The Use of Minimal Access Surgery in Pediatric Trauma: A Preliminary Report

Academic Article


  • Minimal access surgery (MAS) is becoming an accepted modality in the management of adult trauma, but its use in children is rarely reported. Recently, we began using minimal access surgery to evaluate injured children. The purpose of this report is to review our preliminary experience with the use of laparoscopy and thoracoscopy in blunt and penetrating pediatric trauma. Eight children aged 2–14 years old were evaluated using MAS. Two children with blunt injuries had persistent abdominal pain despite normal radiologic studies. Laparoscopy documented a disrupted gallbladder and a small bowel perforation. Laparoscopy was also used to evaluate five hemodynamically stable children with penetrating wounds to the abdominal wall with potential peritoneal penetration. Only one child was converted to a laparotomy. Four were found to have either tangential penetrating wounds or nonbleeding solid organ injuries and were spared an open exploration. Two children with penetrating trauma with potential mediastinal injury were assessed with thoracoscopy. MAS was also used as a therapeutic modality in two children who had diaphragmatic lacerations repaired with an endoscopic “hernia” stapler. MAS accurately identified all injuries. All children were subsequently discharged without complications. We conclude that MAS is a safe and effective way to evaluate and manage hemodynamically stable children with both penetrating and blunt traumatic injuries. © 1995, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Chen MK; Schropp KP; Lobe TE
  • Start Page

  • 295
  • End Page

  • 301
  • Volume

  • 5
  • Issue

  • 5