Pediatric palliative care and surgery


Pediatric palliative care and surgery


Ott KC; Vente TM; Lautz TB; Waldman ED


Annals of Palliative Medicine




pediatric palliative care; pediatric surgery; Chronic illness; surgical palliative care


Care for pediatric patients with serious or potentially life-limiting illness involves the interplay of multiple medical and surgical teams within the hospital. Pediatric surgeons are capable of performing procedures that can improve the quality of life for children facing serious illness, but which also carry the potential for significant risk and burden. Patients and families are often faced with decisions about invasive surgical procedures and interventions, stressing the need for seamless collaboration between palliative care and surgical providers. Equally important is the need for clear and open-ended communication with patients and families by all medical teams to determine if potential surgical procedures and interventions align with their goals and to ensure that the perceived benefits of interventions outweigh any risks. Over the last two decades, pediatric palliative care has grown into a thriving medical subspecialty Despite the importance of collaborative care, there is lack of literature on the interaction of pediatric surgery and palliative care and the role of pediatric surgeons in providing primary palliative care. This review defines surgical pediatric palliative care, and provides an in-depth discussion of the unique complexities involved in caring for children with serious and potentially life-limiting illness, while highlighting specific challenges through detailed case presentations.


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Ott KC; Vente TM; Lautz TB; Waldman ED, “Pediatric palliative care and surgery,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed February 23, 2024,