The role of laparoscopy in the management of childhood intussusception
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Some authors have argued that intussusception is best treated via a laparoscopic approach. As we did not have this impression, we reviewed our experience with this condition.
We reviewed all patients with intussusception who were treated at our hospital over the past 10 years. The choice of whether to use a laparoscopic or open approach depended on the patient’s clinical condition and the availability of surgeons with laparoscopic expertise.
A total of 72 patients were identified. Based on age, two subgroups were distinguished—one comprised of patients under the age of 3 years and one of patients over the age of 3 years. Sixty-five patients were under 3 years of age. Thirty-five had surgery, and 19 required resection. Of the 10 patients who were treated with a laparoscopic approach, only three could be reduced laparoscopically. After conversion in the other seven patients, the intussusception was reduced in five whereas a resection was required in two cases. Seven patients were 3 years of age or older. All of them underwent surgery, and all but one required resection. All four children who were laparoscoped subsequently had a bowel resection at open surgery.
Patients 3 years of age or older usually need resection and will not benefit from the laparoscopic approach. Under 3 years of age, little is to be gained from a laparoscopic approach, provided good nonsurgical reduction facilities are available. There is a place for the laparoscopic approach in cases of recurrent intussusception or doubtful reduction.
Key wordsIntussusception Laparoscopic surgery Children
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