Surgery at Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick

Contact details

Phone: (02) 9382 1776
After Hours: (02) 9382 1111

To see a member of the general surgery team, you will need a referral from a GP or specialist.

Appointments: (02) 9382 1776

The Department of General Surgery at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, (SCH) provides comprehensive elective and emergency surgical services for babies and children. Surgeons work collaboratively to ensure the highest level of expert care is delivered to our patients and their families.

Surgical services include general paediatric surgery (with an emphasis on keyhole surgery), oncological surgery, hepatobiliary surgery, trauma, vascular anomalies, thoracic surgery, neonatal surgery and burns management.

The unique co-location of SCH with the Royal Hospital for Women (RHW) and Prince of Wales Hospital (POWH) on the Randwick Campus allows active collaboration in providing specialised services including antenatal counselling, postnatal care of complex neonates, vascular surgery, tracheal reconstruction, adolescent and complex paediatric gynaecology, and renal transplant surgery. The collaboration with POWH provides an excellent framework for the transition of care to adult services.

The surgeons also play significant roles in other multidisciplinary services including Kids Cancer Centre, OA-TOF Clinic, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinic, Surgical Bowel Clinic, CDH clinic and the Vascular Birthmarks Clinic.  

As well as offering clinical services, the surgeons at SCH are actively involved in teaching and supervising medical students through the University of New South Wales, training future paediatric surgeons and undertaking collaborative research.

Clinics

The department provides elective surgery, acute care surgery in hours and after hours, emergency inpatient consultations and outpatient clinics. General surgeons see patients in a number of hospital coordinated clinics, these include:

  • General Surgery Clinic
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinic
  • TOF Clinic
  • Vascular anomalies Clinic
  • Urology Clinic
  • Spina Bifida Clinic
  • Neonatal Surgical Bowel Clinic (for Hirschsprung Disease and Anorectal Malformation)

Referrals and appointments

To see a member of the general surgery team, you will need a referral from a GP or specialist.

Email your referral to schn-sch-opd@health.nsw.gov.au or fax (02) 9382 1461. 

Coming to a clinic appointment?

When you make an appointment with us, please let us know about any particular needs you or your child may have so we can do our best to meet them.

On the day of the clinic, your child will be seen by a member of the surgical team, which could include residents, medical students, fellows and/or a specialist nurse.

We’ll talk with you, and if appropriate, your child, about why you have come to the clinic, and we’ll ask you some questions to get the full picture. The doctor will probably need to examine your child.

You are welcome to be there during the examination, although if you would prefer not to be (for example, if your child is a bit older and wants some privacy) another member of the team or one of the nurses will be there with the doctor while your child is examined. 

Some children don't want to be examined which is perfectly understandable. We use positive techniques to encourage them to cooperate, and you can help with that. We will do our best not to upset your child (or you!). If you have any concerns, please let us know.

Sometimes a diagnosis can be made with a clinical assessment only. Sometimes we need more information from tests. These may include blood tests, x-rays, ultrasounds or other scans. If any tests are needed, we will organise these and afterwards we’ll get you to come back to the clinic so we can review the results. 

Once we have a diagnosis, we will plan how to best manage things with you. Depending on the problem, follow up visits or referral to another specialist may be recommended. Sometimes, your family doctor can continue management. 

If your child needs an operation, we’ll thoroughly explain the procedure and can use diagrams and picture if needed. We want to share the decision-making with you, so please feel free to ask any questions or ask if something isn’t clear. We’ll also talk about the operation with your child if appropriate, in ways they can understand. We don’t want to frighten your child, but it’s important to be honest and explain things in their terms. We will reassure them about any questions they have. 

You will need to sign a consent form for the operation and to fill in a questionnaire about your child’s general health. This helps our team prepare and make sure your child receives the right care when they are admitted. 

Based on NSW Health policy, operations are prioritised according to urgency in three categories: to be done within 30 days; 90 days; or 360 days. The doctor will explain which category your child's operation is in.

We’ll send you a letter to confirm your child's position on the waiting list. If you are concerned about the timeline, or if your child's condition changes while waiting for the operation date, please contact the department to arrange a review.

