Beacon for Kids: Surgical Services
Ireland’s largest and most comprehensive private paediatric surgical unit.
At present, Beacon for Kids offers surgical services across the following specialties; ENT, Orthopaedics, Spinal Surgery, General Surgery, Urology, Dentistry, Plastic/Reconstructive Surgery and Ophthalmology.
All of Beacon Hospital’s nursing staff looking after children are Dual-Qualified and receive regular updated BPLS training. Beacon Hospital is the only hospital to ensure that all nursing staff receive this certification.
Our dedicated paediatric pre-op room has been decorated like an enchanted forest to make your child feel happy and relaxed ahead of their procedure.
Some of the most commonly performed paediatric procedures performed in Beacon Hospital include, but are not limited to
Adenoidectomy is the surgical removal of the adenoids. These are a mass of lymphoid tissue at the back of the nasal passage which can sometimes be prone to repeated infection such as throat, sinus or ear infections or breathing issues.
This routine procedure is most common in paediatric patients and is carried out as a day case under a general anaesthetic. Patients are given some time in the recovery room immediately post-surgery after which they will be discharged home.
Circumcision is the removal of the end portion of skin, known as the foreskin, that covers the head of the penis. This procedure is usually performed under general anaesthetic. It is a day case procedure and is generally performed from 12 months onward.
Circumcision may be carried out for medical reasons such as an abnormality/scarring of the foreskin which will lead to functional difficulties later in life, repeated episodes of infection/inflammation within the foreskin/penis itself, or repeated urinary tract infections. Circumcision is sometimes performed for religious or cultural reasons and is common in some religious or cultural communities.
If the child is not bothered by the foreskin, or has no symptoms, circumcisions are not usually performed. There is no consensus on the benefits of routine circumcision.
Circumcision can reduce penile and urinary tract infections that can occur in an uncircumcised child. It can also remove other issues, such as an inability to retract (pull back) the foreskin, known as phimosis. It is recommended that parents carefully consider the risks, benefits and financial costs of routine or optional circumcision after discussing it with a knowledgeable health-care professional. It is estimated that a circumcision is required for medical reasons in approximately 1% of boys in Western cultures.
Our Dental Surgeons most commonly perform paediatric multiple or complex extraction surgeries where you child may have been referred by their regular dentist. These surgeries are usually performed as a day case under a general anaesthetic.
One of the most common paediatric procedures in Ireland, Grommet Insertion involves a small plastic tube being inserted into a tiny slit in the child’s eardrum. This tube acts as a pressure-equaliser and a temporary extra tube to allow infection-causing fluid and bacteria to flow out from the middle ear.
Grommets may be placed in one, or both ears. This will depend on clinical indicators. In 99% of cases, parents will notice an immediate and dramatic improvement in their child’s hearing.
Grommets are temporary and will usually fall out by themselves within 18 months.
A hernia is a ‘bulge’ which develops as a result of weakness in the abdominal wall. There are 4 main types of hernia: Inguinal (groin area), Femoral (top of thigh), Epigastric (upper abdomen anywhere between breastbone and navel) and Umbilical (at or beside the navel).
Hernia repair can be carried out via open repair or keyhole repair. Open repair involves making a cut over the hernia site. The hernia (bulge) will then be pushed back in and the weak area cover with a piece of sterile mesh. Keyhole, or laparoscopic repair, is a technique where small incisions, telescopes and a patch of mesh are used to fix tears in the abdominal wall.
You child’s surgeon will advise which method is best suited to your child’s particular case based on a number of clinical indicators.
Hypospadias is a condition affecting the opening of the penis (meatus) that is present at birth. Sometimes the meatus is not at the tip of the penis and instead is lower on the head, on the shaft, or in rarer cases on the scrotum or perineum. In some cases, a child with hypospadias may be missing some of their foreskin or have a curved penis known as a chordee.
Hypospadias is quite common and is present in approximately 1 in 250 newborn boys.
Hypospadias is corrected with surgery. After having surgery, the penis will look and function normally. As your child grows the penis will grow normally and sexual function is not affected.
This surgery is usually performed between 9 and 18 months of age. Usually hypospadias repair is day surgery under a general anaesthetic. Patients are given some time in the recovery room immediately post-surgery after which they will be discharged home.
