Surgeon Perceptions of Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES)
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If proven feasible and safe, Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES) would still need acceptance by surgeons if it were to become a mainstream approach.
Three hundred fifty-seven surgeons responded to a preliminary survey describing NOTES and were asked to rate the importance of various surgical considerations and (assuming availability and safety) if they would choose to undergo and/or perform cholecystectomies by NOTES or laparoscopy and why.
The risk of having a complication was considered most important. NOTES was theorized to be riskier and to require greater skill than laparoscopy but to potentially cause less pain and convalescence. Nearly three-fourths (72%) of surgeons expressed interest in NOTES training which correlated with younger age, SAGES membership, minimally invasive surgery specialization, and flexible endoscopic volume. Forty-four percent would like to introduce NOTES cholecystectomy into their practices. Among those not preferring NOTES, 88% would adopt NOTES if data showed improved outcomes over laparoscopy. Finally, only 24% would choose to undergo cholecystectomy themselves by NOTES, believing it to be too new and riskier than laparoscopy.
The risk of having a complication is the greatest concern among surgeons, and safety will affect NOTES acceptance.
The results of this survey seem to justify more focused future investigations.