The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (BMSCH) now offers minimally invasive robotic surgery to treat several pediatric conditions.
Robotic surgery is a highly effective surgical treatment option that has, until recently, been available only to adults. Assisted by this innovative technology, BMSCH surgeons perform extremely delicate procedures on our youngest patients. Robotic surgery maintains all the control and precision of traditional “open surgery,” while offering the many advantages of a minimally invasive approach.
Conditions Treated Using the Surgical Robot
BMSCH surgeons currently use the surgical robot to perform the following urologic procedures:
- Pyeloplasty is a sophisticated surgery to repair ureteropelvic junction obstruction (UPJ). Most commonly, UPJ is the result of a congenital blockage of the kidney. It is detected through a maternal ultrasound and occurs in approximately one in every 2,000 children.
- Partial nephrectomy is a complex surgery to remove part of a kidney while preserving the remaining portion. The procedure may be necessary to prevent loss of kidney function if the other kidney is not working properly or has been removed.
Why Robotic Surgery?
Some complex conditions in children are difficult to address via standard minimally invasive surgical procedures because the technology and tools are not suited for a child’s small size. Because robotic surgery involves enhanced imaging technology and equipment with increased flexibility, robotic surgery has allowed children to benefit from minimally invasive procedures just as adults do.
Benefits of Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery
Robotic surgery provides several potential advantages over traditional open methods including:
- Smaller surgical incisions (one inch or less) with improved appearance
- Less intraoperative blood loss and need for blood transfusion
- Reduced postoperative pain and discomfort
- Lower risk of infection
- Shorter hospital stay
- Shorter catheter duration
- Faster overall recovery and return to normal activities
- Breakthrough technology
Robotic surgical technology allows surgeons to operate without physically touching the patient during the procedure. Instead, the surgeon remains seated at a remote computer console while controlling highly precise robotic arms.
Throughout the procedure, the patient is attended to by a specially trained surgical team. The high-tech computer system translates the surgeon’s hand, wrist, and finger motions into precise movements of surgical instruments inside the patient. The surgeon can manipulate these surgical instruments with greater freedom, accuracy, and dexterity than is possible with the human hand during open surgery.
The surgeon watches his progress in real-time via a sophisticated video system that provides a highly magnified, three-dimensional view from inside the body.
To determine if your child is a candidate for robotic surgery, or to discuss all treatment options with a member of our team, please contact (732) 235-7960 or complete our online inquiry form to have someone contact you.