Minimally Invasive Surgery for Children

In the past, when children needed surgery for gynecologic conditions, conventional “open” surgery was performed, an approach that involves major incisions, hospitalization, and a lengthy recovery period.

Today, many of these procedures can be performed using minimally invasive surgery, an approach that requires fewer, smaller incisions and uses smaller surgical instruments. The result is less pain and scarring, fewer complications, and a faster recovery and return to the child’s normal activities.

Patients can be seen by Texas Children's experts in Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology.

How Minimally Invasive Surgery for Children Works

In traditional open surgery an incision is made in the abdomen large enough to access the internal organs. The incision requires cutting through healthy tissue, leading to a longer, more painful recovery.

With minimally invasive surgery, the surgeon uses tiny scopes and surgical instruments inserted either through very small incisions or punctures in the abdomen (laparoscopic surgery) to view the internal organs and perform the procedure.  Minimally invasive surgery may also involve the use of cameras that may be placed through the vaginal or uterine openings (vaginoscopy or hysteroscopy) to view the reproductive tract.   The surgical instruments used are smaller and better suited for a child’s body.

What are the benefits of minimally invasive surgery?

Minimally invasive surgery offers several advantages over traditional open surgery, including:

  • Faster healing and recovery
  • Less pain after surgery
  • Less scarring
  • Fewer complications
  • Fewer and shorter hospital stays
  • Less injury to skin, muscle and nerves
  • Reduced blood loss
  • Faster return to school and normal activities

When is minimally invasive surgery used?

Minimally invasive surgery can be used to diagnose or treat conditions that include: