Current status of subspecialization in pediatric surgery: A focus on fetal surgery

American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Surgery Delivery of Surgical Care Committee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background/purpose: Fetal surgery is a growing field within pediatric surgery. We sought to understand practice patterns of pediatric surgeons who subspecialize in fetal surgery. Methods: A survey was sent to all active non-trainee surgeons within the American Pediatric Surgical Association. Respondents were stratified based on self-reported fetal affiliations. Results: Of 1015 surveys, we received 405 responses (40%). Fetal surgery practices were described by 77 self-designated fetal center members. Centers provide prenatal consultation (99%), diagnostic imaging (84%), care/delivery coordination (83%), and/or fetal surgery/procedures (52%). The majority (56%) of fetal programs are directed by surgery and maternal fetal medicine. Pediatric surgeons are represented on the fetal team in 96% of centers. Prenatal consultations are primarily seen by any pediatric surgeon in the group (53%), with the pediatric surgeon on call operating on/caring for the baby postnatally in the majority (64%), regardless of who performed the prenatal consultation. Only 29% of fetal center members performed a fetal operation in the last year. Yearly fetal case numbers vary widely per procedure, with the most common being complex twin procedures and needle-based sclerotherapy. Conclusions: Fetal centers vary by services offered, team composition, and interventions performed, with few surgeons performing a wide range of fetal surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)610-615
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • American pediatric surgical association survey
  • Delivery of surgical care committee
  • Fetal center
  • Fetal surgery
  • Pediatric surgery
  • Specialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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