Minimally Invasive Surgery and Laparascopy
What is minimally invasive surgery?
Minimally invasive surgery includes a number of different techniques like laparoscopy and thoracoscopy, which allow us to significantly reduce the size of the incisions for a given operation.
What are laparoscopy and thoracoscopy?
Laparoscopy involves the placement of a very thin camera into the abdominal cavity (usually through the belly button) so that we can see inside the belly. Special instruments are passed through two or more separate openings in the belly wall. In essence we can operate by watching a television screen that projects what the camera sees inside the body. We can see the body organs and our instruments perfectly, without having to make incisions.
Thoracoscopy is the same technique applied to the chest.
Why is minimally invasive surgery useful?
By reducing the size of the incisions patients have faster recovery times, less pain and far better cosmetic results. In many cases, thoracoscopic and laparoscopic surgery allow us to see better because the telescope can be placed very close to the area of operation, making the surgery safer and easier.
What is minimally invasive surgery used for?
As technology progresses we are able to apply minimally invasive surgery procedures to an ever-wider number of patients and diseases. We currently apply minimally invasive techniques for:
Cholecystectomy (removal of the gallbladder)
Fundoplication (for gastro-esophageal reflux)
Pull through procedures in Hirschprung's disease
Diagnostic laparoscopy for abdominal pain
Pectus excavatum (Nuss procedure)
Empyema (infected liquid in the chest)
Pneumothorax (air trapped in the chest)
Biopsies of thoracic or abdominal organs
Can these minimally invasive surgery techniques be used for all children?
Thoracoscopic and laparoscopic surgery are not necessarily the best techniques for every child and they may not be applicable to some diseases. We evaluate every patient to offer the best possible therapy specifically for that child.
All information provided is intended for educational purposes only. The place to get specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment is from your doctor.
Dr. Leopoldo Malvezzi explains why Nicklaus Children's Hospital is the most trusted source for surgical treatment of children with conditions like appendicitis.