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.
For more than 150 years, Westchester-based New York Medical College has educated students in a variety of health science-related matters. Affiliated with the Touro College and University System, New York Medical College holds certification from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, and other groups. A national leader in graduating primary care physicians, the College boasts a student and resident population of approximately 2,500.
New York Medical College features three schools: the School of Health Sciences and Practice, the School of Medicine, and the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences. Those who attend these institutions can receive training at numerous medical clinics, including Metropolitan Hospital Center, Lenox Hill Hospital, Terence Cardinal Cook Health Care Center, and Norwalk Hospital. To learn more about the facilities and options available at New York Medical College, visit NYMC.edu.
About the Author: A medical professional trained in laparoscopic surgery, Dr. Gustavo Stringel tends to patients at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. In addition, Dr. Stringel teaches academic surgery at New York Medical College and has earned tenure there as a Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics.
In 2003, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education limited the number of hours resident surgeons could spend working to 80 per week. Before those limits were established, surgeons in training commonly worked more than 100 hours per week, which left many exhausted and, in some cases, caused fatigue-related mistakes that might otherwise have been avoided.
As new research shows, however, those 100-plus-hour weeks also allowed surgeons to complete 520 more surgical procedures per year of training than 80-hour weeks do. The new restrictions mean that surgeons are entering practice with less experience than they once had, and of course, this lack of experience can also lead to serious mistakes.
The debate over how to balance the need for extensive experience with the need for sleep and rest rages on in the medical field, but as long as the current restrictions remain, surgeons in training must maximize the benefits they can from the hours they are allowed to work.
About Dr. Gustavo Stringel:
A surgeon with more than 30 years of experience, Dr. Gustavo Stringel has studied the changes that surgeons’ training schedules have undergone in recent years. Dr. Stringel published an article on this issue, “Making the Most of the Hours We Have Left,” which he delivered as President of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons in 2010.
Dr. Gustavo Stringel is the Surgeon in Chief and Director of Pediatric Surgery and also Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) for the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, New York. In his position, Dr. Stringel fulfills a number of functions including hiring specialists in a variety of fields, treating patients, and managing the day-to-day operations. As head of MIS, Dr. Gustavo Stringel obtained several pieces of state-of-the-art technology, including da Vinci robotic surgical equipment, to assist practitioners engaged in laparoscopic surgery. Furthermore, he has engaged in research into laparoscopy in children and infants.
Laparoscopic Surgery oublic domain
Also known as minimally invasive surgery, laparoscopic surgery utilizes video cameras and tiny instruments to diagnose and treat certain conditions. Doctors start by making a small incision in the patient just large enough to insert the laparoscopy equipment and other instruments through the opening. The camera relays images to a monitor visible to the surgeons. These professionals can then mechanically control the other devices without needing to increase the size of the incision.
Laparoscopic techniques offer several benefits when compared to traditional forms of surgery, including smaller scars, quicker recovery time, shorter hospital stays, and less potential for complications.