SDW news brief: Natural orifice trials begin, a potential ’game changer’ for hospitals

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, May 7, 2010

Two weeks ago, surgeons in Massachusetts and California enrolled the first three of 140 patients in a clinical trial to see if diseased organs can be removed through two of the body's natural orifices—the vagina and the mouth—as safely and effectively as standard laparoscopic methods.

They want to see whether using tinier cuts for cameras and tools can reduce infection rates, patient's pain, and length of hospital stay more than the traditional way of making an incision to remove the organ through the abdomen. They think it can, because they are avoiding larger incisions now made to extract tissue through the abdomen.

The technique is called "NOTES®," or Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery®, and so far about 2,000 patients have undergone such procedures worldwide, more than 120 in the U.S. and 70 of them in a clinical trial at the University of California Medical Center, San Diego.

Source: HealthLeaders Media