Minimally Invasive Surgery:
Minimally invasive surgery is surgery that is performed via small incisions under camera vision also known an laparoscopic surgeries and thoracoscopic surgeries.
Minimally invasive procedures generally have a quicker time to recovery, as well as a better cosmetic result (however this is very much patient dependent – what works well for one child doesn’t necessarily always work as well for a different child). Unfortunately not all conditions are amenable to minimally invasive procedures.
All minimally invasive procedures are performed in hospital, and your child will be given a general anaesthetic (they will be asleep for the procedure). We use laparoscopy to treat conditions such as hiatal hernia, gastro-esophageal reflux disease, appendicitis and a number of other conditions in the tummy. Laparoscopy is also a very good tool to make a diagnosis, where sometimes the problem is not clear.
The surgeon makes a hole in the belly button for the camera and then a few other cuts into the tummy for the instruments. Once the surgery is complete, the instruments are removed, and the cuts are stitched closed.
Thoracoscopic surgery is used to diagnose and treat conditions within the chest cavity (such as conditions affecting the lungs, oesophagus or diaphragm) Small incisions are made in the chest to allow the insertion of a small camera and small instruments to perform the surgery. It is important to remember that not all children will be able to have such a surgery performed, and may need to have tests before the procedure to make sure that they can have a thoracoscopic procedure.
An endoscopic procedure is a procedure where a long flexible camera with a light, is used to visualise either the upper gastrointestinal tract – the camera goes through the mouth to look at the food pipe, stomach and beginning portion of the intestine or the lower gastrointestinal tract, where the camera is inserted through the bum to look at the large intestine. These scopes allow us to diagnose conditions, as well as treat certain conditions. In children endoscopic procedures are performed under a general anaesthetic in the theatre suite.