The care of Indiana children is changing forever, and for the first time, robotic surgery was performed on a young Indiana girl. The procedure has been done before on adults, but this was a first of its kind.
Whether it was on the phone, or giving a tour of her hospital room, it was hard to believe Mercedes Magana had invasive surgery two days before being able to go home.
“So now hopefully things will go back to normal after she heals,” said Mercedes’ mother Amanda Magana. “In the long run, it is much better for her.”
Her parents noticed something was not right back in April. Doctors said Mercedes had a kidney reflux, and if it was not taken care of, there could be long-term problems.
“It could cause kidney failure and hypertension and high blood pressure,” said Dr. Benjamin Whittam of Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.
Surgery was a must, but which type? Until early January, a Caesarean section (C-section) was the only option.
“She had heard the doctors say they might have to do a C-section, so she was afraid they were going to cut her up,” said Amanda Magana.
Now, it is a first of its kind. Doctors used a robotic surgical system called de Vinci to fix Mercedes’ kidney reflux.
“Oh now we have got this new procedure, so it made you think, ‘Oh that is a relief that there is a new way to do it,'” said Amanda Magana.
The de Vinci helps with healing, not only on the inside of the body, but on the outside too. Without that system, Mercedes would have had to have a C-section. The incision would have been 5 to 6 centimeters long, instead she had three tinier incisions, each smaller than the size of a dime.
The marks on Mercedes stomach will heal, and doctors at Riley Hospital for Children said the surgery is a big breakthrough in their treatment of children.
“It reduces their overall time in the hospital and time away from family so it is very, very, very incredible,” said Dr. Whittam.
The Magana family is heading home, where 5-year-old Mercedes is back on her feet.