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Some services at this location are temporarily on hold through April 3. Patients who are affected will be called in advance of their scheduled appointment, and clinic staff will be able to answer any questions or concerns. If you do not hear from us, please come to your scheduled appointment.

Pediatric Surgery

Surgery at any age can be scary. When it’s your child, you want to know they are being cared for by a team that specializes in pediatric surgery.

University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital is home to the only team of pediatric surgeons in Iowa and western Illinois specifically trained to care for children, from premature infants to young adults. Our surgeons are specialists in the care of a broad range of pediatric surgical conditions and traumatic injuries.

As part of an academic medical center, our surgeons are also researchers, which means they are on top of the latest surgical techniques and medical discoveries to provide the most advanced care for your child. In addition to traditional procedures, our surgical team also performs minimally invasive surgeries that can reduce the length of hospital stays and minimize pain.

Our multidisciplinary care team includes expert pediatric surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, nutritionists, pharmacists, technologists, and support staff, all dedicated to the care of infants and children. Because we know surgery may just be one part of your child’s care, our pediatric surgery team works together with other pediatric specialists, such as neonatology, hematology, oncology, pulmonology, gastroenterology, otolaryngology, urology, cardiology, and radiology to ensure a complete and comprehensive plan of care. Because we all work together, every team member knows what is happening with your child’s care. This helps us determine what surgery is the best option for your child.

Pain management, nutrition, and social and psychological services are also part of our holistic approach to the care of children. Our family-centered care includes Child Life specialists, tutoring, art and music therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. We partner closely with parents and family members so we can provide the best care and offer the most supportive environment to children.

UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital offers pediatric surgery satellite clinics in Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, and the Quad Cities.


Level I Pediatric Trauma Center

UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital is the first and only verified Level I Pediatric Trauma Center in Iowa. This means UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital meets the highest standards set by the American College of Surgeons for trauma care in children. Our pediatric surgical and medical specialists collaborate to treat minor and serious physical and psychological trauma. We have specialized equipment for children of all ages and sizes, and our staff partakes in ongoing pediatric trauma education to ensure that families receive the highest level of pediatric care available.

Trauma is the leading cause of death and disability in children and adolescents, and preventing it is the best way to impact our children's health and well-being. The pediatric trauma team also provides education on injury prevention and treatment for families and UI Health Care faculty and staff.

Pediatric Surgical Emergencies

  • Abscess
  • Appendicitis
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Central line placement
  • Port placement
  • Empyema
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Inguinal hernia
  • Intestinal bleeding
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Ostomy care
  • Pyloric stenosis

Chest Wall Anomalies

Minimally Invasive Surgery (Performed when Appropriate)

  • Laparoscopy
  • Thoracoscopy
  • Percutaneous gastrostomy tube placement
  • Robotically assisted minimally invasive surgery

Gastrointestinal Surgery

  • Disorders of the esophagus
    • Achalasia
    • Esophageal stricture
    • Foregut duplication and neuroenteric cysts
    • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
    • Hiatal hernia
  • Disorders of the intestines
    • Short gut
    • Hirschsprung disease
    • Meckel's diverticulum
    • Gastrointestinal bleeding
    • Perianal disease
    • Inflammatory bowel disease
    • Crohn's disease
    • Ulcerative coliti 

Skin and Neck Conditions

  • Thyroglossal duct cyst
  • Moles
  • Complex wound care
  • Soft tissue masses
  • Brachial cleft cyst

Pediatric Cancer and Benign (Non-dangerous) Tumors

  • Adrenal tumors
  • Chest wall tumors
  • Ewing's sarcoma
  • Kidney tumors
    • Wilms' tumors
    • Nephroblastoma
    • Rhabdoid tumors
    • Clear cell carcinoma of kidney
  • Lung tumors
  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Ovarian tumors/cysts
  • Primitive Neuroectodermal tumor
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Soft tissue sarcoma
  • Teratoma
  • Thyroid nodule

Congenital (Occurring at Birth) Newborn Malformations

  • Abdominal wall defects
  • Gastroschisis
  • Omphalocele
  • Cloacal anomalies
  • Cryptorchidism (undescended testes)
  • Diaphragmatic hernia
  • Duodenal atresia
  • Hirschprung's disease
  • Imperforate anus
  • Intestinal atresia
  • Lung malformations
  • Malrotation of the intestines
  • Pulmonary malformations
  • Sacrococcygeal teratoma
  • Tracheal stenosis
  • Tracheomalcia
  • Tracheoesophageal malformations

Vascular Problems

  • Vascular malformations
    • Lymphangiomas
    • Hemangiomas
    • Cystic hygromas
  • Renovascular hypertension
  • Aortic disease
  • Vascular access
  • Central line and port placement
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS)


  • Preparing for your day of surgery
  • The power of play
    The pediatric surgery team at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital developed custom medical dolls to help patients and families better understand what to expect before surgery.
  • Music Therapy and Surgery: Patient Introduction
    This video provides information about how music therapy might help you feel more comfortable after your surgery at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Information is provided by staff members as well as former patients and a relaxation exercise concludes the video.
  • Music Therapy and Your Child’s Surgery: An Introduction for Parents
    This video explains how music therapy and relaxation can be used as part of the pain management plan after surgery. Information is provided by staff members as well as former patients. A relaxation exercise concludes the video.


Emergency Room and Inpatient Transfer Requests
UI Transfer Center

Patient Stories

  • Parent Blog: Sara Erbes

    Grayson Erbes sitting on hospital bed "UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital helped save Grayson’s life. Without their expertise, Grayson could’ve had a very different outcome." Sara Erbes Read more
  • Parent Blog: Nicole Cisne Durbin

    Lilah Dubin, photo "UI Stead Family Children's Hospital is the best place you never want to be. The child life specialists were phenomenal and a vital part of our team. Lilah loved her nurses so much she cried for two days before she left because she was sad to leave them." – Nicole Cisne Durbin Read more
  • Parent Blog: Kimberly Peper

    Alisa Peper, photo Our daughter, Ailsa, had a duodenal atresia, which is a bowel obstruction, before she was born. Read more
  • Parent Blog: Amanda McMillin

    Eilidh McMillin, photo "Due to severe oligohydramnios – a deficiency in amniotic fluid – and fetal kidney abnormalities, specialists at other hospitals had informed us that she was unlikely to survive to her birth and, if born alive, that there was an even smaller possibility that she would live more than minutes to hours." – Amanda McMillin Read more
  • Parent Blog: Amy Brinkmeyer

    Mitchell Brinkmeyer "Our youngest son, Mitchell, was diagnosed with pectus carinatum in February 2015. No doctors in Cedar Rapids treated this condition and we had to take him to University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital for specialty care." Read more

Locations and Contact

  • UI Stead Family Children's Hospital
    2400 Colloton Pavilion
    200 Hawkins Drive
    Iowa City, Iowa 52242
    In House Directions: UI Stead Family Children's Hospital public elevator, Level 2
    • Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • 1-855-543-2884 (855 KID AT UI)
    • 1-319-356-1616 (Emergency)