Cutting Down on Cutting During Surgery

New technique eliminates need for abdominal incisions

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WEDNESDAY, July 7, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- A new minimally invasive surgical technique that eliminates the need for abdominal incisions may mean less pain, quicker recoveries and fewer complications than traditional open abdominal surgery.

This new technique, flexible transgastric peritoneoscopy (FTP), was developed by scientists at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Animal studies indicate it's safe, but it has not been tested in human clinical trials.

With FTP, a flexible mini-telescope (endoscope) and related surgical tools are inserted through the mouth and into the stomach. After puncturing the stomach wall and the thin membrane surrounding the stomach, surgeons are able to see and repair any of the abdominal organs, including the intestines, liver, pancreas, gallbladder and uterus.

"FTP may dramatically change the way we practice surgery," study author Dr. Anthony Kalloo, an associate professor of medicine and director of gastrointestinal endoscopy, said in a prepared statement.

"The technique is less invasive than even laparoscopy because we don't have to cut through the skin and muscle of the abdomen, and it may prove a viable alternative to existing surgical procedure," Kalloo said.

The study appears in the July issue of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

More information

The Cleveland Clinic Foundation has information about laparoscopic intestinal surgery.

SOURCE: Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, news release, July 7, 2004

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