Tuesday, 03 Feb, 2009 Health & Fitness

Surgeons Remove Healthy Kidney Through Vagina


Surgeons at Johns Hopkins carried out what is believed to be the first ever operation of removing a healthy kidney through a tiny cut in the back of the donor's vagina. The surgery called transvaginal donor kidney extraction is now considered to be historic.

According to Robert Montgomery, M.D., Ph.D., who holds the position of chief of the transplant division at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the surgery went well and both patients felt fine. He was the one to lead the team of doctors.

The operation was carried out on January 29. Kidney was removed from a 48-year-old woman living in Lexington Park, Md. Instead of performing a 5-to-6-inch abdominal incision doctors only made a small cut on her abdomen, leaving just 3 pea-size scars on it, one of them being hidden in the patient's navel.

"Removing the kidney through a natural opening should hasten the patient's recovery and provide a better cosmetic result," says Montgomery, who added that the surgery lasted for 3.5 hours, which is just as long as the common laparoscopic procedure.

This operation is just one from a whole family of latest surgical methods called natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgeries (NOTES). These procedures involve the extraction of organs and tissue through natural body openings. Anthony Kalloo, M.D., Gastroenterology Division director at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the first to carry out NOTES, mentioned that tissues and organs could be extracted through such natural openings as the mouth, anus and vagina, reports Science Daily.

Surgeons have registered successful NOTES since 2004. They managed to remove unhealthy gallbladders and appendixes through the mouth. In addition, doctors were able to remove appendix through vagina, and the current operation also proved to be successful and revolutionary.

Kalloo stated that natural orifice translumenal endoscopic operation represents the final frontier to study in carrying out scarless surgeries, which would be less painful and safer for overweight patients.

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