Purpose: Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES) is an emerging technology that uses endoscopic instruments passed into the peritoneal cavity through hollow viscera to perform surgical procedures without the use of abdominal incisions. There are, however, limitations regarding the equipment available to simulate traditional surgery. The aim of this study was to determine the feasibility of a pure NOTES nephrectomy by using standard laparoscopic instruments through a modified transvaginal trocar. Materials and Methods: One 40-kg female swine underwent transgastric peritoneoscopy. Transgastric endoscopic visualization guided the introduction of a second transvaginal endoscope through a novel laparoscopic trocar/endoscopic overtube device. The retroflexed transgastric endoscope provided triangulated visualization as standard endoscopic instruments provided retraction, which allowed dissection of the kidney with standard laparoscopic instruments through our modified transvaginal trocar device. Each renal hilum, artery, vein, and ureter was dissected and divided with a transvaginal laparoscopic stapler. Results: Transgastric and transvaginal NOTES accesses were easily achieved, and bilateral nephrectomies were performed. Completion of peritoneoscopy revealed complete hemostasis and identification of ligated ureters and hilar vessels. Total operative time was 40 and 20 minutes for the right and left kidney, respectively. One kidney was captured with a laparoscopic retrieval sac and removed intact through the vaginal defect. Conclusions: Pure NOTES nephrectomies are technically feasible in the porcine model by using standard laparoscopic instruments. Survival studies are necessary to determine the long-term complications and physiologic implications of NOTES nephrectomy. The development of innovative NOTES access trocars may allow for an increased armamentarium of NOTES instruments.
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