There has been discussion about the value of laparoscopic pyloromyotomy (LP) for the treatment of hypertrophic pyloric stenosis (HPS). In their initial small series, the authors reported a relatively high complication rate. The current study was undertaken to investigate the influence of experience with LP on operative time, complication rate, and postoperative hospital stay for a large number of patients.Methods
Between October 1993 and March 2002, 182 children underwent LP for HPS. These procedures involved 11 surgeons, 4 consultants, and 7 trainees. The end points of the study were operative time, complications, and postoperative hospital stay. The outcome of 146 LPs performed after July 1996 was compared with the outcome of 36 LPs performed before that period.Results
There was no significant difference in the mean operative time between the two series, but the operative time per surgeon dropped with experience. Mucosal perforation was experienced by 8.3% of the patients in the initial series, as compared with 0.7% in the later series. Insufficient pyloromyotomy occurred in 8.3% of the initial series, as compared with 2.7% of the later series. Other minor complications such as wound infection were infrequent and not influenced by further experience. Major wound-related problems did not occur. The LP procedure was easily learned by novices. After about 15 pyloromyotomies, the operative time was approximately 25 min. The length of postoperative hospital stay also dropped with increasing experience.Conclusions
The value of LP for the treatment of HPS has been proved. The LP procedure is as quick as the open procedure, has a low morbidity, and is devoid of major wound-related problems. Moreover, the procedure seems to be well teachable.