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Toddler Fine After Having Rare Surgery

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A 1-year-old boy was in good health Monday after he became the youngest person in Orange County to undergo a rare surgical procedure to remove a defective kidney, officials at UCI Medical Center said.

“Our little guy did just fine,” said Jesse Holt’s surgeon, Dr. Allan M. Shanberg.

The boy’s parents, Dennis and Korinne Holt, who live on Santa Catalina Island, expressed relief and happiness after Shanberg told them the kidney had been removed successfully and the toddler was fine.

“Both parents said they were anxious to take Jesse back home to the island,” Shanberg said, who allowed Jesse to be discharged from the hospital Monday evening.

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Shanberg suggested that Jesse and his family remain overnight in Orange County so brief blood tests could be done before the family returned to Catalina today.

The surgery, called a laparoscopic nephrectomy, is unlike regular kidney removal in which surgeons make a large incision in the stomach.

Instead, Shanberg made three tiny cuts, each a fraction of an inch, and inserted a mini-camera along with surgical scissors and a cauterizing tool.

With the camera showing the work area, he first clipped off the artery, vein and ureter. Then he used the scissors to break the kidney into pieces, which were removed by suction.

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The new method allows the patient to enter a hospital in the morning and go home that evening. In addition, the patient can resume normal activity in 48 hours compared to five to six weeks recovery for removal in open surgery.

Jesse’s defective kidney was first diagnosed when his mother had a routine sonogram during her pregnancy.

Doctors assured the Holts that Jesse’s other kidney was fine and functioning normally.

They recommended removing the defective kidney to reduce the risk of it becoming cancerous or causing hypertension or high blood pressure.

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