To review the complications encountered in our facility and in previously published studies of transvaginal (TV) natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) to date.
TV NOTES is currently observed with critical eyes from the surgical community, despite encouraging data to suggest improved short-term recovery and pain.
All TV NOTES procedures performed in female patients between 18 and 65 years of age were included. The median follow-up was 90 days. The TV appendectomies and ventral hernia repairs were pure NOTES, through a SILS port in the vagina, whereas TV cholecystectomies were hybrid procedures with the addition of a 5-mm port in the umbilicus.
A total of 102 TV NOTES procedures, including 72 TV cholecystectomies, 24 TV appendectomies, and 6 TV ventral hernia repairs, were performed. The average age was 37 years old and body mass index was 29 kg/m2. Three major and 7 minor complications occurred. The first major complication was a rectal injury during a TV access port insertion. The second major complication was an omental vessel bleed after a TV cholecystectomy. The third complication was an intra-abdominal abscess after a TV appendectomy. Seven minor complications were urinary retention (4), transient brachial plexus injury, dislodgement of an intrauterine device, and vaginal granulation tissue.
As techniques in TV surgery are adopted, inevitably, complications may occur due to the inherent learning curve. Laparoscopic instruments, although adaptable to TV approaches, have yet to be optimized. A high index of suspicion is necessary to identify complications and optimize outcomes for patients.
This study reviews complications in transvaginal natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES). A total of 102 transvaginal NOTES procedures were performed in our institution, with an overall complication rate of 9.8%, including 3 major (in first 50 cases) and 7 minor complications. Our experience is representative of expected learning curve for adopting transvaginal NOTES.
From the Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.
Reprints: Kurt E. Roberts, MD, FACS, Department of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, 40 Temple St, Suite 7B, New Haven, CT 06510. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This study was presented as a Quick Shot presentation at the 7th Annual Meeting of the Academic Surgical Congress, Las Vegas NV, February 14–16, 2012.
Disclosure: Dr Kurt E. Roberts has intellectual property rights and ownership in NovaTract. For the remaining authors, there are no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.