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Gallbladder removed without external incisions
Date:7/28/2008

NEW YORK (July 28, 2008) -- In April of last year, surgeons at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center made headlines by removing a women's gallbladder through her uterus using a flexible endoscope, aided by several external incisions for added visibility. Now, they have performed the same procedure without a single external incision in what surgeons report may be the first surgery of its kind in the United States.

Led by Dr. Marc Bessler the procedure is offered as part of an ongoing clinical research trial and could prove to have advantages over traditional endoscopic surgery, including reduced pain, quicker recovery time and absence of visible scarring.

Employing this technique, called NOTES (natural-orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery), the endoscope was inserted through a one-inch incision behind the uterus and into her body cavity. Using that scope, the gallbladder was detached and removed through the incision behind the uterus. The area where the gallbladder was removed was then sutured. The three-hour outpatient procedure was performed to treat painful gallstones, which form when bile in the gallbladder hardens into pieces of stone-like material. Removal of the gallbladder is necessary in persistent and painful cases. A small and non-essential organ, the gallbladder stores and releases bile as part of the digestive process.

"This procedure marks the culmination of 15 years of advances that have made surgery less invasive in order to improve safety and reduce recovery time," says Dr. Bessler, director of laparoscopic surgery and director of the Center for Obesity Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and assistant professor of surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Beginning in the late 1980s, surgeons pioneered laparoscopic techniques for gallbladder surgery. Instead of the traditional 10-inch abdominal incision necessary
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Contact: Glora Chin
glc9010@nyp.org
212-305-5587
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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