The idea of pediatric surgery can be enough to send a parent over the edge in fear and worry. However, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have to happen once in a while. If you are someone that is in that situation, or if you are just curious about how it works, this information can give you a little more knowledge on what it is, what happens in the operating room, and what the benefits of it are.
What is Minimally Invasive Pediatric Surgery?
Minimally invasive pediatric surgery is basically the same as a regular surgery, but on a much smaller scale. The reason for that of course is because the body that is being operated on is much smaller. The surgeons and staff follow a special procedure using small instruments and tiny incisions. They are similar to the traditional methods, but just a fraction of the size.
The idea is to have as little an impact on the body of the patient as possible. The goal is to get the same outcome that would be achieved with the standard surgery. It takes a creative and well-experienced team of professionals to complete these kinds of operations using innovative techniques and the most sophisticated equipment.
These kinds of operations can be performed on children of all ages from newborns on up to young adults. Most medical professionals believe that if surgery can be done in a minimally invasive way to make the days, weeks, and years following it more comfortable, it should be done that way.
How Does the Surgery Work?
Every kind of surgery is different. However, there are a few general things that are going to happen regardless of the patient or the type of operation being done. By knowing what to expect ahead of time, it can ease a lot of fear and nervousness in both the parents and the children if they are old enough to understand what’s happening.
The child will always be put under anesthesia first by a pediatric or another certified anesthesiologist so that he or she doesn’t feel any pain during the procedure.
In traditional surgeries, large incisions are made in the chest or abdominal area, depending on what type of operation is being done. In these pediatric surgeries, it’s just a few tiny incisions that the doctors work through. Two or three small cuts are big enough to give the access necessary to the internal organs.
The staff will use a specialized set of tiny tools that can easily get through the smaller incisions. They will do the work necessary by entering those incisions. Frequently an endoscope is needed to get a more transparent image. It’s a light with a camera on it so that the surgeon can get an up-close look at the area he or she is working on.
Following the surgery, the instruments will all be removed and the incision will be closed up. The patient will be moved to a recovery room to be monitored. After he or she wakes up, the parents are allowed to go back to comfort and visit with them. A staff member will come in and communicate how the operation went, any problems, and a list of post-operative instructions will be given.
What are the Benefits?
Minimally Invasive Pediatric surgeries offer the same benefits as other traditional surgery types. Patients can expect to get the results desired, they are safe, and they get the job done just as much as the more conventional methods. However, there are added benefits to this kind of surgery that aren’t available with the standard techniques.
Important benefits that can be obtained through this form of surgery include:
- A quicker return to school time and other normal levels of activity are highly likely following the operation
- Reduction in the amount of blood loss
- Less hospital stays for the patient that don’t last as long
- There is less visible scarring after everything has time to heal
- Lower pain levels after the surgery are complete, and the child returns home
- Less of a chance for infection and fewer complications likely
- An overall quicker healing and recovery period
- Lower chance for injury to the muscle, nerves, and skin
- A better visualization of the area for the surgeon because of the use of the specialized video equipment utilized
- Less time parents miss from work because of the shorter hospital stays and quicker recovery times.
Although this type of surgery is loaded with benefits, that doesn’t mean that it’s going to work for everyone. Some procedures aren’t going to work using the minimally invasive method. A surgeon will be able to discuss if it’s a viable choice or not depending on the circumstances.