3.13. NOTES = natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery

How would you like your infected gallbladder, which you are quite done with, to be removed and pulled out of your mouth, ! or * ?

Today's medical science has made this possible.

Back in the day, surgeries involved opening up patients on the table so surgeons could see and access target tissue. Now, many such procedures have been replaced with minimally invasive, "laparoscopic" surgeries that involve inserting a tiny, lighted camera and other instruments through small cuts in the body to perform the surgery. An even newer technique involving fewer cuts/holes is natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES).

In NOTES, a surgeon puts the robot snake with a camera for an eye up or down the natural orifice (mouth, anus, rectum) of choice, and with the guidance of the camera, small incisions are made to reach a target organ. After ligation with a hot instrument, the part (gallbladder, for instance) can be gently retrieved and pulled along the snake's path, until it's retrieved through the natural orifice. Why make extra holes in the body when perfectly good ones are available?

An additional plus: no surgical scars.

A wide variety of parts can be pulled out of one's mouth, ! or *. Examples include sections of fallopian tubes (instead of tying or clipping tubes, a whole segment is removed to reduce the incidence of miracle babies), ovaries, colon, part of the rectum, and more.


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