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Penn State Health Children’s Hospital expanding surgical capabilities to Lancaster County

Penn State Health Children’s Hospital is making it more convenient for young patients and their families in Lancaster County and the surrounding regions to access specialized surgery. Pediatric experts in plastic surgery, urological surgery and gastrointestinal surgery at the Children’s Hospital are now providing non-emergent surgical procedures at Penn State Health Lancaster Medical Center.

Dr. Thomas Samson, surgeon-in-chief at the Children’s Hospital, performed the first surgical procedure at Lancaster Medical Center on Cameron Gates, a longtime patient of Penn State Health partner the Lancaster Cleft Palate Clinic. Gates underwent a rhinoplasty and finishing lip revision – part of the treatment plan for Gates’ cleft palate.

Two doctors perform surgery on a patient in an operating room.The pediatric surgical care provided at Lancaster Medical Center aligns with the mission of the Children’s Hospital, based at Penn State Health’s flagship Milton S. Hershey Medical Center campus in Hershey. The care teams are extensively trained pediatric experts, including pediatric surgeons, pediatric anesthesiologists and pediatric pre- and post-op nurses.

“Our goal is to make our pediatric expertise more easily available to more patients and families in the communities we serve in central Pennsylvania,” Samson said. “This is part of our long-term strategy to bring our high-level services closer to where our patients live.”

In addition to performing surgery at Lancaster Medical Center, Samson and members of his team see patients for follow-up care at Penn State Health Children’s Lancaster Pediatric Center. Lancaster Pediatric Center offers area residents comprehensive, high-level pediatric care in an environment designed for and dedicated to children and teens, with specialists supported by the Children’s Hospital.

“This is an important step to delivering on our promise to develop a coordinated program focused on pediatric care across the region,” said Dr. Yatin Vyas, pediatrician-in-chief and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital, and vice president of Penn State Health Children’s. “We are continuing to expand our services and ensure that sick or injured children can get our renowned care where it’s convenient for them.”

The pediatric surgery team at the Children’s Hospital uses the latest techniques to treat a broad range of diagnoses from routine to highly complex. Its surgeons are experienced in many pediatric surgery specialties, including neonatal surgery, pediatric surgical oncology, pediatric minimally invasive surgery, pediatric trauma and pediatric thoracic surgery. The Children’s Hospital’s expert surgeons lead full teams, including providers and support staff, who are specially trained to care for infants, children and teens. The Children’s Hospital was among the first in the nation to be designated a Level 1 Children’s Surgery Center by the American College of Surgeons.

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