Minimally Invasive Surgery

The pediatric urologists at Columbia/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital routinely use minimally invasive techniques to treat a variety of problems. Minimally invasive procedures are an excellent choice for many patients with urologic problems that require surgery, and patients benefit in several ways: their hospital stay is shortened, they experience less pain, lose less blood, have smaller incisions, and can quickly return to their normal activities.

Laparoscopic Surgery

During laparoscopic surgery, urologists operate using a tiny video camera and several very thin surgical instruments. The urologic surgeon inserts these into the patient's abdomen or pelvis through a few small incisions. The laparoscope, a telescopic video camera mounted on a rod, gives the surgeon an excellent view of the operating area. Urologists use these tools to mimic the techniques they use during open surgery (surgery done through a large incision).

Columbia's pediatric urologists often use laparoscopic procedures to correct high undescended testicles, varicoceles, hernias, and nonfunctioning kidneys. These surgeries almost always yield excellent results.

Robotic Laparoscopic Surgery

During minimally invasive robotic surgery, the surgeon sits at a console next to the patient and controls four robotic arms. One arm holds a three-dimensional camera and controls its movements, while the other three hold miniaturized surgical tools, which precisely replicate the surgeon's hand and finger movements. In addition to the advantages of standard laparoscopy, robotic surgery gives surgeons increased magnification and surgical dexterity, a three-dimensional image as well as instruments that allow meticulous surgical maneuvers. All of these advantages combined allow us to perform complex surgeries on the kidney and bladder in very young children.

Our division uses robotic surgery for procedures such as pyeloplasty for ureteropelvic junction obstruction, parital and total nephrectomy, nephroureterectomy, among others. Our pediatric urology team has extensive experience in both laparoscopy and robotic surgery and we pride ourselves on our skill at finding the best individualized therapy for every patient and family we treat.