HOUSTON (January 21, 2015)

As if finding out one’s newborn baby has to have surgery doesn’t cause enough anxiety, the thought of a scar forming and serving as a permanent reminder of the procedure only adds to the stress. However, Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital is bringing peace of mind to parents by now offering minimally invasive, 3-D flexible-tip laparoscopy, a virtually scar-less surgery for pediatric patients with urologic problems who are not candidates for robotic-assisted laparoscopy.

“We are excited that our affiliated physicians are the first in Texas to offer this type of advanced surgical procedure,” said Susie Distefano, CEO of Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. “It’s the type of high-quality care the parents of our patients have come to expect from Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and the kind of care we are honored to provide.”

According to Dung Pham, MD, chief of pediatric urology at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and assistant professor in the division of pediatric urology at UTHealth Medical School, there are numerous benefits to the 3-D minimally invasive surgery, including: real-time, 3-D anatomical delineation; the magnification of organs and blood vessels; increased accuracy and precision; and quicker recovery times. Because it uses tiny incisions, the 3-D laparoscopic surgery is virtually scar-less and can be less painful than a typical surgery. In addition, the 3-D imaging provides increased magnification with depth perception that is not possible with typical open surgery. It also opens a new realm of possibility, as most infants with urologic issues must wait until they reach a certain body size and weight and are at least one year of age to become a candidate for 3-D robotic-assisted laparoscopy. Now, using 3-D flexible-tip laparoscopy, babies as young as two weeks can be treated, allowing issues discovered at birth to be handled almost immediately.

“It is a good feeling when I can tell parents they don’t have to take the ‘wait and watch’ route with their baby,” said Dr. Pham. “We are able to go in and fix the problem quickly, efficiently and safely, without leaving behind any permanent scarring.”

Thanks to our affiliated physicians who are leading the way in single-incision surgery, Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital is proud to be the first healthcare facility in Texas to offer this urological pediatric surgery. It is also the only pediatric hospital in Houston to offer both 3-D robotic-assisted and 3-D flexible-tip laparoscopic surgeries.

Located in the highly esteemed Texas Medical Center, Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital is a leader in the treatment of pediatric urologic conditions, including congenital abnormalities and acquired urological conditions and diseases. The unique collaboration between Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and UTHealth Medical School provides patients with excellent urologic care, advanced technology and specialized minimally invasive surgeries unavailable at other hospitals, and our family-centered approach to high quality care provides consistently high patient satisfaction.