Minimally invasive procedures refer to surgery done through small incisions under camera vision. Laparoscopic procedures are surgeries performed within the abdomen, and thoracoscopic procedures, within the chest. The benefits of minimally invasive procedures are better cosmesis and quicker recovery times compared to traditional open surgery. Unfortunately not all conditions are amenable to minimally invasive surgery.
All minimally invasive procedures are performed in hospital, and your child will be given a general anaesthetic. Laparoscopy is often used for conditions such as hiatal hernias, gastro-oesophageal reflux procedures, appendicitis and is also a useful diagnostic tool. Your surgeon will make a tiny incision in the belly button for the camera, and several other small incisions on the abdomen through which surgical instruments will be placed. Once the surgery is complete, the instruments will be removed and the incisions stitched closed.
Thoracoscopic surgery is used to diagnose and treat issues that affect the chest (such as the lungs and diaphragm). During the procedure, an instrument called a thoracoscope is inserted into a small incision in the chest, and tiny surgical tools are also placed through chest incisions. Thoracoscopy is often used for conditions such as diaphragmatic hernias, lung nodules, pus in the chest cavity and sympathectomy. Before your child undergoes the surgery, Dr Thiebaut may perform other tests, such as imaging, lab investigations and on occasion cardiac evaluation to ensure that your child will tolerate the procedure.
Endoscopic evaluation of upper and lower gastrointestinal tracts
The endoscope is a long, flexible instrument with a light source that allows visualization of the inside of the upper (oesophagus & stomach) and lower ends (colon) of the gastro-intestinal tract. It can be used as both a diagnostic and therapeutic instrument. Endoscopies in children are performed under a general anaesthetic.