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Keyhole surgery on baby

Surgeons at the Cayman Islands Hospital have made medical history by performing laparoscopic or “keyhole” surgery on a three-week-old patient suffering from pyloric stenosis, a digestive disorder in newborns, which keeps food from moving into the intestines.

Sacha and Fitzroy Miller, parents of little Sariah Miller, said they became terrified after their newborn begun projectile vomiting over an extended period. They took her to see the paediatrician at the Cayman Islands Hospital where with help of an ultrasound examination Sariah was diagnosed with pyloric stenosis. Her excessive, projectile vomiting had resulted in severe dehydration and also in a hold up in her weight gain and development.

The paediatrician explained to the Millers that to treat this condition a surgical procedure would be necessary. A public-private partnership including Private Consultant Surgeon Dr Zoltan Szucs, HSA paediatrician Dr Chela Lamsee-Ebanks and a multidisciplinary team including, operating room and pediatric staff at the Cayman Islands Hospital met to review the case and the clinical intervention necessary to provide the quality medical care and immediate attention Sariah needed.

Dr Chela Lamsee-Ebanks, Sacha Miller with baby Sariah Miller and Dr Zoltan Szucs

She was able to feed the same day after her operation. Her mother said: “She did well through the surgery and I am grateful that it is over. She is doing great and functioning as a regular baby should. I want to thank God and all the staff of the Cayman Islands Hospital.”

In severe cases and if left untreated, pyloric stenosis can lead to the death of an infant. In the Cayman Islands, it occurs between 5-10 newborns per year on average. Previously, local physicians occasionally performed open surgery on infants at the Cayman Islands Hospital, but most commonly, they were transferred overseas for surgery.

Commenting on the service they received at the hospital, the Millers said they felt the staff that worked both day and night put their hearts into the care they provided and treated their child as if she was their own.

“I am glad that we are able to provide such service at the Cayman Islands Hospital and thank the management team of the HSA for providing the background and conditions of this procedure, including highly specialised instrumentation, OR and hospital facilities, but most importantly, passionate and appropriately trained staff,” said Dr. Szucs.

Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that involves small keyhole incisions made on the stomach resulting in a shorter recovery time, reduced chance of early and late potential complications and improved cosmetic results in comparison to the traditional open surgery approach. The procedure was performed with special micro instruments; scars were practically invisible at Sariah’s three-week follow-up.

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