Pediatric surgery, at Gaslini in Genoa more than 300 children operated on with robots: “Thus in 5 years we managed to halve the hospitalization time”

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The Science

Playlist In the field of minimally invasive surgery, the presence of robotics has been consolidated for adults for years now, a technique that allows the doctor to perform an operation by remotely maneuvering a robot capable of perfectly simulating the manual dexterity required in the operating room, with the advantage of greater precision and stabilityand the enlarged view on monitors of areas that are difficult to reach with traditional methods. If for some years it has been a consolidated technique for adults, the first report of five years of direct research and experimentation carried out at the Gaslini Institute of Genoa has arrived in children these days >. Over 300 children treated and the director of the surgery department Girolamo Mattiolihe has no doubts: “From an ethical point of view, today I would not be able to go back”. For the specialists of the Genoese pediatric hospital, which was the first in Italy to implement the use of robotics in children's surgery: “We are able to operate with greater precision and stability, halving hospitalization times. Where, with a traditional operation, we would have had to intervene with important incisions and consequent pain and long periods of hospitalization, with robotic technology we are able to carry out the operation without opening the tissues and in a painless and drastically less invasive way”. As often, in the pediatric field, the smaller number of patients leads to lower investments and this is the main reason why a technology established in adults is still being researched and tested in children. “Tumours, uropathies, digestive pathologies, complex malformations of the trachea. After years of clinical research we can say that robotics has improved the path of care for children – explains Girolamo Mattioli to – ​​The use of this approach has made it possible to offer patients faster post-operative recovery and we have observed greater ease in the training of young surgeons, who are able to carry out minimally invasive treatments, previously 'reserved' only to very few experts. with excellent results in just 12 months”. The experimentation takes place in a network with other centers such as the Necker Enfants Malades Hospital in Paris to increase the number of pediatric cases and improve effectiveness by measuring results, comparing and sharing.