Invasive micro-surgery (Laparoscopy) is a surgical technique that does not require opening of the abdomen. The operation involves a micro-camera inserted into the abdominal cavity, which transmits pictures via optic fibers to a video screen, enabling the surgeons to see what is happening inside the abdomen and to operate without needing to make a large incision.
Most surgical procedures performed in the past using the open method can now be performed using Laparoscopy. The method has many advantages: faster recovery (hence earlier discharge), less pain (hence fewer painkillers) and better cosmetic results (significantly smaller scars). Laparoscopy also allows doctors to treat a broader range of problems.
The Pediatric Urology Department at Shaare Zedek is equipped with the latest laparoscopic devices and the doctors have years of experience in carrying out these operations. Today, most of the surgery in the department is conducted with this equipment and our team is able to reduce the average abdominal scar length to a mere 3mm.
In most kidney surgery, department surgeons use the single incision method (Single Site Laparoscopic Surgery). The entire operation is performed through one incision in the child’s belly button. This technique produces excellent cosmetic results and in fact the child has no visible scars after surgery. Moreover, this method reduces post-op pain and even reduces the risks of complications, even more than conventional laparoscopy, because it only needs one incision and not many.
Laparoscopic kidney surgery includes full kidney removal in children suffering from kidney failure, partial kidney removal (due to pole), plastic surgery (Laparoscopic Pyeloplasty) to treat Ureteropelvic Junction Obstruction (UPJO), surgery to fix intra-abdominal undescended testis (Orchydopexy), a range of diagnostic operations on patients with endocrinal diseases, as well as Laparoscopic Variocelectomy (to treat enlargement of the veins in the scrotum).
We perform some of our laparoscopic surgery with the Da-Vinci Robot, an advanced machine that operates miniscule, compact devices with which we can operate on even the smallest infants. The system enables greater precision, which raises success levels (particularly in children) and allows for optimal removal of tumors and affected tissue.
The main use of the robot is for reconstructive surgery. The two most common are repairing UPJO and connecting the ureter to the bladder, two relatively common problems usually discovered during pregnancy or developing in the child following a urinary tract infection. This operation can be performed from the age of three months. The robot has a wider range of movement than the human hand and allows for an almost 360° view of the abdominal cavity.
Our department staff participate in a number of international projects in the field of laparoscopic surgery, including clinical studies and laparoscopic device development.