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Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
     Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
Official journal of the Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons         
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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 59-60

Minimal access surgery in Pediatric Surgery

Professor and Head, Department of Pediatric Surgery, Seth G. S. Medical College and K.E.M. Hospital, Parel, Mumbai - 400 012, India

Date of Web Publication29-Mar-2014

Correspondence Address:
Sandesh Vinod Parelkar
Professor and Head, Department of Pediatric Surgery, Seth G. S. Medical College and K.E.M. Hospital, Parel, Mumbai - 400 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-9261.129591

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How to cite this article:
Parelkar SV. Minimal access surgery in Pediatric Surgery. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg 2014;19:59-60

How to cite this URL:
Parelkar SV. Minimal access surgery in Pediatric Surgery. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg [serial online] 2014 [cited 2023 Jun 8];19:59-60. Available from: https://www.jiaps.com/text.asp?2014/19/2/59/129591

The earliest recorded references to endoscopy date to ancient times with Hippocrates. In his writings there are descriptions of rectal examination with a speculum. Hippocrates advised injecting a large quantity of air into the intestines through the anus in cases of intestinal obstruction. He also advocated the insertion of suppository that was 10 digits long. These descriptions suggest that Hippocrates was well aware of ileus with intestinal obstruction and thought that there were several possible etiologies, including fecal impaction, intussusceptions, and sigmoid volvulus. Moreover, Hippocrates treated these life-threatening conditions with innovative, albeit primitive, minimally invasive approaches.

Minimal access surgery (MAS) was initially practiced by gynecologists and popularized later by general surgeons. Pediatric surgeons soon took it up in their armamentarium for surgical treatment of various ailments in children. As with every change in history, use of MAS technology was faced with a lot of criticism, bordering on opposition. In present times, MAS is a very well established and accepted modality even among pediatric surgeons from the USA.

With the advent of technology, the more obvious advantages of MAS of smaller incision were overcome by the more pressing advantages of ease of accessibility of inaccessible pathology and the early return to normalcy in children undergoing these procedures. In the early 1990s, the only mention of "lap" was in the Textbooks of Pediatric Surgery with reference to nonpalpable testes. Subsequently, MAS evolved to a separate dedicated chapter under the 'pretext' of recent advances. Now it is one of the more important options available in the management protocol.

That, I believe, is how it should be. It is not a subspecialty anymore, but a vital part of management protocols of nearly all pathologies barring a few exceptions like hypospadias repair. More likely, we will be witnessing the disappearance of many open techniques in many of the excisional/extirpation surgeries like appendectomies and cholecystectomies. (There can be apprehensions like how will the training of students be complete without mastering the open techniques; but I genuinely believe that many open procedures will be historical and that we might wonder how we used to do "them" in the past.)

In Mumbai, the credit of initiating MAS in pediatric surgery is undoubtedly given to late Dr. V. K. Kapur at B. J. Wadia Hospital for children and late Dr. A. B. Mathure at B. Y. L. Nair Ch. Hospital. These pioneers would encourage patients and young surgeons, even though it was a struggle viewing without the charge-coupled-device (CCD) camera. Dr. Rasik Shah, President of Indian association of pediatric surgeons (IAPS), took the effort of helping the Pediatric Surgery department in many ways at Nair Hospital to set-up and start MAS. Three Workshops organized by Dr. S. N. Oak gave a real boost to MAS in pediatric surgery. The first Workshop was not attended by many pediatric surgeons and was quite brutally criticized. The second Workshop, I painfully recall having to plead with many to just attend even without registering - to merely witness the happenings on screen in the auditorium. With quiet pride, I state that for the third Workshop many pediatric surgeons had registered on their own.

Although I am proud of the remarkable progress of MAS in pediatric surgery, I am also aware of how much more work, both from the manufacturers and surgeons alike, needs to be done. The manufacturers are reluctant to device and market aggressively smaller size instruments. Also, pediatric surgeons should be mature enough to accept the obvious advantages of MAS. Especially in the case of hernia repair using MAS, I believe it is in the second stage of acceptance. Accepted, with some lingering reservations. Its mention in the textbooks proves its universal approval. Apart from the advantage of bilateral issues that can be tackled through the same side, the "ABSOLUTE NO TOUCH" to vas deferens is a vital advantage to my mind. Manipulating the vas during open surgery and its effects on subsequent fertility is as yet an unexplored and unproven concern. This becomes even more relevant in the face of global reduction in male fertility.

At Seth G. S. Medical College and K. E. M. Hospital, Mumbai, since December 2004 after I took over as Head, MAS has been an integral part of our treatment protocols and we are always looking to better equip our already modern department with the latest updates in the industry. Frankly, we are impatiently awaiting the introduction of pediatric instruments for 3-D systems and robotics for use in our subspecialty.

Needless to say, I am exhilarated that this issue of JIAPS is being dedicated mainly to MAS, a topic very precious and dear to me. Our united efforts in MAS will go a long way toward its whole hearted acceptance appropriately in our speciality.

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