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November 1970

The Future and Scope of Pediatric Surgery

Arch Surg. 1970;101(5):635-637. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1970.01340290091023

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Pediatric Surgery has become a well-recognized interest specialty of general surgery although its boundaries remain poorly defined. As an area of special interest in surgery, it has developed primarily for two reasons. The first of these is the unique nature of congenital anomalies which occur in the newborn infant. The second reason has been a gradual realization that the physiological responses of a baby are qualitatively as well as quantitively different from an adult and that dramatic changes can occur with greater rapidity during the operative and postoperative care of an infant. Familiarity with these responses and an extended experience with their management is essential for proper surgical care of infants and young children.

Many of the congenital abnormalities which need surgical correction in infancy are incompatible with normal growth and development. All anomalies which require emergency surgery in the newborn period are incompatible with survival unless they are corrected.

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