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Conditions and Treatments

The pediatric surgeons at Brenner are experts in general surgery for children of all ages, from infants to young adults. We perform all types of operations on pediatric patients every day and are a leading pediatric surgery center in North Carolina. We help our patients get better through diagnosis, treatment, surgery and extensive follow-up care. 

Congenital Health Problems 

Congenital health problems are health problems that occur while a baby is developing. 

Acquired Health Problems 

Acquired health problems are health problems that occur in children after they are born. 

Conditions & Treatments


Appendicitis – 

A condition in which the appendix is infected or inflamed. 

Surgical treatment involves removing the appendix through either minimally invasive surgery via laparoscopy or a more traditional surgical method. 

Biliary atresia

A condition in which bile, the green or brown liquid produced by the liver, does not empty from the liver due to a congenital malformation. 

This condition is diagnosed through an ultrasound, liver biopsy and nuclear medicine scan that determine the path bile takes from the liver. Surgery is then performed to reconstruct the bile ducts and reattach them to the liver.

Cancer – 

We work closely with our colleagues in the pediatric oncology department to conduct surgical procedures for all types of cancers. Learn more about Brenner’s services for children with cancer. 

  • Hepatoblastoma – cancer of the liver 
  • Surgical treatments include removing part of the liver. 
  • Neuroblastoma – cancer found in the abdomen around the kidney area 
  • Part of the treatment for neuroblastoma is the removal of the cancerous area in the abdomen. 
  • Wilms’ tumor – cancer found in the kidney 
  • Treatment for Wilms’ tumor consists of removing part of or the entire kidney through a surgical procedure. 
  • Portocath – a catheter inserted into a vein to provide access for chemotherapy 
  • Used commonly during chemotherapy, portocaths are surgically inserted under the skin and the clavicle or collar bone as a direct route to a vein. 

Congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation – 

Often diagnosed through an ultrasound, this is a congenital condition in which a lobe of the lung does not develop properly; instead, an abnormal lung tissue that does not work correctly is formed. 

Expecting mothers are closely monitored during pregnancy. After birth, the abnormal tissue is removed. 

Esophageal atresia and tracheoesophageal fistula (abnormal pathways in the body) - 

Conditions in which the trachea and esophagus do not form correctly during a baby’s development and may not connect properly.

Treatment consists of closing the fistula and reconnecting the tubes to the proper organs soon after a baby’s birth. 

Gallbladder problems – 

Infections in the gallbladder caused by a viral or other cause. 

In certain cases, the gallbladder may be removed through minimally invasive surgery or, if required, traditional surgery. 

Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) –

Acid reflux; a condition in which food and the digestive juices (or acid) travel up the esophagus. 

Treatment includes tightening of the area at the end of the esophagus that allows food to travel into the stomach but not come back up the esophagus. 

Gastroschisis – 

A congenital condition in which a baby’s stomach or intestines protrude out of the body due to an opening in the baby’s abdomen. 

Expecting mothers are closely monitored during pregnancy. Soon after the baby’s birth, we will place the intestines and/or stomach back into the baby’s body and, if possible, close the opening. 

Hernia – 

A condition in which a hole in the groin does not close after birth; fluid and intestines may pass through this opening. 

This is one of the most common surgeries performed on children. During surgery, the herniated tissue is put back in its correct location and the opening or weakness in the muscle wall is closed or repaired. 

Hirschsprung’s disease

A condition in which normal nerves do not form that blocks a child’s ability to have a bowel movement. 

Treatment consists of surgery to remove the part of the colon that has enlarged and prevented a bowel movement. 

Imperforate anus (anal atresia) –

A congenital condition in which the opening to the anus does not develop or is in the incorrect location. 

Surgery is performed just after birth to create an opening that allows feces to pass from the body. 

Necrotizing enterocolitis – 

More commonly seen in premature babies, this gastrointestinal disease is caused by an infection or inflammation that destroys all or part of the bowel. Diagnosis is usually made after seeing an abnormal gas pattern in a baby’s x-ray. 

Treatment consists of surgical removal of the diseased area of the intestines. 

Obesity – 

Children that are extremely overweight are at risk for a number of health problems, including diabetes.

While support for behavioral change through programs such as Brenner FIT is the standard treatment for obesity, bariatric surgery (a surgical procedure in which the esophagus is narrowed by an adjustable balloon) may be necessary. 

Pectus carinatum – 

A congenital condition that is sometimes referred to as a ‘bowed chest,’ because of the abnormal amount of growth that occurs between a child’s breast bone and ribs. 

Treatment includes the use of a chest brace that pushes directly on the sternum; in certain cases, surgery may be necessary. 

Pyloric stenosis – 

A narrowing of the opening between the stomach and small intestine. 

Surgery is performed to enlarge the opening between the stomach and small intestine to allow food to pass.

Reproductive disorders – 

Health conditions that affect a child’s reproductive organs. 

Brenner’s pediatric general surgeons perform a number of surgeries to treat children with reproductive disorders, including the surgical removal of ovarian cysts and tumors. 

Short bowel syndrome

Brenner Children's Hospital's multidisciplinary team offers a variety of treatments for short bowel syndrome. Learn about the BRIDGE Program

Spleen disorders – 

Problems with the spleen caused by injury or blood disorders. 

A splenectomy, the surgical removal of the spleen, is performed only when medically necessary.