Understanding Pediatric Keyhole Surgery in Malaysia: A Conversation with Dr. Nada
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As parents, we naturally want the best care possible for our children, especially when it comes to their health. There’s no doubt that the thought of your child requiring surgery can be a daunting prospect. However, with advances in medical technology, less invasive options like keyhole surgery are becoming increasingly prevalent, offering a myriad of benefits such as faster recovery times and minimal scarring.
We had the opportunity to sit down with one of Malaysia’s leading pediatric surgeons, Dr. Nada, to discuss the intricacies of keyhole surgery, its prevalence, and its cost compared to traditional open surgery. Dr. Nada brings a wealth of experience in pediatric keyhole surgery, offering invaluable insights that every parent should be aware of.
What is Keyhole Surgery?
Interviewer: Dr Nada, keyhole surgery, laparoscopic surgery, minimally invasive surgery – what are they?
Dr Nada: These are all terms referring to a certain way of doing an operation. We introduce a small camera into the tummy or chest to look at what’s inside. Through two or more tiny incisions, we introduce instruments. The surgeon’s hands extend through these tiny instruments inside the body, while their eyes are on the camera. This camera projects the image onto a big screen, enabling the surgeon to perform the operation using the instruments.
Essentially, we make tiny cuts to get access to the abdomen, and we can see with real clarity what’s happening inside. We use 4k technology now, which gives us excellent visualization. Instead of a big cut to access the same area, we’re making small dots during the operation inside.
How Prevalent is Pediatric Keyhole Surgery in Malaysia?
Interviewer: How common is paediatric keyhole surgery around the world, especially in advanced medical countries?
Dr Nada: Keyhole surgery has been around for about 40 years around the world. In Europe, America, Japan, and Korea, it’s the mainstay of surgical practice for children because it’s the best current way of operating. This method involves very small cuts and quick recovery. Why would you want your child to have more pain, longer stays in the hospital, and longer recovery when you can do everything by the keyhole method? This method allows for faster recovery, minimal scarring, and it’s available throughout the world.
In Malaysia, it’s gaining recognition, and the technology is available in many hospitals. It’s crucial to have an experienced surgeon or paediatric surgeon to offer this service. Even for minor surgeries like a hernia operation or appendicectomy, the surgeon’s experience is crucial for successful surgery and recovery.
Is Keyhole Surgery More Expensive Than Open Surgery?
Interviewer: Is keyhole surgery more expensive than open traditional surgery?
Dr Nada: In Malaysia, keyhole surgery might cost slightly more. For example, a particular surgery done open might cost 7,000 ringgit, while keyhole surgery might cost 8,000 or 8,500 ringgit. However, if you look at the overall cost, it’s almost equivalent. A child recovering from keyhole surgery will recover much faster and spend fewer days in the hospital. The cost of those days not spent in the hospital can be considered equivalent to the cost of surgery done by the open technique.
So, the overall cost of surgical care for the admission is almost the same between keyhole surgery and open surgery.
In conclusion, keyhole surgery represents a significant advancement in the medical field, bringing with it an array of benefits that can make a child’s surgical experience less traumatic and more efficient.
As Dr. Nada explains, keyhole surgery, while potentially slightly more expensive upfront, actually equates to similar costs when considering the faster recovery time and reduced hospital stay. As the practice becomes more prevalent in Malaysia, it is crucial for parents to be well-informed and consider the available surgical options for their child’s healthcare.