Minimally Invasive Surgery & Robotic Assisted Surgery

What is Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS)?

Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is surgery done through little incisions using small surgical tools and telescopes. Some of the benefits of MIS are less surgical pain, less scarring, smaller incisions, quicker recovery with shorter hospital stays, and an earlier return to normal daily activities.

Surgeons who perform this type of surgery have undergone extensive specialized training, however they also know how to perform the same operations in the traditional open manner.

Newer technologies, such as robotic-assisted surgery, offer the potential for minimally invasive surgery to continue to improve and offer even more benefits to pediatric patients.

Minimally invasive surgery is not appropriate for all individuals. Your surgeon will be able to tell you in which cases it may be the best choice.

 

What are the types of MIS?

Laparoscopic Surgery

This is a common form of MIS in which small instruments and a telescope are passed through the body wall. The instruments are used by the surgeon who controls their movements, while watching them on a video screen. This form of MIS has been used widely in adults and children. In Pediatric Urology, this usually involves operations in the abdomen including surgery of the kidney, ureter, bladder and reproductive organs.

Endoscopic Procedures (Endourology)

This type of MIS typically involves using a scope passed through the body’s natural openings.  In Pediatric Urology this mainly involves the structures of the urinary tract.  These procedures include cystoscopy (looking inside the bladder), ureteroscopy (looking inside the ureter and kidney) and percutaneous nephroscopy (looking inside the kidney, by way of a small incision in the skin).

Endoscopic procedures in Pediatric Urology are used to treat disorders such as kidney and bladder stones, UTIs and vesicoureteral reflux, blockages of the urinary tract and for diagnostic purposes.

A child watches monitors during a demonstration of the Da Vinci Robot at the Austin Children’s Museum

 

Robotic Assisted Surgery

Pediatric Robotic Surgery is one of the most exciting and promising areas in the field of minimally invasive surgery.  Robotic technology make it ideally suited for use in a number of complex Pediatric Urology procedures.

The da Vinci® Surgical System provides surgeons with an alternative to both traditional open surgery and conventional laparoscopy, putting a surgeon’s hands at the controls of a state-of-the-art robotic platform. The da Vinci System enables surgeons to perform even the most complex and delicate procedures through very small incisions with unmatched precision.

For the patient, benefits may include:

  • Significantly less pain
  • Less blood loss
  • Less scarring
  • Shorter recovery time
  • A faster return to normal daily activities
  • And in many cases, better clinical outcomes

 

In November of 2011, Dell Children’s Medical Center became only the second free standing children’s hospital in the state of Texas to acquire a surgical robot, specifically the fourth-generation da VinciSi HD Surgical System from Intuitive Surgical®. The Si incorporates a number of new features that enhance the operative experience for the surgeon, operating room team, and patient.

Dr. Danielle D. Sweeney was the first pediatric surgeon in Central Texas to be certified on Dell Children’s Medical Center’s new robotic system. Before the arrival of the  robot at Dell Children’s Medical Center, Dr. Sweeney performed robotic pediatric urologic procedures on Seton Medical Center Austin’s da Vinci robot. Under the direction of Dr. Danielle Sweeney the Robotic Surgery program at Dell Children’s Medical Center is growing to include other medical specialty groups. Dr. Sweeney is an expert in the field of MIS surgery in the pediatric population, and Children’s Urology is excited to offer robotic surgery options in central Texas.

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