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Robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery

Laparoscopic surgery allows surgeons to perform corrective surgical procedures inside the abdomen through a through a small scope instead of a larger traditional incision. Robot-assisted laparoscopy surgery allows surgeons to perform more complex procedures through the scope with better precision.

How it works

The robot-assisted, minimally invasive approach allows the surgeon to operate inside the abdominal cavity with instruments introduced through tiny incisions in the abdominal wall. The robotic system (da Vinci surgical systemtm ) reproduces the surgeon’s hand movements to the robotic instruments with incredible precision. Yet the surgeon is entirely in control of every movement. These instruments can move in a tiny surgical area of a child’s abdomen with more precision and greater range of motion than the human wrist.

Robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery involves only a few tiny incisions in the skin of approximately 5 mm. The surgeon inserts and controls the camera and instruments through these incisions. Robotic-assisted surgery provides up to 10 times magnification, helping the surgeon see small structures even more clearly than the traditionalopen-incision surgery.

Conditions treated

Our surgeons use to treat a variety of conditions that previously required open surgery. The most common robot-assisted laparoscopic surgeries in pediatric urology include:

  • Nephrectomy (surgery to remove part of or an entire kidney)
  • Nephroureterectomy (surgery to remove the kidney and ureter)
  • Ureteral reimplantation (surgery to fix an abnormal ureteral check valve in the bladder)
  • Pyeloplasty, or Ureteropelvic junction obstruction repair (surgery to repair a blockage between the kidney and the ureter)

Many benefits to patients

This procedure offers many benefits to children, including:

  • Better cosmetics (smaller scar) from a smaller incision
  • Decrease in pain after surgery when compared to traditional surgery
  • Less time in the hospital
  • Shorter recovery
  • Less blood loss
  • Similar outcomes to open (traditional surgery)


Previously, the only way children could have robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery in Wisconsin was at an adult hospital. For children, it is safer to have this procedure done at a pediatric facility such as Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, where the surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists and other care providers are all specialty trained to treat children.

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Proud to be a Level I Children’s Surgery Center

The highest-rated pediatric surgical center in Wisconsin

Recognized by the American College of Surgeons, our Level I verification represents the highest level of recognition for hospitals that perform complex surgical procedures in newborns and children. Learn more about this recognition.