Colorectal natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) and transvaginal/transrectal specimen extraction


Advancements in minimally invasive surgery have both revolutionized laparoscopy and set the stage for the advancement of endoscopic surgery to the forefront of modern medicine. Natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) has now become a subject of great interest to surgeons worldwide who wish to reduce the morbidity associated with abdominal operations. However, the application of NOTES to colorectal surgery has thus far been limited due to the complex dissection, anastomosis and specimen extraction typically required when operating on the large bowel. For this reason, laparoscopic-assisted natural orifice surgery has been the means by which most surgeons have begun to incorporate natural orifice surgery into their established practices. Transanal endoscopic surgery, transvaginal-assisted laparoscopy and transrectal specimen extraction are all emerging techniques that may be currently employed, in a hybrid manner, with traditionally accepted laparoscopic operations in order to transition toward less invasive surgery and even pure NOTES. To this end, the vagina appears to be the most practical and widely used site of specimen extraction and adjunct access site for laparoscopic hybrid operations. An accompanying video demonstrates the authors’ preferred technique for transvaginal and transrectal specimen extraction.

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Correspondence to J. E. Marcet.

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Sanchez, J.E., Marcet, J.E. Colorectal natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) and transvaginal/transrectal specimen extraction. Tech Coloproctol 17, 69–73 (2013).

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  • Natural orifice
  • Minimally invasive
  • Laparoscopy