Sacha and Sariah Miller, center, with Dr. Chela Lamsee-Ebanks, left, and Dr. Zoltan Szucs following the surgery.

Three-week-old Sariah Miller underwent laparoscopic surgery, also known as “keyhole” surgery, at the Cayman Islands Hospital last month in the first operation of its kind at the hospital involving a newborn.

The surgeons performed the procedure on Aug. 6 to treat the child who was suffering from pyloric stenosis, a digestive order in newborns that keeps food from moving into the intestines, according to a press release from the Health Services Authority.

Sacha and Fitzroy Miller, Sariah’s parents, said they became alarmed after their infant began projectile vomiting over an extended period of time.

They took young Sariah to see the pediatrician at the Cayman Islands Hospital, and after undergoing an ultrasound examination, she was diagnosed with pyloric stenosis. Her excessive vomiting left the baby severely dehydrated and also held up vital stages of weight gain and development.

The medical professional explained to the Millers that a surgical procedure would be necessary to treat the condition, and a public-private partnership was called in to perform the operation.

Private consultant surgeon Dr. Zoltan Szucs, Health Services Authority pediatrician Dr. Chela Lamsee-Ebanks, and a multidisciplinary team including operating room and pediatric staff at the Cayman Islands Hospital met to review the case and the clinical intervention necessary to return young Sariah to health.

Sariah was able to feed the same day of the operation. “She did well through the surgery and I am grateful that it is over,” said Mrs. Miller. “She is doing great and functioning as a regular baby should. I want to thank God and all the staff of the Cayman Islands Hospital.”

Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that involves small keyhole incisions, resulting in shorter recovery time and reduced chance of potential complications. It also results in improved cosmetic results compared to the traditional open surgery approach.

“We felt the staff that worked both day and night put their hearts into the care they provided,” said the Millers regarding the treatment Sariah received. “They treated our child as if she was their own.”

Pyloric stenosis can lead to the death of an infant in severe cases and if left untreated. Locally, it affects between five and 10 infants per year on average. Previously, local physicians treated the condition via open surgery at Cayman Islands Hospital, but most commonly patients were transferred for surgery overseas.

“I am glad that we are able to provide such service at the Cayman Islands Hospital,” said Dr. Szucs in the press release, “and thank the management team of the HSA for providing the background and conditions of this procedure, including highly specialised instrumentation, [operating room] and hospital facilities, but most importantly, passionate and appropriately trained staff.”

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