Minimal Access Surgery

Columbia’s pediatric surgeons at New York-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital launched the first video-assisted surgical program in the tristate area dedicated exclusively to children. The program uses minimal access techniques for surgeries such as laparoscopy (in the abdomen) and thoracoscopy (in the chest).

Minimal access surgery involves the use of several small incisions, each 1/4- to 1/2 inch in length, instead of one larger incision. During the procedure, a tiny video camera is placed through one incision, and working instruments are passed through others; the surgeon can then perform an operation by watching a video screen while manipulating the instruments. In some cases, only a single incision—one-port laparoscopy—is necessary.

For children who undergo surgery, little incisions are less uncomfortable and their healing time is shorter during the recovery period. Our surgeons use minimal access techniques for both diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, including:

  • Acute appendicitis
  • Pyloric stenosis
  • Evaluation for a contralateral hernia
  • Colon pull-through procedures
  • Removal of the spleen and gall bladder
  • Undescended testis and varicocele
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Abdominal and chest tumor biopsy and staging
  • Drainage of serious chest infection after pneumonia
  • Insertion of dialysis and shunt tubes
  • Anti-reflux procedures
  • Repair of pectus excavatum
  • Treatment of children with chronic lower abdominal pain