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New Surgical Technology Holds Promise of Painless, Scarless Procedures
Date:5/18/2008

rocedures such as holding traction while simultaneously dissecting tissue through a single NOTES endoscope," Willingham said.

In another study, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine researchers found that NOTES can be used to view the entire uterus and to reach previously inaccessible areas. The findings from tests on ewes suggests that NOTES may prove useful in performing lifesaving surgery on fetuses.

Traditional laparoscopy or laparotomy can be limiting, because the uterus and fetus can only be accessed from the front. With NOTES, doctors can reach any part of the uterus, no matter which way the fetus is facing.

"Our findings suggest that NOTES may provide an avenue through which one can ultimately stage even more complicated operations in pregnant women and the fetus," study author Dr. Samuel A. Giday, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of gastroenterology and hepatology, said in a prepared statement.

In a third study, University of Nebraska Medical Center researchers found that combining NOTES with small robotic devices resulted in excellent outcomes in more than 25 procedures performed on animals. The procedures included abdominal exploration, bowel manipulation, cholecystectomy, intracorporeal suturing, partial splenectomy and liver resection.

The robotic devices -- about the size of two lipstick tubes -- have a central body, two working arms and a built-in light source. While this approach shows promise, it does have a number of limitations that need to be addressed before it could be available for use in humans, said study author Dr. Dmitry Oleynikov, director of minimally invasive surgery at the medical center.

More information

The Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons explains laparoscopic and endoscopic procedures.



-- Robert Pre
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