UNC Performs Laparoscopic Surgery; Children Get Back to School and Play Sooner

Apr 20, 2001, 01:00 ET from UNC Health Care

    CHAPEL HILL, N.C., April 20 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- For
 children who need surgery to correct various problems in the abdomen,
 laparoscopic surgery has the same advantages that it does for adults - smaller
 incisions, faster recovery and fewer complications.  But child-sized
 laparoscopic equipment has only been available for a few years, so most
 hospitals still don't have the equipment, and most surgeons are not
 experienced in laparoscopic techniques.
     A laparoscope is a long, thin optical tube that can be inserted into the
 body through a small incision.  The scope is connected to a video camera,
 which allows a surgeon to view internal organs and diagnose problems by
 looking at a monitor.  Surgeons also can perform operations by using tiny
 surgical instruments inserted through small separate incisions.
     At N.C. Children's Hospital, pediatric surgeons use laparoscopy for a
 number of different abdominal procedures including spleen removal, gallbladder
 removal and surgery to prevent acid reflux from the stomach into the
 esophagus.  The most common laparoscopic procedure in children is
 appendectomy.
     "Rather than a traditional incision several inches long in the lower
 abdomen, a laparoscopic appendectomy requires just three small punctures -
 each about 4 millimeters in diameter - and the appendix is removed through the
 belly button," said Dr. Duncan Phillips, a pediatric surgeon at the Children's
 Hospital.
     Children who have laparoscopic procedures generally require less pain
 medication following surgery, and they are able to go home sooner.
     "In most cases, it's a quicker return to school and normal activities,"
 Phillips said.  "And just as important for some families, the parents can get
 back to work sooner."
     Laparoscopic procedures are performed on children of all ages at the
 Children's Hospital.  Phillips has operated laparoscopically on infants less
 than 1 day old.  Most hospitals don't have the expensive equipment needed for
 pediatric laparoscopic surgery, and most surgeons have not had specialized
 training in pediatric laparoscopy.
     "It takes quite an investment of time to learn these techniques and
 develop the skills," Phillips said.  "Then a surgeon has to do a number of
 these procedures to really become good at them."
 
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SOURCE UNC Health Care
    CHAPEL HILL, N.C., April 20 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- For
 children who need surgery to correct various problems in the abdomen,
 laparoscopic surgery has the same advantages that it does for adults - smaller
 incisions, faster recovery and fewer complications.  But child-sized
 laparoscopic equipment has only been available for a few years, so most
 hospitals still don't have the equipment, and most surgeons are not
 experienced in laparoscopic techniques.
     A laparoscope is a long, thin optical tube that can be inserted into the
 body through a small incision.  The scope is connected to a video camera,
 which allows a surgeon to view internal organs and diagnose problems by
 looking at a monitor.  Surgeons also can perform operations by using tiny
 surgical instruments inserted through small separate incisions.
     At N.C. Children's Hospital, pediatric surgeons use laparoscopy for a
 number of different abdominal procedures including spleen removal, gallbladder
 removal and surgery to prevent acid reflux from the stomach into the
 esophagus.  The most common laparoscopic procedure in children is
 appendectomy.
     "Rather than a traditional incision several inches long in the lower
 abdomen, a laparoscopic appendectomy requires just three small punctures -
 each about 4 millimeters in diameter - and the appendix is removed through the
 belly button," said Dr. Duncan Phillips, a pediatric surgeon at the Children's
 Hospital.
     Children who have laparoscopic procedures generally require less pain
 medication following surgery, and they are able to go home sooner.
     "In most cases, it's a quicker return to school and normal activities,"
 Phillips said.  "And just as important for some families, the parents can get
 back to work sooner."
     Laparoscopic procedures are performed on children of all ages at the
 Children's Hospital.  Phillips has operated laparoscopically on infants less
 than 1 day old.  Most hospitals don't have the expensive equipment needed for
 pediatric laparoscopic surgery, and most surgeons have not had specialized
 training in pediatric laparoscopy.
     "It takes quite an investment of time to learn these techniques and
 develop the skills," Phillips said.  "Then a surgeon has to do a number of
 these procedures to really become good at them."
 
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 SOURCE  UNC Health Care