Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 26, Issue 11, pp 3058–3066 | Cite as

Comparison of short-term outcomes between transvaginal hybrid NOTES cholecystectomy and laparoscopic cholecystectomy

  • Byron F. Santos
  • Ezra N. Teitelbaum
  • Fahd O. Arafat
  • Magdy P. Milad
  • Nathaniel J. Soper
  • Eric S. Hungness



A natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) approach offers the potential of reducing pain and convalescence after intra-abdominal operations. We present a single-institution series of transvaginal hybrid NOTES cholecystectomies (TVC) and compare outcomes with patients undergoing standard laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC).


Patients had an indication for elective cholecystectomy and met the following institutional review board-approved inclusion criteria: female gender, age >18 years, body mass index ≤35, ASA Classification I or II, and absence of acute cholecystitis. TVC was performed by using one or two transabdominal ports to enable gallbladder retraction and clip application. Dissection was performed with a flexible endoscope through a posterior colpotomy using instrumentation from the NOTES GEN1 Toolbox (Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc.).


Seven patients underwent TVC and seven patients underwent LC. Operative times were significantly longer for TVC (162 vs. 68 min; p < 0.001). All procedures were performed on an outpatient basis, except for one patient in each group who were discharged on POD#1. Three minor (grade I) complications occurred: two in the LC group and one in the TVC group. TVC patients required less narcotics in the postanesthesia care unit (1 vs. 8 mg morphine equivalents; p = 0.02). Visual Analog Scale pain scores (scale 0–10) were less in the TVC group at 30 min (1 vs. 5; p = 0.02) and 60 min (2 vs. 5; p = 0.02). TVC pain scores also were lower on postoperative days 1, 4, and 7 (2, 1, 0 vs. 6, 3, 2), although only significantly on POD#1 (p = 0.01). SF-36 scores were similar at 1 and 3 months postoperatively.


This series adds to the existing evidence that transvaginal hybrid NOTES cholecystectomy using a flexible endoscope for dissection is a technically feasible and safe procedure. TVC requires a longer operative time than LC but may result in less pain in the immediate postoperative period with patients subsequently requiring fewer narcotics.


Cholecystectomy NOTES Flexible endoscopy Transvaginal Endoscopic instrumentation 



The authors acknowledge Remedios Manuel, R.N., and Colleen Krantz, R.N., for their help coordinating the clinical aspects of the study and Megan Hovany for her help preparing the manuscript figures.


The clinical TVC portion of this study was funded by Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc. Eric S. Hungness has consulting agreements with Ethicon Endo-Surgery and Olympus. Nathaniel J. Soper is on the scientific advisory boards of Covidien, TransEnterix, and Miret Surgical and receives research and/or educational support from Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Covidien, and Karl Storz. Byron S. Santos, Ezra N. Teitelbaum, Fahd O. Arafat, and Magdy P. Milad have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Byron F. Santos
    • 1
  • Ezra N. Teitelbaum
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fahd O. Arafat
    • 1
  • Magdy P. Milad
    • 3
  • Nathaniel J. Soper
    • 1
  • Eric S. Hungness
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryNorthwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryGeorge Washington UniversityWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyNorthwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA

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