Video-Assisted Transumbilical Meckel's Diverticulectomy in Children

Clark, Jason M.; Koontz, Curt S.; Smith, Lisa A.; Kelley, Joseph E.
April 2008
American Surgeon;Apr2008, Vol. 74 Issue 4, p327
Academic Journal
The treatment of Meckel's diverticulum (MD) in children is resection. Some data exist for the use of laparoscopic resection. The Video-Assisted Transumbilical (VAT) single-trocar technique has been recently described for appendectomy. We also have used this technique for the resection of MD. The purpose of this study is to report our experience with laparoscopic -assisted resection of MD using both the three-trocar and the single-trocar techniques. The Institutional Review Board approved our retrospective chart review of all patients with the diagnosis of MD. Only the cases that were treated via laparoscopy were included. Technique of resection was at the discretion of the surgeon. Nine patients underwent laparoscopic resection of an MD from 2000 to 2005. Four patients underwent the three-trocar technique (LAP n = 4) and the remaining five underwent the video-assisted transumbilical single-trocar technique (VAT n = 5) procedure. Indications for surgery included gastrointestinal bleeding (VAT n = 3; LAP n = 2), malrotation (LAP n = 2), intussusception (VAT n = 1), and abdominal pain (VAT n = 1). All patients were male, and ages ranged from 7 months to 17 years for the VAT group and 8 months to 15 years for the LAP group. The average length of surgery for the LAP versus VAT was 128 minutes (94-170 minutes) and 81.4 minutes (42-96 minutes) respectively. Of the five patients undergoing LAP, two Ladd's procedures and three appendectomies were included during the same anesthesia. Only a single appendectomy procedure was performed during a VAT. The average time until full feeds with the LAP and VAT was 4.3 days (2-8 days) and 2.0 days (1-3 days) respectively. The overall length of stay with LAP versus VAT was 4.3 days (2-8 days) and 3.7 days (2-5 days). Only one case using the LAP method required conversion to an open laparotomy. Though no randomized trial for the removal of MD exists, our data suggest that the use of laparoscopy for removal of both symptomatic and asymptomatic MD is safe and effective. Additionally, the one trocar technique is feasible and may be beneficial in terms of fewer incisions and operative costs; however, more patients need to be studied.


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