Is your child having an operation?

Before your child’s operation, we’ll send you information on what time to come to the hospital and fasting instructions (anyone having an operation needs an empty stomach to make the anaesthetic as safe as possible).

If you have not received these instructions, please phone 9382 1447 before 3pm on the day before the operation.

When you arrive for surgery you will meet the administration staff who will sort out the paperwork. You will then be seen by a nurse, a doctor from your treating team and a doctor from the anaesthetic team.

We’ll put identification bands on your child’s wrist or ankle. We might draw an arrow on their skin to ensure the correct side is operated on. You and your child will have a chance to ask any questions you have. Write them down before you come so you don’t forget any!

After that, we’ll take you to the theatres and all the paperwork will be rechecked in the holding bay. There will be more people helping to look after your child and you usually have to wait a bit longer. The anaesthetist will tell you if it is appropriate for you to come to the theatre with the child or whether you will say goodbye in the waiting area.

Then we’ll tell you where the waiting room is and what to expect when your child wakes up from their procedure. Please keep your mobile phone switched on while your child is away from you.

Surgeons

Dr Bruce Currie

Dr Bruce Currie is the Head of Department of Paediatric Surgery at Sydney Children’s Hospital.

He trained in Australia and overseas, in general and cardiothoracic surgery, and is a senior paediatric surgeon in NSW and one of Australia’s most experienced paediatric thoracic surgeons.

Dr Currie, or Bruce The Magnificent (BTM), as he prefers to be called, has expertise in tracheal reconstruction, aortopexy, correction of chest wall abnormalities and the management of congenital lung lesions, as well as General Paediatric Surgery.

Aside from his clinical and administrative duties at the hospital, he spends much time passing on his skills to the more junior members of the department, surgical trainees and medical students.

Dr Dylan Wanaguru MBBS FRACS (PAED)

Dylan is a general paediatric surgeon with sub-specialty interests in surgical oncology and thoracic surgery. After training in Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland he was awarded his Fellowship in Paediatric Surgery in 2015. He then travelled overseas in 2016-2018 to complete further sub-specialty Fellowships at Birmingham Children’s Hospital in the United Kingdom and Red Cross War Memorial Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa.

Dylan has a broad paediatric surgical practice, with particular interests in paediatric solid tumours, thoracic conditions including congenital lung lesions, neonatal surgery and minimally invasive surgery (laparoscopy and thoracoscopy). He is a member of the multidisciplinary OA-TOF Clinic at Sydney Children’s Hospital for children born with oesophageal atresia.

Aside from his clinical duties, he is a Conjoint Associate Lecturer at the UNSW. He dedicates his time to teaching students and junior doctors and also helping senior paediatric surgical trainees prepare for their final fellowship exams. He also has multiple research projects currently in progress.

Dr Susan Adams – General Surgeon

Susan Adams is a Senior Staff Specialist General Paediatric Surgeon, an Honorary Research Fellow in the Injury Division at The George Institute, and a conjoint Senior Lecturer in Paediatric Surgery in the Faculty of Medicine at University of NSW. 

She trained in paediatric surgery in Sydney before undertaking a fellowship in Liverpool in the UK. While actively involved across the specialty, Susan has clinical interests in trauma, vascular anomalies, and neonatal surgery, including neonatal colorectal anomalies and their associated long-term follow up.

Susan founded and leads the multidisciplinary Vascular Birthmarks Clinic and is a member of the Neonatal Surgery Long term follow-up clinic for children with neonatal colorectal conditions like Hirschsprung’s disease and anorectal malformations.

Susan’s research interests include trauma management, injury prevention and vascular malformations. Collaborative research with the Injury Division at The George Institute includes work on off-road vehicle trauma, falls in the very young, and injury management. She is a member of the NSW Child Death Review Team and has a longstanding involvement with Kidsafe NSW, an affiliate of Safe Kids World-wide.

Staff specialists

  • Dr Anthony Dilley – General Surgeon
  • Dr Guy Henry – General Surgeon
  • Dr Vincent Varjavandi – General Surgeon
  • Dr Camille Wu – General Surgeon
  • Dr Ashish Jiwane – General Surgeon