Surgery (Pediatric General and Thoracic Surgery)

Patients are at the heart of our mission. The Pediatric General Surgery team, made up of surgeons, nurses and other staff members, understands that surgery can be stressful for a child and the family. We respect every patient’s needs and work together to ensure the child’s well-being.


Who we are

A Week in the Life of Dr. Sherif Emil at The Montreal Children's Hospital

The mission of The Montreal Children’s Hospital Division of Pediatric General Surgery is threefold:

  • To provide state-of-the-art, evidence-based surgical care to children in a friendly, compassionate, and family-centered care environment
  • To train the pediatric surgeons of tomorrow
  • To conduct cutting-edge clinical and laboratory research

Patients are at the heart of our mission. The Pediatric General Surgery team, made up of surgeons, nurses and other staff members, understands that surgery can be stressful for a child and the family. We respect every patient’s needs and work together to ensure the child’s well-being. In fulfilling our mission, we promise to: 

  • Treat every child and family with dignity, compassion, and respect
  • Draw on the expertise of the entire team and other hospital services to offer the best care to each child
  • Discuss all relevant alternatives for treatment with patients and families
  • Serve as advocates for each child within the healthcare system
  • Keep patients and families fully informed of their treatment plan and address concerns in an open and honest manner. We also encourage families to share with us their experiences and suggestions at any time during or after their child’s hospitalization.
Our history

The Montreal Children’s Hospital was founded in 1903 with the goal of attending to surgical patients. Pediatric surgery has been at the forefront of the hospital’s mission for more than a century. Over the years, several pediatric surgical giants have graced the halls of The Children’s, on whose shoulders contemporary pediatric surgeons stand. Among these giants are Drs. Gordon Karn, E. W. Archibald, Dudley Ross, David Murphy, Herbert Owen, Harvey Beardmore, Frank Guttman, and Jean-Martin Laberge.

Our team

The Pediatric Surgery Division includes five surgeons.

Dr. Sherif Emil is Professor of Pediatric Surgery and Pediatrics, and the Division director. His clinical and research interests include fetal diagnosis, congenital bowel obstruction, appendicitis, GERD, surgical outcomes, chest wall anomalies (differences) and minimal access surgery.

Dr. Jean-Martin Laberge is Professor of Pediatric Surgery and Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the most senior member of the Division. He has significant expertise in all pediatric surgical fields. His clinical and research interests include lung development, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, fetal diagnosis and treatment (including fetal surgery) and congenital anorectal anomalies (differences from birth).

Dr. Dan Poenaru is Professor of Pediatric Surgery.  He has significant clinical expertise in anorectal and urogenital malformations, and chronic constipation.  He holds a Ph.D. in global surgery. As one of the world’s leading authorities on pediatric global surgery, he brings a strong clinical and academic global pediatric surgical focus, and has a strong interest in global burden of disease research and teaching.

Dr. Pramod Puligandla is associate Professor of Pediatric Surgery and Pediatrics, and the Director of the fellowship program in Pediatric General Surgery. His clinical and research interests include thyroid surgery, congenital lung anomalies (differences from birth) and neonatal surgical outcomes.

Dr. Kenneth Shaw is Assistant Professor of Pediatric Surgery. His clinical interests include the development of surgical protocols and clinical pathways, and the study of effects of such pathways on surgical care.

Dr. Hussein Wissanji, a native Quebecer, grew up in Granby and completed his medical studies and surgical residency at Laval University. He then went on to complete a Masters of Public Health in Health Systems and Policy at the Johns Hopkins University and his pediatric surgery fellowship at the Montreal Children's Hospital. Dr. Wissanji is an Assistant Professor of Pediatric Surgery and his clinical interests include chest wall anomalies, colorectal diseases, and minimally invasive surgery. His research focuses on the optimization of Canadian pediatric surgical health care delivery. 

The team also includes four administrative staff members who work closely with the surgeons to facilitate patient referrals and pediatric surgical care. We also work with a nurse clinician, Sabrina Beauseigle, as well as a superb team of nurses in the hospital’s Alternative Care Module. These nurses provide many outpatient pediatric surgical services and assist parents with the pre-operative and post-operative care of their children.

Department head

Dr. Sherif Emil, Division Head

Staff members 

  • Dr. Sherif Emil 
  • Dr. Jean-Martin Laberge 
  • Dr. Dan Poenaru
  • Dr. Pramod S. Puligandla 
  • Dr. Kenneth Shaw 
  • Dr. Hussein Wissanji
  • Sabrina Beauseigle, N.C.
Where the care happens

Currently, pediatric surgical care takes place in the Pediatric Surgical Clinic on the second floor of the Montreal Children’s Hospital. Patients are also seen by the surgeons and team in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit on the 6th floor, in the Emergency Room and on the wards, located on the on seventh or eighth floors. In addition, pediatric surgeons conduct a weekly chest wall anomaly clinic with the Shriner’s Hospitals for Children - Canada. This clinic is a multidisciplinary clinic that attends to the surgical and non-surgical care of patients with an entire spectrum of chest wall anomalies.

The Division of Pediatric Surgery  has the most modern operating facilities available. In addition, it is the only site in North America where a Shriner’s Hospital is linked to a children’s hospital providing pediatric surgeons with the ability to provide the full range of care to all patients of all ages in a multidisciplinary manner.

Our services

The Pediatric General Surgery team at the MCH provides consultation, evaluation, surgical care, and follow-up care for an entire range of pediatric surgical conditions from birth to early adulthood.

Our areas of focus include:

  • Fetal consultation and counseling: We provide information to future parents of a child with a congenital anomaly (difference from birth), and assist them with decision-making and planning. We work as a team with obstetricians, neonatologists, geneticists, and others to provide the best care for unborn patients and to optimize care after birth.
  • Congenital anomalies (differences from birth): We correct a wide range of birth defects in the neck, chest, diaphragm and abdomen in babies and infants. Multidisciplinary teams and clinics follow these patients, in some cases until adulthood.
  • Solid tumours of childhood: We address conditions such as kidney tumours (Wilms), neuroblastomas, liver tumours and soft tissue tumours.
  • Chest and chest wall conditions: We perform lung resections (partial removal) for congenital (from birth) and acquired diseases; and correction of chest wall deformities, like pectus excavatum (funnel chest, and pectus carinatum (pigeon chest).
  • Head and neck conditions: We address issues affecting the thyroid and parathyroid; congenital lymphatic and vascular masses; and congenital sinuses and cysts.
  • Minimally invasive surgery: Whenever possible, we use the latest and most advanced surgical techniques using laparoscopy and thoracoscopy to optimize patient recovery and minimize post-operative pain and scarring.
  • Same-day surgery: We employ efficient and effective treatments for many of the common conditions of childhood, such as hernia, hydroceles, undescended testicles, and circumcisions. We also conduct telephone follow-ups for non-complicated cases to save parents time and decrease unnecessary hospital visits.
  • Acute surgical care: We care for a large number of children with acute surgical conditions such as traumas, appendicitis, intestinal obstructions, complicated pneumonias, and many other diseases.

Conditions and illnesses

Refer a patient 
  • Room B04.2439.1, GLEN site
  • To book an appointment:
  • To reach the administrative offices:
    • 514-412-4497 (Dr. Emil)
    • 514-412-4438 (Dr. Puligandla & Dr. Wissanji)
    • 514-412-4388 (Dr. Shaw)
    • 514-412-4498 (Dr. Poenaru & Dr. Laberge)