, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 1440-1446
Date: 07 Jan 2010

Diagnostic transgastric endoscopic peritoneoscopy: extension of the initial human trial for staging of pancreatic head masses

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The validity of natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) was confirmed in a human trial of 10 patients undergoing diagnostic transgastric endoscopic peritoneoscopy (DTEP) for staging of pancreatic head masses. This report is an update with 10 additional patients in the series and includes bacterial contamination data.


The patients in this human trial were scheduled to undergo diagnostic laparoscopy for abdominal staging of a pancreatic head mass. A second surgeon, blinded to the laparoscopic findings, performed a transgastric endoscopic peritoneoscopy (TEP). The findings of laparoscopic exploration were compared with that those of the TEP. Diagnostic findings, operative times, and clinical course were recorded. Bacterial contamination data were collected for the second cohort of 10 patients. Bacterial samples were collected from the scope before use and the abdominal cavity before and after creation of the gastrotomy. Samples were assessed for bacterial counts and species identification. Definitive care was rendered based on the findings from laparoscopy.


In this study, 20 patients underwent diagnostic laparoscopy followed by DTEP. The average time for completion of diagnostic laparoscopy was 10 min compared with 21 min for TEP. The experience acquired during the initial 10 procedures translated to a 7-min decrease in TEP time for the second 10 cases. For 19 of the 20 patients, DTEP corroborated laparoscopic findings for surgical decision making. One endoscopic and five laparoscopic biopsies were performed. Pancreaticoduodenectomy was performed for 14 patients and palliative gastrojejunostomy for 6 patients. No cross-contamination of the peritoneum or infectious complications were noted. No significant complications related to either the endoscopic or laparoscopic approach occurred.


This study supports the authors’ previous conclusions that the transgastric approach to diagnostic peritoneoscopy is feasible, safe, and accurate. The lack of documented bacterial contamination further supports the use of this technique. Technical issues, including intraabdominal manipulation and gastric closure, require further investigation.