Karen A. Diefenbach, MD :: Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
Karen A. Diefenbach menu


Sign up for Health e-Hints our FREE customized health informaion parent enewsletter Sign up for Peds Online our Free Medical Professional Enewsletter

stay connected


live referral help

Click here to speak with a hospital representative.

Contact Information

Pediatric Surgery
700 Children's Dr
Columbus, OH 43205 [ map ]
PH: (614) 722-3900
FX: (614) 722-3903

Location Information for Patients

Main Campus


Karen A. Diefenbach, MD, is the director for Minimally Invasive Surgery at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and assistant professor in the Division of Pediatric Surgery at the Ohio State University College of Medicine. Dr. Diefenbach comes to Nationwide Children’s from Yale University School of Medicine and Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital where she was an attending surgeon, and an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery.

Dr. Diefenbach completed her residency in general surgery at the University of Illinois, OSF St. Francis Medical Center. She completed her training in Pediatric Surgery at Yale University School of Medicine. Her clinical interests include minimally invasive surgical approaches to the correction of neonatal congenital anomalies such as tracheoesophageal fistulas and esophageal atresias, diaphragmatic hernias, intestinal atresias, and congenital lung lesions. She has a strong commitment to surgical education and has developed the first neonatal training devices for neonatal laparoscopy and thoracoscopy which are used in minimally invasive surgery courses here in the United States, as well as internationally. She is also the associate director of Surgical Education at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.


  • Female

Languages Spoken:

  • English

Education and Training

Medical School

  • University of Illinois at Chicago
    Date Completed: 05/31/1996


  • University of Illinois College of Medicine
    Date Completed: 06/30/2001


  • Yale New Haven Children's Hospital
    Date Completed: 06/30/2007


  • Yale New Haven Children's Hospital
    Date Completed: 06/30/2009


  • Pediatric Surgery


  • General Pediatric Surgery


  • Pediatric Surgery
  • Surgery

Date of Appointment at Nationwide Children’s Hospital:

