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Types of Surgery for Children

What are some different types of surgery?

With technical advances today, surgery does not necessarily mean large incisions, as in the past. Depending on the type of surgery, there are several surgical methods that may be performed, including the following:

  • Open surgery. An open surgery means cutting skin and tissues so the surgeon has a direct access to the structures or organs involved. Examples of open surgery include the removal of organs, such as the gallbladder or kidney.

  • Minimally invasive surgery. Minimally invasive surgery refers to any surgical technique that does not require a large incision. This allows the child to recuperate faster and with less pain. Not all conditions are treatable with minimally invasive surgery. Some minimally invasive surgical techniques include the following:

    • Laparoscopy is a procedure that uses a tube with a light and a camera lens at the end (laparoscope) to examine organs, check for abnormalities, or perform minimally invasive surgeries. Laparoscopy is a surgery which avoids making large incisions. Tissue samples may also be taken for examination and testing.

    • Endoscopy is a procedure that uses a small, flexible tube with a light and a camera lens at the end (endoscope) to examine the inside of the digestive tract. Tissue samples from inside the digestive tract may also be taken for examination and testing.

    • Arthroscopy includes the use an endoscope so that surgeons can look at the interior of a joint. This technique is most often used to inspect and surgically correct the inside of the knee joint.

    • Bronchoscopy is the examination of the bronchi (the main airways of the lungs) using a flexible tube (bronchoscope). Bronchoscopy helps to evaluate and diagnose lung problems, assess blockages, obtain samples of tissue and/or fluid, and/or help remove a foreign body.

    • Cystoscopy involves examining the inside of the urethra and bladder cavity with a small, flexible tube with a light and a camera lens at the end (endoscope).

    • Gastroscopy is the examination of the lining of the stomach with a small, flexible tube with a light and a camera lens at the end (endoscope).

    • Laryngoscopy is the inspection of the larynx (voice box) with a small, flexible tube with a light and a camera lens at the end (endoscope).

    • Sigmoidoscopy involves inspecting the rectum and sigmoid colon with a small, flexible tube with a light and a camera lens at the end (endoscope).

Types of Surgery for Children - WellSpan Health

Online Medical Reviewer: Bowers, Laurie, RN
Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
© 2014 WellSpan Health. All Rights Reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

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