Overview of Paediatric Surgery in Singapore

In Singapore, surgery in children was in the hands of general surgeons until very recently. In the 50's and 60's Professor Yeoh Ghim Seng and Dr Yahya Cohen headed 'A' and 'B' units respectively in the Singapore General Hospital.


Since 1997, we have been housed in a dedicated children's hospital. For it is only in such a setting that we can give the best and most appropriate care to our patients. Recently the Paediatric Surgical service at the National University Hospital has also developed into a separate Department of Pediatric Surgery.


The advanced training programme with the recognition of Pediatric Surgery as a separate specialty was started in the late 80's.


What has changed over the years in Pediatric Surgery? The specialty has developed hand in hand with Pediatric Anaesthesia, Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care. This has allowed us to safely perform life saving surgery on babies as small as 5 - 600 gm.


Miniaturization of instruments and supplies has gone hand in hand with the use of operating loupes and microscopes. This allows very precise and minutely detailed surgery to be carried out for the smallest neonates, and for replantation surgery. While many surgical techniques have remained unchanged, minimally invasive techniques are gaining ground. The number of procedures now done via a MIS approach are increasing by the day which translates to quicker recovery, less need for analgesia, and quicker return to normal activities and play. In the long run we also envisage that a minimally invasive approach will translate to fewer admissions for adhesive obstructions and other late morbidities relating to open surgery. Surgical conditions are in general diagnosed earlier, and we attempt to restore normality as early as possible. The quick recovery and excellent outcomes have convinced all our surgeons this is an excellent approach to restore early normality to the baby which translates to long term normal function.


In order to progress and improve, subspecialisation is necessary. This will however be within the confines of a limited patient population in Singapore. Further development in Minimally invasive surgery will push the limits, with robotics obviating the need for the surgeon to be physically present in the OT. With subspecialisation and by keeping a training focus, we will continue to keep the specialty growing and energetic to serve the children.



Board Members 2019 - 2021
Rank Name
Chairman Dr Loh Ser Kheng, Dale Lincoln
Vice-Chairman Dr Chiang Li Wei
Honorary Secretary Dr Lee York Tien
Members Dr Mali Vidyadhar
  Dr Nyo Yoke Lin


Please click here to view Past Board Members.

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