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Royal London given boost for sick babies

PUBLISHED: 12:42 29 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:37 05 October 2010

By Gemma Collins SICK newborns at the Royal London Hospital are being guaranteed a quicker recovery with miniature keyhole surgery. The hospital in Whitechapel is one of the first in London to be using small keyhole surgical equipment on babies as yo

By Gemma Collins

SICK newborns at the Royal London Hospital are being guaranteed a quicker recovery with "miniature" keyhole surgery.

The hospital in Whitechapel is one of the first in London to be using small keyhole surgical equipment on babies as young as three-weeks-old to avoid more complicated invasive surgery.

The intricately designed forceps, needle holders, bowel clamps and hooks are only 3mm in diameter so surgeons can easily get to the babies' organs, make tinier cuts and avoid leaving large scars.

The hospital carries out around 50 operations a year of babies needing chest and bowel surgery.

And health chiefs who received the equipment in June thanks to a £19,000 from Barts and The London Charity and a £5000 donation from an anonymous donor, say the surgery should ensure tiny tots recover quicker.

Paediatric Consultant Surgeon Niall Jones, a gastrointestinal specialist at the hospital said: "Keyhole techniques have transformed many areas of surgery in recent years.

"While conventional keyhole instruments can be used with adults and most children, for very young infants under the age of six months or weighing less than 5kg, they are simply too big.

"As the incisions are so small, babies recover quicker, can begin feeding normally quicker and can go home with their parents sooner; they will also have less noticeable scars as they get older.


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