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Surg Endosc. 2011 Apr;25(4):1281-6. doi: 10.1007/s00464-010-1360-z. Epub 2010 Oct 7.

Transvaginal laparoscopically assisted endoscopic cholecystectomy: preliminary clinical results for a series of 43 cases in China.

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Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, Institute of Laparoscopic Minimally Invasive Surgery of Shandong University, Wenhua West Road 107, Jinan 250012, Shandong, People's Republic of China.



Transvaginal cholecystectomy has been performed successfully at several research institutions worldwide using natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) techniques. However, it is a growing new surgical concept in China. Several technical challenges hinder the safe clinical application of NOTES. This study investigated transvaginal endoscopic cholecystectomy performed with the assistance of a single umbilical trocar and achieved helpful initial clinical experience.


From May 2009 to April 2010, a total of 43 transvaginal human cholecystectomies were performed. A single umbilical trocar was used for safe access and laparoscopic assistance during the operation. After the gallbladder had been removed through the vagina, the colpotomy was closed with absorbable stitches under direct vision. In addition, Student's t-test was performed for two samples to estimate the superiority of NOTES over a conventional laparoscopic cholecystectomy (LC) operation.


The procedure was successfully completed for all the patients. No intra- or post-operative complications occurred. The patients recovered promptly after surgery, and all were satisfied with ideal cosmetic outcomes. The postoperative pain, hospital stay, and cost of hospitalization with NOTES were much less than with conventional LC operations.


Although endoscopic instruments specifically designed for NOTES are not available, the addition of an umbilical trocar is an optimal way to allow safe performance of NOTES procedures in an easily reproducible manner. The authors' initial experience demonstrates that this hybrid technique is potentially feasible and effective for reducing postoperative pain and recovery times while improving the cosmetic results of transvaginal cholecystectomy.

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