Though technically more challenging, SILS aims to further reduce surgical trauma and achieve almost ‘scarless’ abdomen after surgery. Emergent technology has developed reticulating instruments to cater for SILS. Nevertheless, such instruments are adult-size, single-use and costly. As a result, the application of SILS in children has been limited worldwide.
The Division of Paediatric Surgery and Paediatric Urology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) has recently developed a unique technique of performing SILS in children using standard reusable laparoscopic instruments. Not only is there no additional cost in instruments, the technique also allows SILS to be applied in even younger children and in procedures of higher complexity.
Since October 2009, over 30 children aged 3 to 15 have successfully undergone SILS, from simple procedures such as appendectomy to complex ones like splenectomy and nephrectomy. In May 2010, the Division successfully performed the world’s first single incision laparoscopic heminephroureterectomy in a child, which is unprecedented in medical literature. All the children have recovered smoothly with minimal analgesic requirement in post-operative periods and the cosmetic outcomes have been consistently excellent.
With the great success of the innovative technique, the Division has taken a leading role in pioneering single incision laparoscopic surgery in children. The achievements have been widely recognized and several reports on the successful application of the new technique have been accepted for publication in high-impact medical journals in the field. CUHK Faculty of Medicine will continue to contribute to medical advancement through developing new techniques and medicines with the aim of benefiting the well-being of human society.
(From left) Dr Kim Hung LEE, Chief of Paediatric Surgery & Paediatric Urology, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK; Professor Paul Bo San LAI, Chairman, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK; and Dr Yuk Him TAM, Honorary Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, Division of Paediatric Surgery and Paediatric Urology, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK
Wong Yee Ting shares her experiences after the single incision laparoscopic surgery