When 10-year-old Layne Clark began having trouble swallowing and was vomiting frequently, her mom went to several doctors near their home town in Georgia to find out why. Layne was diagnosed with a rare disorder of the esophagus called achalasia that required surgery. Her mom thought they would need to travel hundreds of miles to find a surgeon who could perform the procedure, but as part of their research they discovered a world-renowned surgeon much closer to home – MUSC Children’s Hospital Chief of Pediatric Surgery Dr. Andre Hebra.
Dr. Hebra used robotic laparoscopic surgery to perform the operation, allowing him to see much better and do the operation in a better way while still using a minimally invasive approach.
“I feel normal now,” Layne said, “I don’t think about that every day now and about having people staring at me because my face is going to turn red.”