EMMC First in State to Offer New Life-Changing Surgeries for Pediatric Patients

02/18/2016

(Bangor, Maine) — Most children who have urinary incontinence outgrow it by the time they begin school, but for kids who have health issues that cause the problem to persist, leaking urine can cause distress and embarrassment. For the first time in Maine, Eastern Maine Medical Center offers a new robot-assisted surgery treatment to Maine children who have incontinence caused by long-term urologic conditions.

Most people are born with two ureters, a body part that allows urine to drain into the bladder to be stored until they voluntarily urinate. Some babies are born with an ectopic ureter, which means that one of the ureters fails to connect properly to the bladder and drains outside of it, causing incontinence or urine leakage. 

A heminephrectomy is a procedure in which part of the kidney is removed using a surgical robot. The procedure, performed for the first time in Maine by Richard Caesar, MD, pediatric urologist, EMMC Urologic Surgery of Maine, usually results in improvement within a few weeks after surgery. Dr. Caesar also treats leakage by performing a pyeloplasty, a procedure used to correct urinary obstruction by removing the non-functioning part of the kidney.

“Before, families would have to travel out of the state for these procedures, so being able to have the surgery close to home is a tremendous relief for them,” he says. “I’ve found that the children’s personalities change; they blossom and become more outgoing and confident, allowing them to enjoy school and have a normal life.” 

Also new to Maine is a surgery Dr. Caesar performs to correct an intra-abdominal undescended testicle, a condition where a testicle hasn’t moved into the proper position before birth. Dr. Caesar uses a surgical robot for this procedure as well.

“By using the robot I am able to provide the patient with a less invasive, more precise procedure which may result in less recovery time, less scarring, and fewer days spent in the hospital,” he explains. “The robot allows better visualization, technique, and precise placement of sutures, which is especially important when doing surgery on a child where body parts are much smaller.”

For more information about these procedures or pediatric urologic surgery please call 947-0469.
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