Minimally Invasive Surgery

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Norton Children’s Surgery, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, offers minimally invasive surgery for children and teens. Our board-certified, fellowship-trained pediatric surgeons are highly skilled in minimally invasive techniques that may offer children less pain, less surgical trauma (scarring) and shorter recovery times after surgery. We offer minimally invasive surgery techniques in all surgical specialties at Norton Children’s Hospital.

What Is Minimally Invasive Surgery?

Minimally invasive surgery is performed through small incisions (cuts) using miniaturized tools and cameras or telescopes, sometimes using robotic-assisted technology. In traditional open surgery, an incision is made large enough to reach internal organs. With minimally invasive surgery, two to three small incisions (1/10 to 3/16 inch) may be required. We use a wide variety of minimally invasive surgery techniques, including:

  • Robotic-assisted surgery: The Mazor X robotic system that helps surgery teams provide safer, more effective procedures with shorter recovery times
  • Fetal surgery: Pediatric surgeons can use special 2 millimeter scopes for procedures on babies not yet born.
  • Laparoscopic surgery: An incision is made in the abdomen, and special 5 millimeter scopes and 3 to 5 millimeter instruments are used to complete the procedure.
  • Thoracoscopic surgery: An incision is made in the chest, and special 5 millimeter scopes and 3 to 5 millimeter instruments are used to complete the procedure.
  • Single-site laparoscopy: This type of surgery requires just one incision in the belly button (umbilicus), where the instruments and camera go through.
  • Bronchoscopy: An endoscopic procedure that uses flexible scopes inserted through the mouth into the stomach, intestines or airway.

Benefits of Minimally Invasive Surgery

Procedures that use minimally invasive techniques are just as safe and effective as procedures completed using conventional methods. However, minimally invasive techniques can provide potential benefits to the patient, including:

  • Faster healing and recovery times
  • Less scarring
  • Less pain after surgery
  • Less potential complications or infection risk
  • Less risk of injury to skin, muscles and nerves
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Quicker return to play, school and activities

Who Is a Candidate for Minimally Invasive Surgery?

The pediatric surgeons with Norton Children’s Surgery can determine if minimally invasive surgery techniques are right for your child. Minimally invasive techniques are not appropriate for all types of surgeries. If you have questions about minimally invasive techniques or if they’re right for your child, speak to your surgical team.

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