Skip to main content Skip to navigation
We care about your privacy. Read about your rights and how we protect your data. Get Details

Pediatric Minimally Invasive Surgery

At Children’s National Hospital, our surgical team strives to use the least invasive surgical technique possible. Minimally invasive surgery results in less pain and a shorter recovery period for your child. We perform minimally invasive procedures for children of all ages, from newborns to young adults.

About this Treatment

About this Treatment

What to Expect During Minimally Invasive Surgery

Every child and every surgery, is different. While your child’s particular experience will depend on his or her age, condition, and type of surgery, here is a general idea of what you can expect. We will:
  1. Administer anesthesia to your child. He or she will be asleep during the entire procedure and not feel any pain. We guarantee 24/7 access to a pediatric anesthesiologist. Learn more about anesthesia at Children’s National.
  2. Make a few small incisions (rather than a large abdominal or chest incision used during traditional surgery).
  3. Insert miniature surgical instruments, such as an endoscope, into the incision. Endoscopes are narrow, thin tubes with a light and camera attached to the end. If we are performing a robotic surgery, we will use the da Vinci® Surgical System.
  4. Perform the surgery.
  5. Remove the instruments and close the incisions.
  6. Transfer your child to one of our dedicated recovery units.
  7. Discuss any postoperative instructions with you before your child’s discharge.
Learn more about surgical endoscopy at Children's National.

Benefits of Minimally Invasive Surgery for Children

A minimally invasive procedure provides many benefits. These include:
  • Less pain
  • Shorter hospitalization
  • Shorter recovery time
  • Less chance of infection and bleeding
  • Smaller scars
While these benefits apply to both adults and children who undergo minimally invasive surgery, there are further benefits for children. Because children’s bodies are small and still developing, minimally invasive procedures provide a safer surgical experience, protecting children’s future growth. With minimally invasive surgery, there is:
  • Lees chance of postoperative complications such as bowel obstruction
  • Less risk of spine and back complications, such as scoliosis or shoulder weakness

Applicable Conditions

Applicable Conditions

Our team has vast experience in performing minimally invasive procedures. We are constantly working to expand the procedures we can perform using a minimally invasive approach. Features of our program include:

  • Renowned surgeons. Our surgeons are leaders in the field of minimally invasive surgery and are involved in training other pediatric surgeons. We have special expertise in neonatal minimally invasive surgery and can repair complex abnormalities using minimally invasive techniques. Our team also includes pioneers in robotic-assisted surgery for infants, children, and teenagers.
  • Expertise in surgery for newborns. Our depth of experience in neonatal laparoscopic surgery program sets us apart. We have the resources and skills to perform minimally invasive procedures on infants, even those requiring surgery immediately after birth. 
  • Full spectrum of surgery. We are comfortable with all different types of minimally invasive procedures, as well as traditional, open surgery. You can feel confident that we are basing our treatment decision on our vast knowledge and experience. No matter what, we always have your child’s safety and health in mind.

Children's Team

Children's Team


Daniel Casella

Daniel Casella

Director, Urology Fellowship
Medical Director, Informatics for Surgery
Children's National Hospital

Mikael Petrosyan

Associate Chief, General and Thoracic Surgery
Director of Pediatric Surgery Fellowship
Anthony Sandler

Anthony Sandler

Senior Vice President and Surgeon-in-Chief
Joseph E. Robert Jr., Center for Surgical Care
Our Stories

Our Stories


Rebecca's Story

At only 15-days old, Rebecca would need to undergo surgery to treat intestinal malrotation and volvulus. Find out how Children's team used minimally invasive surgery to treat the infant.



Solid Tumor Program

Our Solid Tumor Program has a dedicated team of sarcoma experts who specialize in the newest treatments and clinical trials.

General and Thoracic Surgery

The pediatric surgical experts at Children’s National in Washington, D.C., provide advanced, comprehensive surgical care for infants, children and teenagers.

Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine

From sprains and strains to complex congenital conditions, Children’s National Hospital offers one of the most experienced pediatric orthopaedic practices in the nation with experience in treating all areas from head to toe.


Whether your infant has arrived prematurely or has a critical illness, the Children’s National Hospital top-ranked team assists in coordinating every service you and your baby need, including consultations, assessments, emergency treatments and continuing care.

Invest in future cures for some of life's most devastating diseases

See other ways to give

Share your birthday with a child. Celebrate your life, and give a chance to someone who desperately wants to have as many as you.

Share your birthday with a child. Celebrate your life, and give a chance to someone who desperately wants to have as many as you. Make it happen