Advanced Pediatric Surgery | Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines

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Blank Children's Hospital


The pediatric surgery team at Blank Children's Hospital evaluates and cares for babies, children and teens in need of surgery. Our surgeons are world-renowned for their expertise in minimally-invasive surgery, including robotic surgery. We partner with you to identify and understand the condition your child is experiencing, and develop a plan to meet the needs of your child and family.

Our Providers

Partnering Providers

We are pleased to have highly experienced providers from the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin who will see patients in our clinic. These physicians are board certified in General Surgery and Pediatric Surgery and will work with Blank Children's providers to provide you with the best possible care.

    John Aiken, MD
    Casey Calkins, MD 
    John Densmore, MD, FACS, FAAP
    David Gourlay, MD 
    Keith Oldham, MD 
    Thomas Sato, MD 

Your Child's First Clinic Visit

Your child's first visit at the Blank Children's Surgery Clinic will probably be the longest. Please plan to be at the clinic for approximately one hour. We ask that you arrive 15 to 20 minutes ahead of your child's appointment to complete medical history and insurance information forms. You will want to bring the following information along to your child's first appointment (unless our office has already received it):

  • Referral information from your child's primary provider.
  • Medical records from your child's primary provider.
  • Results of any previous evaluations.


Prior approvals from your child's primary provider and insurance plan may be necessary before each visit.

Surgery Center of Excellence

Our surgeries are performed at the Surgery Center of Excellence at Iowa Methodist Medical Center and Blank Children's Hospital. The Surgery Center offers a dedicated pediatric pre-operative area so you can remain with your child until he or she goes into the operating room. There is also a dedicated waiting area for families of pediatric patients. Child life specialists are also on-hand to help your child understand what will happen before, during and after surgery by using age-appropriate language, props and education.

Prenatal Consultations

Sometimes your obstetrician can diagnose a problem with your unborn baby that may require surgery shortly after birth. In such cases, the pediatric surgeons at Blank Children's Hospital will meet with you during your pregnancy to explain and discuss the treatment that may be required after your child is born. We work very closely with your obstetrician to ensure the best possible outcome for you and your baby.