Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 23, Issue 7, pp 1519–1525

Patient attitudes and expectations regarding natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery

  • Lee L. Swanstrom
  • Eric Volckmann
  • Eric Hungness
  • Nathaniel J. Soper



Natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) has theoretical patient advantages. Because public attitude toward NOTES will influence its adoption, this study aimed to assess patients’ opinions regarding the NOTES procedure.


For this study, 192 patients were surveyed. Both NOTES and laparoscopic surgery (LS) are described together with an example case. Presurgical patients rated the importance of various aspects of surgical procedures and their preference for cholecystectomy via NOTES or LS.


Complication risks, recovery time, and postoperative pain were considered more important than cosmesis, cost, length of hospital stay, or anesthesia type (p < 0.001). In the self-reports, 56% of the respondents preferred NOTES for their cholecystectomy and 44% chose LS. The patients perceived NOTES as having less pain, cost, risk of complications, and recovery time but requiring more surgical skill than open surgery or LS (p < 0.04). College-educated patients were more likely to choose NOTES, whereas patients 70 years of age or older and those who had undergone previous flexible endoscopy were less likely to select NOTES (p < 0.04). Although 80% of the patients choosing NOTES still preferred it even if it carried a slightly greater risk than LS, their willingness to choose NOTES decreased as complications, cost, and hospital distance increased and as surgeon experience decreased (p < 0.001). This study had a limitation in that the survey population was from surgery clinics.


A majority of the patients surveyed (56%) would choose NOTES for their cholecystectomy. The deciding characteristics of the patients were more education, youth, and no previous flexible endoscopy. Procedure-related risks, pain, and recovery time were more important than cosmesis, cost, length of hospital stay, and anesthesia type in the choice of a surgical approach. Patients were less willing to accept NOTES as risks and costs increased and as surgeon experience and availability decreased.


Cholecystectomy GI Endoscopy Laparoscopy NOTES Patient preference Public opinion 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lee L. Swanstrom
    • 1
  • Eric Volckmann
    • 2
  • Eric Hungness
    • 2
  • Nathaniel J. Soper
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Minimally Invasive SurgeryLegacy Health System and Oregon Health Sciences UniversityPortlandUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryNorthwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA

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