Minimally Invasive Pediatric Surgery
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Because children are much smaller than adults, the incisions need to be smaller too. The pediatric surgeons at Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital use specialized, child-sized instruments to perform laparoscopic surgery through the tiniest of incisions. After just four to six weeks of healing, those small incisions are difficult to spot.
Laparoscopic techniques available for children
Children’s Hospital pediatric surgeons routinely use laparoscopic surgery for:
- Lung and esophageal problems
- Chest wall abnormalities
- Abdominal conditions affecting the stomach, intestine, spleen, kidney or liver (like appendicitis)
What is minimally invasive pediatric surgery?
With minimally invasive surgery, your child’s pediatric surgeon will make tiny incisions rather than one larger incision. They can be as small as 2 mm, whereas an open procedure may use a 4-cm incision.
Through one incision the surgeon inserts a camera. They use the other incisions to place miniaturized instruments to perform the procedure.
The camera magnifies and lights up the area, which is displayed on a large monitor. The surgeon uses the monitor to navigate the surgical instruments and perform the surgery.
Benefits of laparoscopic pediatric surgery
Minimally invasive surgery results in little trauma to your child. This approach to surgery features many benefits for your child – and for you:
- Shorter hospital stays and, in some cases, no hospital stay at all
- Decreased pain after surgery and, therefore, a reduced need for pain medicine
- Nearly invisible scars
- Reduced rates of infection and fewer wound-care needs