nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Open Wide And Say Aahh: Doing Abdominal Surgery Through The Mouth

I can't help thinking about all those jokes about puking up your toenails. marches on.  The Center For the Future of Surgery (UC San Diego) has been doing human research to explore ways to avoid making incisions at all.  Something that would make even the fiber optic laparoscope obsolete.

The LA Times Booster Shots blog (July 8) has the scoop on a operative technique under development that removed a patient's gallbladder through the mouth.

Yes, the food tube, the gullet, the verbal orifice.  What normally is an intake, is now an exit.

In the old days, you made a big incision in the abdominal wall, and rooted around until you found the gallbladder.  Then along came the flexible operating scope:  small incisions to insert the scope and maybe a probe or two, and whisk out the little devil, reducing trauma and recovery time.

Now not even that...and it's here to stay, because it has an acronym.  Once the acronym is created, we're talking bleeding-edge technology.  It's called NOTES, for natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery.

Admittedly, they have to make a small cut in the interior wall of the stomach to insert a camera--to see out into the abdomen--but that heals much easier and is so small it doesn't need stitches.  Waaaaay coool....

You can imagine the advantages:  no incisions in the abdominal wall--no wound infection.  No messing around with the bowel--no ileus (where the gut just quits working for a few days, because you schlepped it around).

Hey, maybe dentists can get into the act.  Get your teeth cleaned and gallbladder out at the same time.

And, lastly, I read that the surgeons have taken out an appendix through the mouth, too.

Say aaahh...

Doc D

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