Nationally ranked care. Another way our love for kids just keeps on growing.


Minimally Invasive Surgery at SSM Cardinal Glennon
Children's Medical Center.

What is Minimally Invasive Surgery?

At SSM Cardinal Glennon, our expert surgeons use special instruments which allow for smaller incisions during your child’s surgery. Minimally invasive means that your child’s scar may be much smaller than with traditional surgery. For your child, this equals less pain and quicker healing!

Minimally Invasive Techniques

Our surgeons use a tiny, thin telescope with an attached camera and light to see inside your child’s body during surgery. The image from the camera is sent to a screen that they watch to perform the operation. Long tubes with specialized heads, guided by our surgeons, act as hands to operate inside the body. Some of these instruments are only 3 millimeters wide, similar to the thickness of a telephone cord.

With the latest innovation, called single port access, all necessary instruments are inserted through a single point on the body, typically a child’s belly button.

The number and size of the incisions vary depending on the type of operation. For simple procedures, such as the removal of an appendix, only three small incisions (all less than half an inch) are necessary. Of course, some operations may not be possible or safe with minimally invasive techniques. In that case, traditional surgical methods may be used.

St. Louis Fetal Care Institute

The St. Louis Fetal Care Institute is the only comprehensive fetal care center in middle America, in that we are one of the few programs in the U.S. that can diagnose life-threatening fetal conditions and treat them with open and minimally invasive fetal surgery.  Our nationally recognized physicians offer exceptional care for expectant mothers and their developing babies. 

Common Conditions Treated with Minimally Invasive Surgery

     Lung biopsy

     Lung cyst

     Complicated pneumonia

     Insertion of feeding tube

     Removal of spleen or gallbladder

     Tumor or mass in pancreas


     Ovarian cysts

     Inflammatory bowel disease
               - Inflammation of the intestines

     CDH: Congenital diaphragmatic hernia
               - Hole in the diaphragm

     GERD: Gastroesophageal reflux disease
               - Food or liquids traveling backwards from the stomach to the esophagus

     Pyloric stenosis
               - Narrowing of the stomach opening into the small intestine

     Hirschsprung Disease
               - Blockage of large intestine due to improper muscle movement of the bowel


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