An Australian patient sought laparoscopic surgery in Vietnam for a common bile duct cyst in late November.

Assoc. Professor Tran Ngoc Son, deputy director of Saint Paul General Hospital in Hanoi, conducted the procedure using single-hole laparoscopic surgery, a technique he has specialized in since 2011.

Over the years, Son has successfully performed more than 300 surgeries using this technique, providing faster recovery and pain relief compared to conventional surgical methods for pediatric patients.

The Tuoi Tre newspaper recently interviewed Son to discuss the advantages of this technique.

Can you share insights into the recent surgery you performed on a foreign pediatric patient with a common bile duct cyst?

In late November, the family of an Australian patient discovered their child had become unwell during their time in Indonesia. They were advised to undergo open surgery to remove the cyst.

However, after learning about the single-hole laparoscopic surgery method for choledochal cysts, they contacted me for further information.

After considering treatment options in hospitals in Australia and France, they chose to come to Vietnam.

The patient underwent a successful surgery using the single-hole laparoscopic method, resulting in a small scar near the navel and a quick recovery.

How does this surgical technique offer advantages compared to other methods?

While open surgery was traditionally used to treat common bile duct cysts, single-hole laparoscopic surgery has become the preferred method in countries like Japan, the United States, Thailand, and Indonesia.

In Vietnam, we use laparoscopic surgery to minimize trauma and ensure esthetic outcomes. The single-hole laparoscopic technique involves making only one incision through the navel, resulting in no visible surgical scars.

Recovery time is faster, and the success rate of these surgeries is notably high.

Assoc. Professor Tran Ngoc Son, deputy director of Saint Paul General Hospital in Hanoi. Photo: Duong Lieu / Tuoi Tre

When did you first adopt this surgical technique, and why did you choose it?

I learned about the single-hole laparoscopic surgery technique through an international scientific conference in Beijing, China, in 2011. Recognizing its advantages, I believed it could be successfully implemented in Vietnam.

One significant feature of this technique is that it utilizes standard laparoscopic surgical instruments, eliminating the need for specialized tools.

After introducing this technique to pediatric patients in 2011, I continuously refined it. Though initially taking longer than conventional techniques, the surgery duration gradually reduced and became comparable.

This technique offers various advantages, including preserving esthetics, minimizing pain, and facilitating faster recovery. I expanded its application to other surgeries to provide the most effective treatment.

Considering the higher incidence of congenital choledochal cysts in Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries, this technique can benefit a larger number of pediatric patients in the region.

Can this technique be implemented in lower-level hospitals to enhance their capacity to treat patients?

The single-hole laparoscopic technique requires advanced technology and surgical skills. However, it does not require specialized instruments.

With a commitment to studying and enhancing surgical techniques, doctors can develop their proficiency in performing these surgeries.