Laparoscopic surgery

Minimally invasive surgical techniques for swift surgery and recovery

It is of paramount importance that we utilise techniques to minimise trauma and hasten recovery. We are lucky in that working with children means that recovery time is generally faster than in adults and even more so using Endoscopic or “Key Hole” surgical techniques.

What is Endoscopic Surgery?

This type of surgery is often called “Key Hole” surgery because the incision is often no bigger than that of a key hole in your door at home.

The procedure involves the insertion of a small camera (endoscope) into various body cavities, usually the abdomen or chest, creating a well illuminated environment which transfers a highly magnified High Definition real time Image onto an adjacent screen.

Using fine instruments, also inserted through small incisions, allows surgeons to complete many operations in this manner.

The benefits

  • Less pain,
  • Quicker recovery,
  • Shorter hospital admission.
In some circumstances, there is no doubt that endoscopic surgery is superior to the conventional “open” approach.

Despite, these advantages, it must be stressed that endoscopic surgery is NOT less invasive than the traditional approach, and that the potential for complications is identical in both approaches. If you decide to consent to an endoscopic approach to your child’s surgery, you will always be consented for conversion to the traditional open operation should this be necessary.

How do we do it?

Laparoscopic surgery is performed under general anaesthetic.

A 1-2cm incision is made in the umbilicus (belly button) for the camera insertion; some gas is then injected into the surgical area to elevate tissue for better visibility within the operative field.

The Surgeon then performs the surgery by viewing the monitor playing live images from the camera.

Once the surgery is complete the instruments are removed, so too the camera and the tiny incisions are stitched closed and dressings are applied.

This means only minor wounds and less complication for infection. Laparoscopy may have been invented for other surgeries but it is perfect for Paediatric applications.

Laparoscopic surgery is employed for:

  • Paediatric Urology
  • Neonatal Surgery
  • Where possible Paediatric Trauma Surgery

Advantages of Laparoscopic Surgery

The advantages are numerous and today most surgeries can be performed using this technique:

  • Reduced recovery time
  • Smaller scar
  • Less post procedure pain
  • Less internal scarring
Each element of Laparoscopic surgery can be fully explained during the consultation process and Wits Paediatric Surgical department team welcome any questions you may have.