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Papers of the Week

2020 Apr 29

Trop Doct

Transvaginal laparoscopic appendectomy using innovative submucosal tunnels: a conducive modification for improving hybrid NOTES access and its critical appraisal.


Currently, transvaginal natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES), the most minimally invasive option for laparoscopic surgery, suffers various technological restraints limiting its implementation. We discuss a simple modification for vaginal access to improve the existing hybrid NOTES technique. We retrospectively studied 18 women at our rural hospital in central India, who, under defined criteria, underwent transvaginal appendicectomy using innovative strategically designed submucosal tunnels. The procedure was successfully completed in all but the first three cases. None required additional abdominal trocar or analgesia beyond the first 6 h. The mean operative and hospitalisation times were 27.5 min and 18.5 h, respectively. We had no intraoperative complications and only one patient experienced postoperative self-limiting vaginal spotting. All patients were very pleased with the cosmetic results and sexual life as assessed by locally devised scales. On regular follow-up, all were progressing well. We recommend the method presented, as it is not only feasible and safe but has the potential to improve overall results. Clearly, a larger volume randomised trial would be optimal to confirm our conclusion.