Minimally invasive surgery in children with cancer

George W. Holcomb, Sandra S. Tomita, Gerald M. Haase, Peter W. Dillon, Kurt D. Newman, Harry Applebaum, Eugene S. Wiener

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Background. The safety and efficacy of minimally invasive oncologic procedures in children have not been well defined and only limited anecdotal experience has been published. Methods. A retrospective review of all patients undergoing either a laparoscopic or thoracoscopic procedure at Childrens Cancer Group institutions between December 1, 1991, and October 1, 1993, was performed. Results. Eighty‐five children underwent 88 minimally invasive surgical procedures as part of the evaluation or treatment for cancer at 15 participating centers. In 25 patients, laparoscopy was performed and 60 patients underwent 63 thoracoscopic operations. Tissue biopsies were taken in 67 cases and diagnostic material was obtained in 99% of the biopsies. Seven complications occurred, all within the thoracoscopic group. These included conversion of six operations to an open procedure. One patient developed atelectasis postoperatively. Conclusions. In pediatric patients with suspected cancer, laparoscopy was highly accurate with minimal morbidity; thoracoscopy was nearly as efficient with slightly higher morbidity. Both modalities are useful for assessment of resectability, for staging purposes, and for evaluation of recurrent or metastatic disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-128
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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