Lviv surgeons operate on an 8-year-old girl who had been suffering from a congenital stomach defect for three years

Lviv surgeons operated on a child who had been suffering from nausea and vomiting for three years due to a congenital anomaly that paralysed the gastrointestinal tract.

The specialists of the St. Nicholas Children’s Hospital of the First Medical Association of Lviv correctly diagnosed and corrected the defect.

Third-grader Vasylyna Prystupy from Lviv Oblast started having stomach problems in kindergarten. From time to time, the girl complained of tummy aches and nausea. When Vasylynka was 5 years old, these symptoms became more frequent. She vomited at least once a week and started refusing to eat. Vasylyna’s mother raised the alarm and took her daughter for a check-up. However, neither the tests nor the ultrasound revealed the cause of her illness.

When Vasylynka started school, her parents noticed that their daughter was lagging behind her peers in physical development. During the first grade, she did not grow at all. At the same time, her abdominal pain and vomiting only got worse. And one day Vasylyna was admitted to hospital with dehydration.

Doctors discovered that the little patient had an abnormally large stomach. It was stretched so far that it went down to the child’s pelvic bones. To find the cause of this anomaly and cure the child, her mother took Vasylynka to Lviv.

By the time Vasilinka turned to the specialists at the St Nicholas Children’s Hospital, she was even more developmentally delayed and vomited every 2-3 days. The doctors examined the child thoroughly: they performed an X-ray, fibrogastroscopy and CT scan of the abdominal cavity. Finally, they diagnosed her with chronic partial intestinal obstruction. In Vasylyna’s case, the food she ate was not passing into her intestines very well, lingering in her stomach and stretching it. The reason for this gastrointestinal dysfunction was a congenital anatomical feature.

“Vasylynka’s aorta and mesenteric artery – two such vessels in the human abdomen – were positioned from birth in such a way that they clamped the transition between the duodenum and the small intestine like tweezers. Thus, food could not pass through the intestines normally and everything above the obstruction was stretched. And when there was no more space left in the stomach, the child vomited,” says Denys Konoplytskyi, head of the surgical department at St Nicholas Hospital.

The only way to help Vasylyna was to surgically correct the anomaly. The doctors decided to operate in the least traumatic way for the child – laparoscopically. Through 5 punctures of 5 millimetres each, the surgeons separated the duodenum from the surrounding tissues, returned it to a more upright position and lowered it below the vessels that were compressing it. The operation lasted about three hours and was successful.

Now Vasylyna is recovering steadily. She is eating normally, feels good and dreams that she will finally be able to join an athletics club.

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