Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Bariatric Surgery: Top to, uhm, Bottom...

tidbits that tantalize

Is This Going

To Hurt?

Context is everything when setting the threshold for how much information is too much. Your aging parents experimentation with Viagra - low threshold. Details of a recommended surgical procedure - high threshold.

And, yet...

Consider the latest advance in Bariatric (weight loss) surgery. In an alternative to the stomach-stapling surgery now employed, surgeons are developing a new form of scalpel-free surgery. Think of it. No incisions mean lower costs, fewer complications and quicker recovery. It's a potentially revolutionary development, but it does beg a rather fundamental question. If there are no incisions, how do they get in there?

An emerging technology, known as Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES), is the key. This procedure utilizes specially developed surgical instruments, incorporated within slender tubes, to gain access through the patient's mouth. While endoscopic procedures are commonplace, NOTES pairs the "no incision" technique with the ability to perform complex surgeries that previously required direct access. The elimination of the trauma associated with more invasive surgeries is a significant advance.

Should the patient have a complication in the lower portion of the intestinal tract, then the orifice of choice is the...

On second thought - sometimes a little mystery with our medicine yields just the right amount of information.

To learn more about NOTES, see the Natural Orifice Surgery Consortium for Assessment and Research (NOSCAR).


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