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.
KeywordsNOTES Flexible endoscopy New technology Surgery Attitude of health personnel
The authors would like to thank Joseph Feinglass, PhD, Research Associate Professor, Division of General Internal Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School for his assistance with the statistical analysis of the data collected in this study.
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