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South African Journal of Surgery

On-line version ISSN 2078-5151
Print version ISSN 0038-2361

S. Afr. j. surg. vol.49 n.1 Cape Town Feb. 2011




Paediatric thoracoscopy: State of the art



M. L. van Niekerk

M.B. Ch.B., M.Med. (surg.), F.C.S. (s.A.). Division of Paediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Pretoria




Brad Rogers reported the first significant use of thoracoscopy in children in the late 1970s. Over the past two decades there has been an exponential growth and expansion of this technique. Many advanced procedures, including lobectomy, repair of tracheo-oesophageal fistula, excision of mediastinal tumours and diaphragmatic hernia repairs, are being done routinely in paediatric surgery centres around the world. This article reviews the state of the art of thoracoscopic surgery in children. The author selected five procedures which in his opinion are most relevant for this discussion. The thoracoscopic technique seems to offer a favourable alternative to open surgery, but more clinical research is necessary to confirm the benefits of minimal access surgery.


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