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Abdominal Surgery May Become Easier for Patients
Date:6/3/2009

Advanced technique is said to reduce post-op pain and scarring

WEDNESDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- A scarless surgical technique shows promise in procedures such as weight-loss surgery and gallbladder and appendix removal, suggest several studies.

The technique, called Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES), causes less pain than conventional laparoscopic surgery and offers a much faster recovery time, experts say. Doctors pass an endoscope through a natural opening in the body and then through an internal incision in the stomach, vagina, bladder or colon. This eliminates external incisions and scars.

A study from the University of California, San Diego, suggests that the technique might offer a far less painful and dangerous option for weight-loss surgery. It was used to perform transvaginal sleeve gastrectomy in morbidly obese patients, creating two small incisions in the abdomen and one in the vagina to remove 70 percent of the patients' stomachs, the study reported.

The findings were to be presented this week at the Digestive Disease Week conference in Chicago.

Standard laparoscopic gastrectomy requires five to seven larger incisions in the abdomen that can cause major scarring and increase the risk for infections and hernias.

"Compared to traditional laparoscopic techniques in which patients experience a high incidence of infections and hernias, the results so far indicate this procedure accelerates weight loss while minimizing adverse events," Dr. Santiago Horgan, professor of surgery, said in a new release from a conference sponsor.

In another study, Horgan and colleagues were the first to perform transvaginal appendectomies. The procedure involved just a small incision in the abdomen and another in the vagina, fewer than the incisions needed for appendix removal with traditional laparoscopy.

"Our initial results suggest when appendectomies are pe
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