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Ten Steps To Choosing The Right Pediatric Surgeon And Hospital


(SOUTHBURY, CT)—It’s a parent’s worst nightmare to be told that their child needs an operation. What’s even more terrifying is not knowing where to find the right surgeon and medical facility. How do you choose the right specialist for your baby?

When parents receive the news that their child needs surgery, they first have to sort out several things before moving forward. There are many routes parents can take to find the best care for their child, and in his book, Will It Hurt? Parent’s Practical Guide to Children’s Surgery, Dr. Armen Ketchedjian (“Dr. Ketch”) tells them exactly where to start.

“If surgery is advised, researching the best possible doctor and hospital for the child is essential,” says Dr. Ketch. “Parents have many questions about the surgical procedure, and almost always, they first ask me, ’Where can I find a child surgeon?’”

In his book, Dr. Ketch suggests a critical list of steps that parents must consider before selecting a specialist or hospital for their child:
• Ask your child’s pediatrician, friends or family members to recommend a surgeon they have used, or who has experience in the type of surgery your child needs.
• Research your local specialists on Google or another search engine. You can also check medical review Websites.
• E-mail or call the medical board of your state to ask about the information they have on each licensed healthcare professional and facility in you area.
• Contact the departments of health in your town and state to inquire about physicians and healthcare facilities that you are considering for your child.
• Call your local newspaper, radio or TV station and ask if they have a review system for healthcare providers.
• Visit the healthcare facility to make sure it is child-friendly and can address all of your needs and concerns.
• Make sure that the hospital where your child will have the surgery is covered under your insurance plan.
• Find out what it will cost to use the surgeon you have selected. Is the specialist covered under your insurance plan? Some plans allow you to go out of network but with an additional cost to you.
• Schedule a consultation appointment with the surgeon you have chosen.
• Get a second opinion if you have any doubts. (Some insurance companies insist that you do.)

“The more knowledgeable parents are about their child’s condition, the better they will be able to manage his or her care,” says Dr. Ketch. “Regardless of the surgeon’s opinion, if parents feel uncertain, they should not hesitate to ask questions for further clarification.”

Studies have found that educating parents and children about what will happen before the surgery or procedure helps reduce anxiety and promotes cooperation in most cases (Yale-New Haven Hospital).

“Once the parents have developed confidence with the medical team and facility, their child will sense their level of comfort,” says Dr. Ketch. “The parents will be able to express their support and love much more comfortably because their minds will not be preoccupied with as much uncertainty.”

Listed in The Guide to America’s Top Anesthesiologists by the Consumer Research Council of America, Dr. Ketch trained at Cornell Medical Center with a fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and a pain management elective at Boston Children’s Hospital. He has worked to help develop new techniques in ambulatory anesthesia, taught medical students and residents, and cared for more than 10,000 patients.

Dr. Ketch is also the author of the children’s book Golden Apples (winner of the 2008 Reviewer’s Choice Award), a beautifully illustrated book that aims to help educate children about the dangers of drug abuse.

For more information, contact the author directly at

WARREN ENTERPRISES LLC and author Dr. Armen G. Ketchedjian chose Arbor Books, Inc. ( to design and promote Will It Hurt? Parent’s Practical Guide to Children’s Surgery. Arbor Books is an internationally renowned, full-service book design, ghostwriting and marketing firm.

(Will It Hurt? Parent’s Practical Guide to Children’s Surgery by Dr. Ketch; ISBN: 0-9815373-0-8; $14.95; 172 pages; 5½” x 8 ½”; softcover with illustrations; WARREN ENTERPRISES LLC)


 pediatric surgery
 Parenting & Families

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