The Surgical Team


When your child has surgery, a whole team of medical professionals is involved. While not always as big as a football team, this team is what makes your child’s surgery possible and safe! Most people are only exposed to and know the surgeon whom they contacted for their child’s condition. However, surgeons can’t work alone and the other specialists involved behind the scenes are an important part of the whole system. Here are some examples of members of a surgical team.

Surgeon – This is the doctor who is ordinarily the team leader for the particular operation. They are also usually the one known to the patient and parents, helping them with details of the surgery and after surgery.

Co-surgeon(s) – In complex operations and some involving multiple equipment, the Surgeon will invariably need the help of one or more surgeons to perform the operation with them. This is also common in multi-stage operations that may take hours to complete and will require team members to take breaks in-between. The actual operation continues non-stop because of the multiple surgeons present.

Anaesthetist(s) – This is the specialist who puts the child to sleep and keeps them safe during and after the operation until they are fully awake. Not uncommon to see more than one anaesthetists for complex procedures or very sick babies.

Certified Registered Operating Theatre Nurse – Responsible for setting up a sterile operating room. They get supplies and surgery tools and they hand the surgeons the correct tools during the operation. Again, you may have more than one member depending on the operation.

There are other team players you may never get to meet like anaesthesia nurse assistants, operating room circulating nurses, surgical technicians and medical device representatives. Unlike in football we cannot showcase every member of the surgical team. But now you have an idea of how its constituted!

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