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Laparoscopy in the Management of Pediatric Intraabdominal Tumors

JSLS Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons
The Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons
Publication Date
  • Scientific Papers
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Background and Objectives: Unresectable intraabdominal tumors pose a challenge to the pediatric oncology team. Tumor tissue is needed for diagnostic and prognostic analyses. Laparotomy is quite invasive and computerized tomography-guided needle biopsies, though less invasive, may not procure enough tissue for a complete analysis. This study aimed to evaluate our experience with laparoscopy in managing these tumors. Methods: Nine children underwent laparoscopy: 6 for primary tumor biopsy, 2 for tumor resection, and 1 for tumor dissection followed by laparotomy for tumor resection. Results: The study included 7 females and 2 males with a median age of 5 years (range, 3 to 15 years). Three patients had neuroblastoma, 2 had mature ovarian teratomas, 2 had rhabdomyosarcoma, 1 had erythrophagocytic histiocytosis, and 1 had T-cell hepatosplenic lymphoma. In each case, adequate tissue was procured for diagnostic and prognostic analyses. No perioperative complications occurred. Both patients with ovarian teratomas are well. Four patients continue to receive anti-cancer therapy. The patient with erythrophagocytic histiocytosis underwent a cord-blood stem cell transplant. One patient with neuroblastoma was lost to follow-up, and 1 patient with rhabdomyosarcoma died of progressive disease. Conclusions: Laparoscopy is a valuable technique in the management of pediatric intraabdominal tumors. It allows for tumor biopsy under direct vision, and adequate tissue is procured for all analyses. Moreover, it allows the surgeon to dissect the tumor and determine resectability.

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