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Minimally Invasive Surgery

Connecticut Children’s Medical Center uses endoscopy, laparoscopic surgery, and state-of-the-art robotic surgery to treat a range of common and complex urologic conditions affecting children.

Minimally invasive surgical techniques and technology allow many procedures to be performed with patients experiencing less pain, smaller scars and a faster recovery time.

Connecticut Children’s was the first hospital in Connecticut to perform robotic surgery on a child. Our urologic robotics team also pioneered the first-ever robotic procedure for complete vaginal reconstruction in children with disorders of sexual development, producing nearly scar-free results.

The da Vinci S System, the most advanced robotic surgical technology available, gives our pediatric urology surgeons the distinct advantage of 3D imagery allowing for greater precision and range of motion inside a pediatric patient as compared to laparoscopic surgery.

Since its inception in 2005, the robotic surgery team performs a wide array of operations, including common urologic robotic surgeries such as pyeloplasty and ureteral re-implantation and other procedures such as partial nephrectomy, calyceal diverticulectomy, ureteroureterostomies, and catherizable stoma creations.

Robotic surgery is a cutting-edge technique that allows pediatric surgeons to perform operations with sophisticated mechanical equipment. This spans across many disciplines, such as urology, general surgery, gynecology, and cardiovascular surgery. When compared to standard laparoscopy, robotic surgery has advantages such as 3D visualization, tremor reduction, and increased range of motion within the patient. The use of robotics offer increased accuracy, smaller incisions and fewer potential complications.

Laparoscopy is surgery performed inside the abdomen or pelvic region through one or more very small incisions. The incision for a laparoscopic procedure is usually made through the belly button and can be as small as three millimeters. Laparoscopy may be used to evaluate pelvic genital organs, move non-palpable undescended testes, and remove or repair kidneys. Connecticut Children’s has a Stortz Room 1 that encompasses state-of-the-art laparoscopic equipment.

Types of laparoscopic surgery include:

    • Adrenalectomy – for the removal of adrenal glands or diagnostic tumor biopsy
    • Cyst drainage – to drain an abnormal cyst in the kidney
    • Gonadectomy – for the removal of abnormal sex organs
    • Genitoplasty – to correct birth defects or early injuries of the genitalia
    • Nephrectomy – for the removal of abnormal scarred, infected or non-functioning cystic kidney
    • Orchiopexy/Orchiectomy – to bring testis down into the scrotum or remove abnormal testis
    • Ovarian Cystectomy – to drain ovarian cysts
    • Pyeloplasty – to repair a blocked segment of the ureter
    • Varicocelectomy – to correct varicocele by clamping abnormally large veins from testis

Endoscopic surgical techniques do not require any surgical incisions. Endoscopy is often used for vesicoureteral reflux and to treat kidney stones. As kidney stones have become more common in children, Connecticut Children’s has a wide range of pediatric endoscopy equipment that is used for stone retrieval. Other stone treatments available include extracorporal lithotripsy (ESWL) and percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL).

Minimally invasive surgery cannot be used in all pediatric surgery cases, but, when appropriate, these leading surgical techniques can significantly reduce the severity of surgery.

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