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Q&A with Dr. Jeffrey Lukish
Jeffrey Lukish, M.D.
Caring for the Specialized Needs of Children Locally
HCGH’s two highly regarded pediatric surgeons perform many emergency and elective procedures on children right here in Howard County. “It is certainly less stressful for the parents and family to care for children close to home,” says Jeffrey Lukish, M.D., a Johns Hopkins pediatric general surgeon who practices at HCGH. Dr. Lukish, known for his sophisticated, minimally invasive surgical techniques, is also a father of six children and understands well the stress parents feel when their children are sick or injured. “Today, Howard County parents can rest assured knowing that we are bringing the most specialized pediatric surgical care to the community.”
Q. What are the common conditions that require children to need surgery?
A. “We care for the full spectrum of emergency and elective pediatric surgical conditions in infants, children and adolescents. The most common conditions requiring care are inguinal hernias, soft tissue masses and abscesses, as well as appendicitis and inflammation of the gallbladder. Recently, our team has performed operations on infants with pyloric stenosis at HCGH. This is a condition where the outlet of the stomach becomes swollen and breast milk and food cannot pass. In the past, these infants would have been transferred to Johns Hopkins as they are critically ill and dehydrated. Now, our team can support these infants at HCGH and perform this surgery telescopically via tiny incisions so the baby has minimal post-operative pain and easier recovery.”
Q. What are the special considerations you make when operating on a child?
A. “We are focused on family-centered care. We allow the parents to accompany the child to the operating room and remain there until the child is asleep and anesthetized. We have a special area of our recovery unit dedicated to children, and a team that cares for infants and children who are skilled in recognizing the signs of discomfort, allowing us to provide timely and optimal care. HCGH has also recently updated our surgical equipment. The instruments are innovative and specifically designed to work through much smaller incisions in infants and children.”
Q. What do parents commonly ask about?
A. “Most parents want to know if the surgical procedure is safe. I reassure them, stating that if my own son or daughter had this condition I would want them to get the procedure performed as soon as possible. HCGH has the important components of pediatric surgery that allow the procedures to be carried out safely with minimal risk and discomfort to the child.”
Q. What do you tell parents to ease their concerns about their child having surgery?
A. “As a parent of six children, I reassure them that two of my own children have required both elective and emergency surgery and it went perfectly. When I operate on a child, I tell the folks that this child is now mine for the time period of the surgery. He or she will be cared for like they are my very own.”