Pediatric Surgery

Pediatric surgery requires a special touch from the hands of a team experienced in tending to the needs of a child. In addition to technical expertise and experience, two other elements are required for great results: compassion and tenderness. When it comes to pediatric surgery, it's more than just the patient who needs reassurance.

The pediatric surgical staff at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend understand these needs and caters to every pediatric patient for a variety of procedures. More common among them are:


Removing the appendix traditionally or laparoscopically is the most common treatment for appendicitis. Surgery is used to remove the appendix before it ruptures.

Appendicitis is the inflammation and infection of the appendix, which is a part of the large intestine. The inflammation can cause moderate to intense abdominal pain.

Bowel Resection

A resection is the surgical removal of unhealthy tissue in the digestive system. It can also be used to remove tumors in the same area. This procedure is done traditionally or laparoscopically.

The risks associated with a bowel resection are infections, bleeding and the formation of scar tissue.

Inguinal Hernia Repair

Inguinal hernia surgery corrects hernias formed when portions of the bowel push into the inguinal canal. This is often due to muscles in the stomach not fully forming before birth.

Inguinal hernias can occur soon after birth or years later. They often form a bulge in the groin or scrotum, which can cause pain or a burning sensation.

Learn more about Inguinal Hernia Repair surgery.

Rectal Biopsies

This procedure is used as a test for different pediatric diseases, including Hirschsprung’s disease. Hirschsprung’s disease is found in the nerve cells of the large intestine of newborns, and it affects a baby’s ability to pass stool.

Read more about Hisrchsprung’s Disease.

Umbilical Hernia Repair

Umbilical hernia surgery corrects the formation of a hernia bulge around the belly button. Surgery isn’t a necessity with all umbilical hernias as they can often heal on their own. This form of hernia occurs when a baby’s umbilical ring doesn’t seal completely before birth.

Symptoms include soft bulges near the belly button that can appear infected. Children with umbilical hernias may experience vomiting as well.

Dr. Garret Zallen discusses his approach to pediatric surgery

Dr. Garret Zallen discusses his approach to pediatric surgery

Meet pediatric surgeon Kimberly Ruscher, MD

Meet pediatric surgeon Kimberly Ruscher, MD