Based in Valhalla, New York, renowned pediatric surgeon Dr. Gustavo Stringel is surgeon in chief of Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. For over two decades, Dr. Gustavo Stringel has been at the forefront of the field of laparoscopic surgery for young patients.
Laparoscopic techniques are frequently used for a wide range of common pediatric procedures, typically with outcomes that are superior to those of more invasive open operations. Modern pediatric laparoscopic surgeries include appendectomies, various tumor and organ biopsies, and hernia exploration and repair, among many others.
Laparoscopic surgery wasn’t always available for children. In the early 1990s, laparoscopy was a fairly well-developed field in adult and gynecological medicine. The world of pediatric medicine, however, lagged behind for a couple of reasons. First, existing equipment was not ideally sized for children’s bodies. Secondly, a number of doctors resistant to pediatric laparoscopy suggested that the natural resilience of children to surgery made laparoscopy an unnecessary replacement for more traditional open surgery.
Fortunately, a few insightful pediatricians like Dr. Stringel identified the advantages of laparoscopy in the early 1990s, and worked hard toward establishing the necessary knowledge and expertise to safely operate laparoscopically on young patients. The less invasive nature of laparoscopy was found to be advantageous to children, as well, with quicker recovery times, fewer infections, and less postoperative pain. With the advent of smaller instruments better suited to children’s procedures, the results only improved.
Thanks to the persistence of those pioneering pediatric surgeons, today pediatric laparoscopic procedures are routine and produce positive outcomes for thousands of young patients every year.