RENAL PEDIATRICS DONE RIGHT
Awareness of pediatric surgery is slowly increasing among Malaysians conscious of getting the best medical treatment for their kids. Here we get a brief look at pediatric urology and the benefits of bringing your little bundle of joy to Prince Court Medical Centre.
Children are precious to us all. For a parent, nothing beats the happiness of having a healthy child. Many parents can become extra anxious when it comes to their child’s well-being, especially in the newborn period.
Unfortunately when one’s guard is down, warning signs of an abnormality in their child can be missed, especially with regards to urinary tract problems. This is mainly because urinary symptoms can be mistaken for less serious issues. Examples of such symptoms are if a child complains of recurrent tummy pains whilst urinating, or keeps going to the bathroom. Some may simply dismiss this behavior as a sign of growing pains or anxiety, especially in younger children, but these could actually be indications of a more serious issue. They could be symptoms of a kidney or urinary problem and should be referred to a pediatrician or specialist at the earliest opportunity.
PEDIATRIC URINARY TRACT PROBLEMS
Pediatric Urology is just one of many services offered at Prince Court Medical Centre. Instead of focusing on just one aspect of pediatric care, here they take a more holistic approach, which focuses on providing both medical as well as surgical expertise.
When you take your child with urinary symptoms to see a pediatrician, firstly they would get a detailed history which will include their fluid intake and urinary output. They would then run some diagnostic tests to find out what the problem could be.
There are usually no danger of terrifying probes or needles involved in this process. Instead, a simple urinary analysis and an ultra sound scan, which involves a little “jelly on the belly” – is often more than enough to ascertain whether the child has a medically treatable condition or one that requires the attention of a pediatric surgeon, or nothing at all.
Most renal or urinary system problems in children under 12 are congenital or present from birth and can be divided into two categories: they are either medically or surgically treatable afflictions.
Pediatric consults deals with conditions such as treatable urinary infection (without underlying structural abnormalities), diabetes, and kidney inflammation- often responsive to prescription medications.
ADVANCED URINARY TRACT KEYHOLE SURGERY :
Prince Court Medical Centre is the leading center for minimally invasive pediatric surgery including that for urinary tract problems in children, in South East Asia. This is because some of the most up-to-date procedures and techniques such as advanced keyhole surgery are conducted here regularly. In fact, a pioneer of the pediatric keyhole method and one of the most well respected surgeons in the world is a consultant at Prince Court Medical Centre. Parents are often given a choice of opting either for conventional open or for advanced keyhole surgery for their child if surgery is required.
Children, especially infants, have fragile kidneys and are vulnerable to kidney damage if there are infections. Surgically correctable pediatric urological conditions include blockages between the kidney and the ureter (the tube connecting the kidney to the bladder), between the ureter and the bladder, abnormalities of the valves of the bladder inlet or the outlet, or even abnormalities of the kidney.
Advanced keyhole surgery is a surgical method that involves making small incisions or holes to the abdomen or chest. By using minute sized instruments and camera which are inserted through these holes, the operation is conducted with high precision. The main advantage with advanced keyhole surgery is that it is minimally invasive to the body. Therefore, the amount of physical trauma and damage to the skin, tissues and organs is considerably lower than with conventional or open surgery. The instruments used can be as small as 2 mm in width, which also means that there is less damage incurred when handling the delicate internal structures.
For example, using conventional surgery to treat a blockage between the kidney and the ureter in a baby will require a 3 cm incision to open the side of the tummy. Provided there were no complications, recovery will take about five days before the patient is discharged home. With advanced keyhole surgery however, the surgeon makes three small holes on the baby’s tummy for the instruments, each measuring about 3mm wide. Once the procedure is completed, the patient only needs a day to recover and can even go home the very next day.
In addition, instead of ending up with a 3 cm scar which is left by conventional surgical procedures, the baby only has three small chicken-pox mark sized scars that will eventually fade away. In 10% of cases there is a risk of intestinal blockage occurring after any conventional open surgical procedure, but this is less likely to happen with patients who had undergone keyhole surgery. Most parents would prefer their little ones to suffer as little discomfort as possible, with the least amount of recovery time and with nearly zero scarring or disfigurement. Given the option of conventional surgery versus advanced pediatric laparoscopic surgery, most parents would opt for the latter. This option is now made available at Prince Court Medical Centre, with standards comparable to any top pediatric surgical center in the developed world.
OTHER PEDIATRIC SURGICAL CONDITIONS
Pediatric urology is just one of many services provided by the Children Surgery team at Prince Court Medical Centre. Others include for gastrointestinal conditions like bowel or intestinal blockage as well as dealing with conditions of the lung and other structures in the abdomen.
Pediatric surgeons often deal with congenital or birth defects such as anorectal malformations, being born with a malformed or absent anus, or atresias of the intestines where there is a discontinuity of the intestine. These will need surgical expertise to correct the problems. In short, the pediatric surgery department at Prince Court Medical Centre is fully capable of dealing with all the major childhood complications that require surgical expertise.
Prince Court Medical Centre compares favorably with some of the best in the world. It has truly international pedigree. The wards are very conducive for young kids. There are playrooms with ample space for the kids to explore on every pediatric ward. Worried parents can stay over as suitable accommodation are provided for them, so they are close by to hold scared hands, wipe tears from cheeks, or even give a goodnight kiss.
WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR CHILD, DON’T SETTLE FOR SECOND BEST
In Malaysia there is a lack of trained surgeons who are sub specialized in performing surgery for children. The Health Ministry has targeted just over 200 pediatric surgeons for the whole of Malaysia. However at the moment there are only about 30 qualified surgeons. Unfortunately many hospitals and medical centers make do with surgeons trained to operate on adults instead. The consequence is that many young patients may not get the best care and treatment at the operating table. Their delicate tissues may be bruised or stressed by procedures that were developed for more mature adult bodies. The scarring may also be more pronounced afterwards.
For any parent, their child’s welfare is uppermost on their minds. Therefore no parent would allow their child to come to excessive grief, pain or scarring. However with the knowledge of what is available for their child, parents have the benefit of making informed choices and hence have confidence in the health professional they choose.
At Prince Court Medical Centre the doctors are conscious of the burden they have been entrusted with. This is why it’s all about providing the latest in pediatric surgical care. Prince Court Medical Centre provides cutting edge treatments and procedures along with the most advanced equipment and facilities to ensure that surgery is not a traumatic experience for your child. Most importantly, by having a world-class surgical team consisting of highly skilled and specially trained pediatric surgeons, they deliver a high quality surgical service for the benefit of their young patients and reassurance for their anxious parents.