Children's Health and Wellness

Types of Surgery for Children

What are some different types of surgery?

With technical advances today, surgery does not always mean large cuts (incisions), as in the past. Depending on the type of surgery, there are several surgical methods that may be done, including the following:

Open surgery. An open surgery means cutting skin and tissues so the surgeon has a direct access to the structures or organs involved. Examples of open surgery include the removal of organs, such as the gallbladder or kidney.

Minimally invasive surgery. Minimally invasive surgery refers to any surgical method that does not require a large incision. This lets the child recover faster and with less pain. Not all conditions can be treated with minimally invasive surgery. Some minimally invasive surgical techniques include the following:

  • Laparoscopy is a procedure that uses a tube with a light and a camera lens at the end (laparoscope) to examine organs, check for abnormalities, or perform minimally invasive surgeries. Tissue samples may also be taken for examination and testing.

  • Endoscopy is a procedure that uses a small, flexible tube with a light and a camera lens at the end (endoscope) to check the inside of the digestive tract. Tissue samples from inside the digestive tract may also be taken for examination and testing.

  • Arthroscopy includes the use an endoscope so that surgeons can look at the inside of a joint. This method is most often used to inspect and surgically correct the inside of the knee joint.

  • Bronchoscopy is the examination of the main airways of the lungs (the bronchi) using a flexible tube (bronchoscope). Bronchoscopy helps to assess and diagnose lung problems, assess blockages, take samples of tissue or fluid, or help remove a foreign body.

  • Cystoscopy involves checking the inside of the urethra and bladder cavity with a small, flexible tube with a light and a camera lens at the end (endoscope).

  • Gastroscopy is the examination of the stomach lining with a small, flexible tube with a light and a camera lens at the end (endoscope).

  • Laryngoscopy is the inspection of the voice box (larynx) with a small, flexible tube with a light and a camera lens at the end (endoscope).

  • Sigmoidoscopy involves inspecting the rectum and sigmoid colon with a small, flexible tube with a light and a camera lens at the end (endoscope).

  • Colonoscopy is like a sigmoidoscopy but the endoscope is longer. This lets the healthcare provider inspect the large intestine, or colon.

Print Source: Who Will Hold My Hand? A Guide for Parents Whose Child Needs an Operation. American College of Surgeons.
Online Source: Arthroscopy, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeonshttp://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00109
Online Source: Laparoscopy, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologistshttp://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Laparoscopy
Online Source: Frequently Asked Questions About Colonoscopy and Sigmoidoscopy, American Cancer Societyhttp://www.cancer.org/healthy/findcancerearly/examandtestdescriptions/faq-colonoscopy-and-sigmoidoscopy
Online Source: Overview of Laryngeal Disorders, Merck Manualhttp://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/ear,-nose,-and-throat-disorders/laryngeal-disorders/overview-of-laryngeal-disorders
Online Source: Who Needs Bronchoscopy? NHLBIhttps://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/bron/whoneeds
Online Source: Cystoscopy and Ureteroscopy, NIDDKhttps://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/diagnostic-tests/cystoscopy-ureteroscopy/Pages/default.aspx
Online Source: Upper GI Endoscopy, NIDDKhttps://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/diagnostic-tests/upper-gi-endoscopy/Pages/diagnostic-test.aspx
Online Editor: Tchang, Kimberly
Online Medical Reviewer: Adler, Liora C., MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Dozier, Tennille, RN, BSN, RDMS
Date Last Reviewed: 11/1/2016
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