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The Department of Pediatric Surgery at the Children's Hospital of Michigan is the largest pediatric surgery program in Metropolitan Detroit, with more than 14,000 surgeries performed annually across all surgical divisions. Why does surgical volume matter? Because studies suggest that higher volume in certain complex procedures correlates with better surgical outcomes and improved quality of care. With this level of expertise on the pediatric surgical staff, physicians throughout Michigan refer child and infant surgery cases to the Children's Hospital of Michigan.

From common procedures like appendectomies and hernia repairs to more complex repairs of congenital anomalies, board-certified pediatric surgeons at the Children's Hospital of Michigan provide surgical care for a broad range of conditions affecting children. Pediatric surgeons specialize in abdominal and chest surgery as well as many conditions of the head, neck and extremities. They remove tumors and correct congenital anomalies, often operating on patients weighing less than one pound.


Pediatric/Child surgeons on staff at the Children's Hospital of Michigan direct the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) team, nutrition support, IV team, burn center and trauma center. The Burn Center at the Children's Hospital of Michigan is tone of only a few in the nation- to be verified by the American Burn Association (ABA) and the Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). The hospital is also home to a Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center verified by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma. The division also has an active research program in clinical outcomes, quality improvement and translational sciences.

Surgery Services and Innovations

The pediatric surgery physicians and staff are highly trained in the latest surgical techniques in order to provide the best possible outcome for patients. The department offers a child friendly waiting area and examination rooms.

The department offers certain 24-hour physician on call services. Patients have the option of touring the operating room and hospital in advance of their surgery through the Children's Hospital Surgery Express program.

Why choose pediatric surgery at the Children's Hospital of Michigan?

  • The Children's Hospital of Michigan is a Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center verified by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma.
  • The Children's Hospital of Michigan offers life-saving Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) therapy for children in respiratory failure.
  • The Children’s Hospital of Michigan offers a dedicated pediatric Burn Center, one of only a few in the nation - verified by the American Burn Association (ABA) and the Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons (ACS).
  • The hospital offers a Children’s Hospital Intestinal Rehabilitation Clinic (CHIRP) providing multidisciplinary care to children on IV nutrition.
  • Surgeons on staff perform advanced laparoscopic and thoracoscopic surgical procedures.
  • More than 14,000 surgeries are performed every year.
  • The Division participates in the American College of Surgeon's National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) for Pediatric Surgery.
  • Same day/next day appointments are available.

CHIRP Clinic

Children’s Hospital Intestinal Rehabilitation Clinic (CHIRP) Provides Multidisciplinary Care to Children on IV Nutrition

Infants and children on IV nutrition or home TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition) often require the care of pediatric specialists across a variety of disciplines. The Children’s Hospital Intestinal Rehabilitation Clinic (CHIRP) at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan currently provides care to approximately 60 children, including 30 on home TPN.

Joseph L. Lelli, Jr., M.D. serves as medical/ surgical director of the clinic in addition to his roles as Surgeon-in-Chief of Pediatric Surgery at the hospital. The clinic provides integrated, multidisciplinary care from a pediatric surgeon, gastroenterologist, pharmacist, dietitian, social worker, physical therapist, occupational therapist and nurse practitioner.

Children dependent on IV nutrition can face liver problems, as well as growth and bone mineralization issues. Many children do not enter puberty naturally and require specialized care from an endocrinologist. Some children with little or no bowel will eventually require a bowel transplant.

“Ideally, we want to move children from TPN to enteral feeding. In a child with very little functioning bowel, this can be very difficult,” says Dr. Lelli . “But it’s important to minimize TPN and maximize enteral feeding. This protects the liver and may delay the need for a bowel transplant. Based on research, we know that children who have bowel transplants when they are older tend to have better outcomes.”

For further information or to schedule an appointment call (313) 745-KIDS or toll-free at (888) 362-2500.

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