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Pediatric Minimal Access Surgery (MAS)

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Summary

Minimal access surgery (MAS) is a surgical technique similar to laparoscopy, but further advances the technique by using a single port, usually located at the umbilicus.

Procedures

It is used in general surgery and in more common procedures such as gastric tube placement and appendectomies. However, as this technique continues to evolve, more complex MAS procedures are being performed.

Advantages:

  • Improved quality of life after surgery 
  • Reduction in stress response to surgery and postoperative pain
  • Smaller incisions and wounds, less scarring and improved cosmesis
  • Shorter recovery time
  • Video imaging for the entire surgical team
  • Appropriate and safe for use in small infants

Considerations:

  • MAS requires an experienced surgical team; learning takes time
  • Surgeons lose tactile sensation while operating
  • Current technology limits imaging to two dimensions 
  • Control of bleeding is difficult
  • Enhanced ergonomics of operation using robotics may improve functionality in the future 

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