News | April 02, 2008

First Transvaginal NOTES Appendix Removal Using RealHand HD Instruments Performed

April 3, 2008 - Novare Surgical Systems recently completed the first successful NOTES appendix removal performed using RealHand HD instruments.

Santiago Horgan, M.D., professor of surgery and director of minimally invasive surgery, and Mark A. Talamini, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Surgery at UC San Diego Medical Center removed an inflamed appendix through a patient’s vagina, a first in the U.S. Following the 50-minute procedure, the patient reported only minor discomfort. Removal of diseased organs through the body’s natural openings may offer patients a rapid recovery, minimal pain and no scarring.

The procedure, called Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES), involves passing surgical instruments through a natural orifice, such as the mouth or vagina, to remove a diseased organ such as an appendix or gallbladder. Only one incision is made through the belly button for the purpose of inserting a 2 mm camera into the abdominal cavity so the surgeons can safely access the surgical site.

Dr. Horgan, director of the UC San Diego Center for the Future of Surgery, is a world leader in minimally invasive surgeries, having performed 14 of these scarless NOTES procedures in the U.S. and Argentina, said the company. Dr. Horgan cites the critical role of biotechnology companies in bringing NOTES devices into the operating room for clinical trials.

“The path to innovation is dynamic, requiring quick response from the companies developing the tools,” said Dr. Horgan. “Partnership with industry keeps us rolling from one success to another. The evolution of surgery to incisionless techniques is on the horizon.”

By avoiding major incisions through the abdomen, patients may experience a quicker recovery with less pain while reducing the risk of post operative hernias. This procedure received approval for a limited number of patients by UC San Diego’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) which oversees clinical research.

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