Orchidopexy (Undescended Testes)
An orchidopexy is an operation to lower the testicles into the scrotum. Your child may need to have this operation on one or both testicles. This surgery, when required, is usually performed before 18 months of age and carried out under general anaesthetic.
During this procedure the doctors will make a small incision, or a series of small incisions and gently move the testicle into the scrotum. In some cases, a minimally invasive telescope, or laparoscope, may be needed to look for the testicle in the abdomen and to move the testicle down into the scrotum.
The procedure is usually 45 – 60 minutes per testicle. The operation is generally an outpatient operation, so in most cases there is no need for your child to stay overnight.
Otoplasty (Ear Surgery)
Otoplasty is surgery for correction of over-prominent ears. This is a common surgery for children and teens whose parents present with them often due to psychological reasons. Many presenting patients report upset with the appearance of their ears which in turn negatively affects their confidence and self-esteem.
During this surgery, the Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon makes an incision behind the ear to access, manipulate and shape the cartilage. Internal stitches hold this in place and the incision is then closed. This procedure is most commonly performed under a local anaesthetic as a day case.
Tonsillectomy is one of the most commonly performed ENT procedures, especially in paediatric patients. This procedure is carried out under a general anaesthetic, meaning the patient is asleep for the duration.
The palatine tonsils are the tonsils located at the back of the throat. In some people, these repeatedly get infections or cause obstructive sleep apnoea and so removal is the best option.
This procedure is most commonly performed as a day case under general anaesthesia, ie you will be asleep during the procedure. Patients will spend some hours in the recovery room before being discharged home. Typically, recovery time is somewhere between 10 days to 2 weeks post procedure.
Some points to note ahead of your child’s surgical include:
Vaccinations / Immunisations
Your child should not attend the hospital for a planned operation for a period of 4 weeks following the BCG or MMR vaccination. For all other vaccinations, your child should not attend for a planned operation for one week after she / he has been vaccinated.
If your child has had an infectious illness or has been in contact with an infectious illness (eg chicken pox, measles, mumps) in the six weeks before a planned operation, it is safer for your child not to attend the hospital.
If you have any concerns, please contact the staff in the Surgical Day Unit.
How do I Prepare my Child for Their Visit?
Ahead of your child’s scheduled operation, you should discuss their visit to hospital and what will happen. Answering questions openly and honestly according to your child’s age will help to alleviate any fears or anxiety they may have.
Role playing the hospital scenario using your child’s favourite toy is a very effective method of preparation.
You can download Beacon Hospital’s children’s book ‘Lily’s Adventure in Beacon Hospital‘ prior to your visit. This book is a useful tool for preparing your child for their surgery.
What to Bring
- Nappies / Nappy bags if required
- Baby Wipes
- Barrier Cream
- Soother / Comforter
- Loose Clothing ie Tracksuit
- Bottles / Beakers
- Towel for Journey Home
- A Change of Clothes
Day of Your Child’s Operation / Procedure
- Please arrive to the main Hospital Reception at the time given to you by the scheduling department. Please do not be late, theatre schedules run on a very strict time table and arriving late may result in the postponement of your surgery.
- No siblings are allowed into the Day Unit under any circumstances. Siblings may wait outside in the car with a parent or ideally left with a child minder on the day of your child’s procedure.
- Please ensure a responsible adult will be with your child will be with your child for the 24 hours after their surgery.
- Due to space and safety restrictions, only one adult may accompany a child to and from theatre. Any other accompanying adults may wait in the coffee shops adjacent to the hospital, or across the road in Beacon South Quarter.
- Please ensure that any nail varnish is removed from your child’s finger nails or toe nails before coming in.
After Your Child’s Operation / Procedure
- Your child will remain in the Surgical Day Unit until they are fully recovered from the anaesthetic. This length of time varies for each child.
- Your child may be offered flat 7up in order to slowly rehydrate. Solids are not always given straight away as they can sometimes cause vomiting post surgery.
- We advise where possible to have an adult sit in the back of the car beside your child for the journey home.
- Please follow strictly any special instructions regarding dressings or suture removal given to you by the nurse on discharge.
- Your child may return to normal activity as soon as they feel able to, or as per their Consultant’s instructions.