Challenges and lessons learned from NOTES cholecystectomy initial experience: a stepwise approach from the laboratory to clinical application
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The initial idea behind natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) was that of an incisionless surgery. NOTES cholecystectomy is a good model of human ingenuity and technological advance. NOTES cholecystectomy in a human being was performed at our institution after extensive laboratory work in live pig models. In this process we gained helpful information related to NOTES cholecystectomy.
More than 250 cholecystectomies in pigs have been performed. From May 2007 to November 2008 a total of 10 and 6 transvaginal and transgastric human cholecystectomies, respectively, have been performed.
The procedure was successful in all patients, with a mean operative time of 120 min. There were no intraoperative or postoperative complications. Patients recovered promptly after surgery and had minor postoperative pain. They were discharged on the second postoperative day.
The advantages of laparoscopy appeared to be enhanced by this approach: patients had minor postoperative pain and minimal scarring. This stepwise experience in the cholecystectomy procedure is an important first step in the development of methods and devices to enable the evaluation of potential incisionless NOTES surgery. Additional research and comparison studies are needed for further improvement in order to provide NOTES procedures to a wider range of patients.
KeywordsNOTES Flexible endoscopy Cholecystectomy Transgastric
The authors would like to express their appreciation of and admiration for the expert work of Alain Rohfritsch and Elena Mihalache (animal laboratory) and Catherine Cers (medical illustration), IRCAD/EITS, Strasbourg, France.
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