  • 06/29/2012


  • Mahida,Justin,B; Cooper,Jennifer,N; Herz,Daniel; Diefenbach,Karen,A; Deans,Katherine,J; Minneci,Peter,C; McLeod,Daryl,J. 2015. Utilization and costs associated with robotic surgery in children.  JOURNAL OF SURGICAL RESEARCH. Vol. 199, no. 1. (November): 169-176.
  • Joselyn,Anita; Bhalla,Tarun; McKee,Christopher; Pepper,Victoria; Diefenbach,Karen; Michalsky,Marc; Tobias,Joseph,D. 2015. Perioperative analgesic requirements in severely obese adolescents and young adults undergoing laparoscopic versus robotic-assisted gastric sleeve resection.  Saudi journal of anaesthesia. Vol. 9, no. 4. (October): 442-445.
  • Mahida,Justin,B; Asti,Lindsey; Pepper,Victoria,K; Deans,Katherine,J; Minneci,Peter,C; Diefenbach,Karen,A. 2015. Comparison of 30-Day Outcomes Between Thoracoscopic and Open Lobectomy for Congenital Pulmonary Lesions.  JOURNAL OF LAPAROENDOSCOPIC & ADVANCED SURGICAL TECHNIQUES. Vol. 25, no. 5. (May): 435-440.
  • Cummings,Christy,L; Diefenbach,Karen,A; Mercurio,Mark,R. 2014. Counselling variation among physicians regarding intestinal transplant for short bowel syndrome.  JOURNAL OF MEDICAL ETHICS. Vol. 40, no. 10. (October): 665-670.
  • Boomer,Laura,A; Cooper,Jennifer,N; Deans,Katherine,J; Minneci,Peter,C; Leonhart,Karen; Diefenbach,Karen,A; Kenney,Brian,D; Besner,Gail,E. 2014. Does delay in appendectomy affect surgical site infection in children with appendicitis?.  JOURNAL OF PEDIATRIC SURGERY. Vol. 49, no. 6. (June): 1026-1029.
  • Boomer LA, Kurtovic K, Deans KJ, Minneci PC, Diefenbach KA, Nwomeh BC, Aldrink JH, Kenney BD. 2014. Clinical Goal Directed Protocol for Post-operative Management Complicated Appendicitis Improves Quality of Care.  Journal of Surgical Research. Vol. 186, no. 2. (February): e496.
  • Villalona,Gustavo,A; McKee,Milissa,A; Diefenbach,Karen,A. 2013. Damage control surgery in a <1kg neonate: a brief report.  Yale journal of biology and medicine. Vol. 86, no. 3. (September): 385-387.
  • LeRiger M, Thung A, Diefenbach K, Shepherd E, Wishloff E, Tobias JD. 2013. Elective use of high frequency oscillatory ventilation with transcutaneous carbon dioxide monitoring during thoracoscopic diaphragmatic hernia repair.  Anaesthesia, Pain and Intensive Care. Vol. 16, no. 3. (January): 287-292.
  • Karen Diefenbach. 2012. Intra-abdominal, Visceral, and Retroperitoneal Abscesses. In Principles and Practice of Pediatric Infectious Diseases 4th Edition.: Elsevier.
  • Rathore,Animesh; Solomon,Daniel,G; Simpson,B,Joyce; Massaro,Stephanie,A; Chhieng,David; Diefenbach,Karen,A. 2012. Novel report of an adrenal adenoma in a newborn.  JOURNAL OF PEDIATRIC SURGERY. Vol. 47, no. 7. (July): 1436-1439.
  • Rathore,Animesh; Simpson,B,Joyce; Diefenbach,Karen,A. 2012. Traumatic abdominal wall hernias: an emerging trend in handlebar injuries.  JOURNAL OF PEDIATRIC SURGERY. Vol. 47, no. 7. (July): 1410-1413.
  • Thompson,A; Bizzarro,M; Yu,S; Diefenbach,K; Simpson,B,J; Moss,R,L. 2011. Risk factors for necrotizing enterocolitis totalis: a case-control study.  JOURNAL OF PERINATOLOGY. Vol. 31, no. 11. (November): 730-738.
  • Villalona,Gustavo,A; McKee,Milissa,A; Diefenbach,Karen,A. 2011. Modified Laparoscopic Gastrostomy Technique Reduces Gastrostomy Tract Dehiscence.  JOURNAL OF LAPAROENDOSCOPIC & ADVANCED SURGICAL TECHNIQUES. Vol. 21, no. 4. (May): 355-359.
  • Goldsby,Robert; Chen,Yan; Raber,Shannon; Li,Linda; Diefenbach,Karen; Shnorhavorian,Margarett; Kadan-Lottick,Nina; Kastrinos,Fay; Yasui,Yutaka; Stovall,Marilyn; Oeffinger,Kevin; Sklar,Charles; Armstrong,Gregory,T; Robison,Leslie,L; Diller,Lisa. 2011. Survivors of Childhood Cancer Have Increased Risk of Gastrointestinal Complications Later in Life.  GASTROENTEROLOGY. Vol. 140, no. 5. (May): 1464-U142.
  • Goldsby R, Chen Y, Raber S, Li L, Diefenbach K, Shnorhavorian M, Kadan-Lottick N, Kastrinos F, Yasui Y, Stovall M, Oeffinger K, Sklar C, Armstrong GT, Robison LL, Diller L. 2011. Survivors of childhood cancer have increased risk of gastrointestinal complications later in life.  Gastroenterology. Vol. 140, no. 5. (May): 1464-1471.
  • Malhotra,Yogangi; Fitzgerald,Tamara,N; Jubinsky,Paul,T; Harper,Holly; Silva,Cicero,T; Zambrano,Eduardo; Diefenbach,Karen,A; Moss,R,Lawrence; Bhandari,Vineet. 2011. A unique case of rhabdoid tumor presenting as hemoperitoneum in an infant.  JOURNAL OF PEDIATRIC SURGERY. Vol. 46, no. 1. (January): 247-251.
  • Bizzarro,Matthew,J; Sabo,Barbara; Noonan,Melanie; Bonfiglio,Mary-Pat; Northrup,Veronika; Diefenbach,Karen. 2010. A Quality Improvement Initiative to Reduce Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  INFECTION CONTROL AND HOSPITAL EPIDEMIOLOGY. Vol. 31, no. 3. (March): 241-248.
  • Villalona,Gustavo,A; Diefenbach,Karen,A; Touloukian,Robert,J. 2010. Congenital and acquired mesocolic hernias presenting with small bowel obstruction in childhood and adolescence.  JOURNAL OF PEDIATRIC SURGERY. Vol. 45, no. 2. (February): 438-442.
  • Karen Diefenbach. 2010. Prevenzione delle complicanze in chirurgia minivasiva. In Videochirurgia pediatrica.: Elsevier.
  • Karen Diefenbach. 2008. Intra-abdominal, Visceral, and Retroperitoneal Abscesses. In Principles and Practice of Pediatric Infectious Diseases 3rd Edition.: Elsevier.
  • Diefenbach,Karen,A; Breuer,Christopher,K. 2006. Pediatric inflammatory bowel disease.  WORLD JOURNAL OF GASTROENTEROLOGY. Vol. 12, no. 20. (May): 3204-3212.
  • Dayton TM, Diefenbach KA, Fuller ML, Valtos J, Niederhoffer EC. 2006. Production of superoxide dismutases from Proteus mirabilis and Proteus vulgaris.  BioMetals. Vol. 9, no. 2. (April): 131-137.
  • Karen Diefenbach. 2000. Shock. In Pediatric Surgery Secrets.: Hanley & Belfus.
  • DAYTON,T,M; Diefenbach,K,A; FULLER,M,L; VALTOS,J; Niederhoffer,E,C. 1996. Production of superoxide dismutases from Proteus mirabilis and Proteus vulgaris.  BIOMETALS. Vol. 9, no. 2. (April): 131-138.
  • Nielsen JW, Kenney BD, Kurtovic K, Diefenbach KA. 0. Post-op timing of CT Scans for abscess in pediatric appendicitis.  Journal of Surgical Research.
  • Pepper V, Diefenbach KA, Teich S, Michalsky M. 0. Robotic vs. Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy in Adolescents: Reality of Hype.  Obesity Surgery.
  • Huntington JT, Boomer LA, Pepper VK, Diefenbach KA, Dotson JL, Nwomeh BC. 0. Minimally Invasive Ileal Pouch-Anal Anastomosis with Rectal Eversion Allows for Equivalent Outcomes in Continence in Pediatric Patients.  Journal of Laparoendoscopic & Advanced Surgical Techniques.
Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000