Return of the Banana Knife: An Alternative Instrument for Laparoscopic Pyloromyotomy

Author Department

Surgery; Healthcare Quality; Pediatrics

Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date



Background: When the disposable arthroscopic banana knife (Linvatec, Largo, FL) became unavailable, many pediatric surgeons adapted the use of spatula tip cautery for laparoscopic pyloromyotomy; however, reusable arthroscopic knives remain readily available and are well suited to the procedure. Methods: We compared laparoscopic pyloromyotomy with a reusable arthroscopic banana knife (Sklar, West Chester, PA; catalog no. 45-6050) to those using spatula tip cautery at a single institution between September 1, 2012, and December 31, 2019. Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare operative time, room time, and time to discharge between groups. Results: Overall, 109 patients underwent pyloromyotomy for hypertrophic pyloric stenosis during the study time period. Of these, 12 were open and one was undertaken with the Storz pyloromyotomy knife, so these were excluded. A total of 74 (77.1%) laparoscopic cases with spatula tip cautery and 22 (22.9%) with the banana knife were included. Mean age at the time of surgery was ∼37 days. The majority of patients in each group were white, male, and full term. The most common comorbid conditions were reactive airway disease and neonatal abstinence syndrome. There were no significant differences in operative time (P = .61), room time (P = .41), or time from surgery to discharge (P = .26) between procedures using the banana knife and those using the cautery spatula tip. There were no perforations or recurrences. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the reusable banana knife is a safe and effective alternative to spatula tip cautery for laparoscopic pyloromyotomy, with no difference in operative time, time from surgery to discharge, or complications.

Keywords: arthrotomy knife; hypertrophic pyloric stenosis; laparoscopic; pyloromyotomy.