Transvaginal natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery in the morbidly obese
The objective of this study is to assess the safety and efficacy of transvaginal (TV) natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) operations in morbidly obese patients.
One hundred seven NOTES operations have been performed at our institution to date, of which 17 were completed in patients with body mass index (BMI) between 35 and 45 kg/m2. These included 14 cholecystectomies, one appendectomy, and two ventral hernia repairs. The patients had average age of 36.2 years (range 19–62 years) and average BMI of 38.9 kg/m2 (range 35.2–44.9 kg/m2). The mean number of previous abdominal operations was 1. The TV cholecystectomies were hybrid NOTES procedures, while TV appendectomy and ventral hernia repair were pure NOTES. All operations were completed with standard straight laparoscopic instruments.
The mean operative time was 60 min for cholecystectomy, 41 min for TV appendectomy, and 90 min for ventral hernia repair. No significant difference was encountered between the operative time for NOTES cholecystectomies in obese versus nonobese (60 vs. 61 min, p = 0.86). No conversions to traditional laparoscopy or open surgery were made, and no major complications were encountered.
NOTES is an attractive alternative to laparoscopy in female patients with morbid obesity. The procedures are safe and have short operative times, good postoperative outcomes, and improved cosmesis compared with laparoscopy.