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Date:3/28/2008

On March 26, 2008, surgeons at UC San Diego Medical Center removed an inflamed appendix through a patients vagina, a first in the United States. Following the 50-minute procedure, the patient, Diana Schlamadinger, reported only minor discomfort. Removal of diseased organs through the bodys natural openings offers patients a rapid recovery, minimal pain, and no scarring. Key to these surgical clinical trials is collaboration with medical device companies to develop new minimally-invasive tools.

The procedure, called Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES), involves passing surgical instruments through a natural orifice, such as the mouth or vagina, to remove a diseased organ such as an appendix or gallbladder. Only one incision is made through the belly button for the purpose of inserting a two millimeter camera into the abdominal cavity so the surgeons can safely access the surgical site.

Santiago Horgan, M.D., director of the UC San Diego Center for the Future of Surgery, is a world leader in minimally invasive surgeries, having performed 14 of these scarless NOTES procedures in the U.S. and Argentina. Horgan cites the critical role of biotechnology companies in bringing NOTES devices into the operating room for clinical trials.

The path to innovation is dynamic, requiring quick response from the companies developing the tools, said Horgan, president of the Minimally Invasive Robotics Association. Partnership with industry keeps us rolling from one success to another. The evolution of surgery to incisionless techniques is on the horizon.

By avoiding major incisions through the abdomen, patients may experience a quicker recovery with less pain while reducing the risk of post operative hernias. This procedure received approval for a limited number of patients by UC San Diegos Institutional Review Board (IRB) which oversees clinical research.

The UC San Diego Center for the Future of Surgery is
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Contact: Jackie Carr
jcarr@ucsd.edu
619-543-6163
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert  

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