Banner Thunderbird Medical Center now performing robot-assisted pediatric surgery
GLENDALE, Ariz. (Feb. 29, 2012) – Robot-assisted surgery has been an option for adults undergoing surgical procedures for several years.
Now, the benefits of robotic surgery have been extended to the smallest patients at the Banner Thunderbird Children’s Center, benefits that include less pain, less blood loss, less risk of infection, shorter hospital stays and shorter recovery times. Surgeons at the nonprofit hospital are using the da Vinci robot to perform surgeries on children who are experiencing problems with their urinary systems.
One of the first robotic procedures to be performed has been ureteral reimplantation which corrects a condition called ureteral reflux in which urine flows back into the kidney. The ureter is the tiny tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder. Children with this condition often get frequent bladder infections which then turn into kidney infections that can damage the kidneys. The ureteral reimplantation places the ureter into its proper location within the bladder so the bladder muscles can actively control the urine reflux.
According to Ben Donovan, MD, a pediatric urologist on staff at Banner Thunderbird, the use of robotic technology offers several benefits.
“The robot gives me much greater dexterity and better visualization so I am able to tackle more challenging and difficult cases,” Dr. Donovan said. ”Robotic surgery, as with most laparoscopic procedures, is considered minimally invasive because it only involves several small incisions in the abdomen for the camera and instruments used in the procedure.
Dr. Donovan is also using the surgical robot to treat congenital urinary obstructions in pediatric patients. This surgery, known as pyeloplasty, removes blockages in the urinary system.
“When it comes to minimally invasive surgery and the use of robotics, Banner Thunderbird is really on the leading edge of pediatric surgery,” Dr. Donovan said.
About Banner Thunderbird Medical Center
Banner Thunderbird Medical Center – part of Banner Health, a nonprofit health system with 23 hospitals throughout the West—is the leading provider of pediatric care in the West Valley. Services include a dedicated Pediatric Emergency Department, 40 pediatric inpatient beds, a pediatric intensive care unit, pediatric surgery and a Level III neonatal intensive care unit.