME-accredited, two-year fellowship training program in Pediatric General Surgery with a clinical emphasis on minimally invasive surgery (MIS), which results in less pain, tissue damage and scarring in children, as well as faster recovery and shorter hospital stays. The section produces numerous articles for peer reviewed journals on minimally invasive surgery in children, as well as presents cutting-edge techniques at national meetings. In addition to our unique minimally invasive program, the general surgery group performs traditional pediatric surgical procedures ranging in complexity form high index neonatal surgery to routine hernia surgery. The group also manages the largest and busiest Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) program in the Chicago area.

The Otolaryngology group provides a vast range of complex services from endoscopic sinus surgery and cochlear implantation to traditional myringotomy tubes for otitis media. There is ongoing seminal research in allergic rhinitis supported by NIH funding. The Neurosurgery group supports all aspects of pediatric surgery including neuro-oncology, neurovascular surgery, functional neurosurgery, epilepsy and minimally invasive surgery, allowing unprecedented access to innovative treatments. There is ongoing research in hydrocephalus physiology supported by NIH funding. The Orthopedics group performs a wide range of procedures ranging in complexity from complicated scoliosis surgery to routine fracture care. The Urology group has a renowned national expert in bladder reconstruction and complex congenital urological anomalies who performs a wide range of minimally invasive procedures including robotic surgery ranging from innovative/complicated urological reconstruction to traditional hypospadias repair.

Along with our clinical and research activities, we emphasize a rich and vibrant academic environment for the education of medical students, residents and fellows. We seek to create an environment that will foster the development and growth of our future medical leaders.

Thank you for taking the time to learn about our programs. It is through collaboration with your that we will continue to fulfill our important missions of research, education and high quality care to our pediatric patients.

The pediatric general surgeons at University of Chicago Medicine's Comer Children's Hospital are recognized experts in the surgical treatment of a wide range of diseases affecting children of all ages, including newborns and teenagers. The pediatric surgical programs include:

  • Antenatal consultations
  • Congenital anomalies and surgery of the newborn
  • Aerodigestive tract program (esophageal reconstruction and gastroesophageal reflux)
  • Colorectal reconstruction (Hirschsprung's disease, anorectal malformations, dysmotility)
  • Pediatric cancer, including Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy
  • Vascular anomalies (hemangiomas; arteriovenous, venous and lymphatic malformations; vascular tumors of infancy)
  • Chronic abdominal conditions (inflammatory bowel disease, median arcuate ligament syndrome)
  • Trauma
  • Advanced practice nursing clinics for device and appliance help, skin care and bowel management

Our surgeons work closely with a team of experts to offer families a full range of treatment options for these children. Their commitment to multidisciplinary work also ensures every child is supported by a team of sub-specialists with the experience and expertise to handle the rarest and most complex cases. All our surgeons utilize cutting-edge minimally invasive techniques, which are performed in children as small as 2lbs. This approach results in less pain, tissue damage and scarring in children, as well as faster recovery and reduced length of stay.

In addition to pediatric general surgery, our surgeons cover a broad range of pediatrics specialties:

Young patients with complex diseases often require ongoing follow-up, and our pediatric surgical program is one of few in the nation that provides long-term support for patients beyond the point-of-care. To learn more about our pediatric specialties, please click here.

Advanced Practice Providers

Christine Baker, MSN, APRN, CWOCN

Joyce Eapen, MSN, APRN, CPNP

Christa Fox, MSN, APRN, CPNP

Shannon Harris, MSN, APRN, CPNP

Lily Yuen, MSN, APRN, CPNP

Chief of Pediatric Surgery, Jessica Kandel, MD, has focused her research on the pediatric solid tumors Wilms tumor, neuroblastoma, and hepatoblastoma, for which there is poor prognosis despite intensive treatment. Understanding how the COX-2, VEGF, Ang/Tie2, and Notch pathways, through their effects on tumor vasculature, affect tumor growth has provided valuable information on treatment strategies for cancer. More recently, comparing Notch blockade in primary tumors with distant metastatic organs has highlighted the importance of targeted drug therapy.

Related to this concept, Dr. Kandel is interested in harnessing new imaging and delivery techniques to decrease toxicity by early detection of drug effects, as well as through targeted delivery of agents to the tumors using size- selected microbubbles.

Dr. Kandel also lymphatic malformations, poorly understood vascular malformations that affect children and adults. Treatment options for these lesions are limited, largely due to their unknown pathobiology, and pediatric patients currently face a life-long battle with this disease.

Dr. Sonia Hernandez, research associate (assistant professor), studies the interaction between angiopoietin/Tie2 and Notch modulation, and metastasis in neuroblastoma. Recent data suggests that microorganisms can elaborate toxins that disrupt Notch homeostasis in some tissues, leading to impaired host defense mechanisms and metastatic invasion. She is also interested in the vascular complications of diabetes, having studied potential protective factors in patients with 50 years or more of type1 diabetes (Medalists).

The two-year Pediatric Surgery Fellowship program is an ACGME-accredited program that consists of extensive clinical and surgical training in pediatric surgery, including trauma, ECMO, oncology, congenital abnormalities, minimally invasive surgery, subspecialty and critical care services.

Our ACGME approved 12-month Surgical Critical Care Fellowship program was established in 2016.

Faculty & Providers