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Surgery without external scars is gaining traction
Date:3/10/2011

CHICAGO When Patricia Manrique was told she needed her gallbladder removed she immediately thought about the classroom full of children who rely on her to teach them tap and ballet each day. The Chicago Park District physical instructor needed a way to get the surgery performed without being laid up for weeks so she opted for an innovative minimally invasive procedure called Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES) that would allow surgeons to perform organ removal surgery without any visible incisions and have her back on her feet the same day. Northwestern Medicine physicians were among the first in the U.S. to perform several types of the procedure and are leading the charge in organ removal through the mouth or vagina.

"Millions of women in the United States suffer from gallbladder disease, and many of those women, like Manrique will eventually need surgery to remove the organ which can often be painful and have a lengthy recovery time," said Nathaniel Soper, MD, chair of surgery and director of the minimally invasive surgical program for Northwestern Medicine.

NOTES offers a means of reducing and ultimately eliminating the need for incisions to gain access to the abdominal cavity. With NOTES, a flexible endoscope and accessory instrument are inserted transvaginally (vagina) or transgastrically (mouth) and passed through the wall of the organ to reach the abdominal cavity. By reducing or eliminating the need for incisions, NOTES provides a less invasive surgical option that can reduce pain, recovery time, complications and hernias even further compared to a traditional laparoscopic surgical approach.

"We believe that this type of procedure is laying the groundwork for truly incision-less surgery, which could offer patients many benefits," said Eric Hungness, MD, minimally invasive gastrointestinal surgeon and assistant professor of surgery for Northwestern Medicine.

Aside from Manrique's physically de
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Contact: Angela Salerno
asalerno@nmh.org
312-926-8327
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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