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First child in the UK to have keyhole surgery using ‘mini’ 3D system at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children

Last updated: 22/11/2021

Libby - 3D laparoscopic equipment

Keyhole surgery using 3D laparoscopic equipment that’s only 4mm wide has been performed for the first time at a children’s hospital in the UK, at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

The first paediatric patient in the UK to have had surgery using this 3D system, Libby, had a pyeloplasty procedure to remove a blockage in the drainage system of her kidney.

Bristol Royal Hospital for Children has been performing this kind of keyhole surgery using standard laparoscopic equipment since 2005. The addition of 3D technology means the image quality is greatly approved, allowing surgeons to perform the procedure with greater accuracy and in less time.

Other kinds of keyhole surgery performed at the hospital will also be able to benefit from this new system.

Mark Woodward, paediatric urologist at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, performed the operation on Libby and said:3D laparoscopic equipment

“The image quality for such a small scope is absolutely superb.

“This new mini 3D system provides a real advantage for children and we’re proud to be the first children’s hospital in the UK to use it.”

Libby, who is 11 years old and lives in Somerset, was referred to Bristol Royal Hospital for Children after experiencing episodes of pain in her side.

Her dad, Andrew, explains:

“She had been experiencing the pain fairly regularly for a little while, but it became more frequent in the past three months.

“After a scan a Musgrove Park Hospital, they saw that it was caused by an issue with her kidney, and they referred us to Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

“Libby had some more scans and tests at the children’s hospital, which confirmed that she needed keyhole surgery.

“After the operation Libby was back up on her feet by the evening and is recovering well.”

When she was told that she’d been the first child in the UK to have surgery using the new 3D system, Libby said that she thought it was “pretty cool”.