Background: We set out to determine whether laparoscopic pyloromyotomy (LPM) is superior to open pyloromyotomy (OPM) in babies with hypertrophic pyloric stenosis (HPS).
Methods: We performed a retrospective study of 36 LPM and 36 OPM. Both groups were comparable in terms of sex, age and weight on admission, and blood pH on admission and prior to surgery. In the LPM group, three trocars were used; in the OPM group, a small right upper quadrant transverse muscle-cutting laparotomy was carried out.
Results: LPM produces a better cosmetic result, seems to produce less postoperative discomfort, and results in the absence of conversion in a shorter hospital stay. However, the duration of the operation was significantly longer (32 versus 18 min). Moreover, LPM clearly entailed more complications (three mucosal perforations against two, and two reoperations against none in the open group).
Conclusions: The actual series does not favor the laparoscopic approach over the open one, in view of the relatively high complication rate. Babies who are operated laparoscopically, however, seem to have less postoperative discomfort, a shorter hospital stay, and a better cosmetic result. As we are confident that the complication rate and duration of the operation will drop with further experience, we will continue to do LPM. LPM is not easy and should only be carried out when substantial experience has been gained in the field of pediatric laparoscopic surgery.