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Hopkins transplant surgeons remove healthy kidney through donor's vagina
Date:2/2/2009

o images displayed on monitors guide surgeons' movements. Once the kidney is cut from its attachments to the abdominal wall and arteries and veins are stapled shut, surgeons place the kidney in a plastic bag inserted through an incision in the vaginal wall and pull it out through the vaginal opening with a string attached to the bag.

Montgomery says the surgery took about three and a half hours, roughly the same as a traditional laparoscopic procedure.

The Jan. 29 operation is one of a family of new surgical procedures called natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgeries (NOTES) that use a natural body opening to remove organs and tissue, according to Anthony Kalloo, M.D., the director of the Division of Gastroenterology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the pioneer of NOTES. The most common openings used are the mouth, anus and vagina.

Since 2004, successful NOTES in humans have removed diseased gallbladders and appendixes through the mouth, and gallbladders, kidneys and appendixes through the vagina.

Recently, Kalloo says, some medical experts have called for more studies to compare the safety and effectiveness of NOTES against traditional laparoscopies, which also leave very small scars, have been in use for many years, and are proven to be safer and less painful for patients than older "open" abdominal procedures. He supports more studies.

But, he adds, "natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery is the final frontier to explore in making surgery scarless, less painful and for obese patients, much safer." An organ donor, in particular, is most deserving of a scar-free, minimally invasive and pain-free procedure."


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Contact: Eric Vohr
evohr1@jhmi.edu
410-955-8665
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

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