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Cleveland Clinic First To Perform Nephrectomy Completely Transvaginally

Urologists develop scar-less kidney removal procedure.

Cleveland, OH (PRWEB) March 19, 2009 -- Female patients who require the removal of a kidney may now be able to have the diseased organ extracted completely through the vagina, thanks to a new surgical procedure developed by a team of urologists at Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Jihad Kaouk, Director of the Center for Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery, and his team performed the first completely transvaginal nephrectomy on March 13. The procedure involved inserting a small, single channel 5 millimeter port in the belly button to inflate the abdomen with carbon monoxide and thread a small scope, which visually assisted with the placement of the vaginal port. Then, the surgical team made a single incision in the vaginal wall and placed a multi-channel port through which the entire surgery was performed. Once the vaginal port was in place, the abdominal port was removed. The kidney surgery took four hours following the insertion of the vaginal port, and the patient was discharged less than 24 hours after the procedure.

"This is a significant clinical step toward natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES), which has been confined to the lab for more than six years," said Dr. Kaouk. "This new approach makes minimally invasive surgery even less invasive and is an important step forward toward scar-less procedures."

Previously reported cases of transvaginal nephrectomy involved performing all aspects of the surgery through a multi-channel port in the belly button using the standard laparoscopic approach. In these cases, the vagina mostly acted as the extraction point for the diseased organ. In the method developed by Dr. Kaouk and his team, the entire surgery is performed transvaginally.

Dr. Kaouk and his team have submitted a more detailed article about this surgical case to a peer-reviewed journal and will present this case to fellow urologists at several upcoming professional meetings. The surgical team included Drs. Raymond R. Rackley, Courtenay Moore, Wesley M. White, Raj K. Goel, Stacy Brethauer, Michael S. Ingber, and Georges-Pascal Haber.

About the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute
The Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute is one of 26 institutes at Cleveland Clinic that group multiple specialties together to provide collaborative, patient-centered care. The institute is a world leader in treating complex urologic and kidney conditions in adults and children, and U.S. News & World Report has ranked the urology program among the top two in the nation for nine consecutive years. Institute physicians have pioneered medical advances including partial nephrectomy, laparoscopic and robotic urologic surgery, and the bioartificial kidney, while serving tens of thousands of patients annually. For more information on the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute, visit

About Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic, located in Cleveland, Ohio, is a not-for-profit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Cleveland Clinic was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation's best hospitals in its annual "America's Best Hospitals" survey. Approximately 1,800 full-time salaried physicians and researchers at Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Clinic Florida represent more than 100 medical specialties and subspecialties. In 2007, there were 3.5 million outpatient visits to Cleveland Clinic and 50,455 hospital admissions. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 80 countries. Cleveland Clinic's Web site address is


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