Pediatric Robotic Assisted Laparoscopic Bladder Reconstruction


What is Pediatric Robotic Assisted Laparoscopic Bladder Reconstruction?

The Children’s Health Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery Center is one of few centers in the country that uses minimally invasive surgery for complex conditions, such as neurogenic bladder, in children who are good candidates for this approach.

Bladder reconstruction surgeries are major procedures that had always been performed through large incisions in the lower abdomen and required five- to seven-day hospital stays. Now with the use of minimally invasive and robotic surgeries, instead of one large incision, only three to four incisions, smaller than one cm, are needed.

What surgical procedures are included with pediatric minimally invasive and robotic surgery?

  • Appendicovesicostomy - a surgery that uses the appendix to create a channel from the belly button or the lower abdomen to the bladder. A catheter is passed through this channel to empty the bladder.
  • Bladder neck reconstruction - a surgery that is performed on children who have urinary sphincters that don’t work well. This surgery tightens the urinary sphincter area to help resolve urinary leakage.
  • Bladder augmentation  - a surgery that is performed on children who have small bladders with high pressure. This surgery uses a piece of intestine to make a patch to put on the bladder to make it much larger.

What are the benefits of pediatric minimally invasive and robotic surgery?

Potential advantages include:

  • Decreased pain
  • Decreased length of hospital stay
  • Less scarring

What can we expect with the use of minimally invasive and robotic surgery?

Your surgeon will provide specific information about what to expect depending upon the exact type of bladder reconstruction surgery your child needs. In general:

  • Your child will be given anesthesia so he or she will sleep during the procedure.
  • Only a few small incisions will be necessary to complete the procedure.
  • Your child’s procedure could take between two and eight hours and you will be provided updates as the surgery progresses.
  • You will be able to be with your child as soon as possible after the procedure.
  • Your child may have a tube in his or her nose for a few days while in the hospital after surgery. This tube helps your child’s stomach and bowels to heal after surgery. The tube will be removed before your child goes home.
  • Small tubes called catheters will be left in place after the surgery. These tubes will be removed at a follow-up appointment several weeks after your child is discharged. You will be shown how to care for those tubes before your child goes home from the hospital.
  • Your child will be discharged three to five days after surgery.


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