COLUMBUS, Ohio – A 42-year-old woman has undergone a rare procedure in which surgeons removed her gallbladder through her vagina.
The procedure was done in August by a surgical team at Ohio State University Medical Center and was part of a pilot program comparing laparoscopic and transvaginal natural orifice surgery.
The surgery took less than 90 minutes and involved surgeons punching a small hole in the vaginal muscle. A tiny instrument was then fed into the woman’s abdomen where doctors were able to remove the gallbladder.
Dr. Vimal Narula, the surgeon who performed the procedure, said there are many advantages to this minimally-invasive surgery.
“Because the incision used to extract the gallbladder is located inside the body where there are no nerve endings, there is no sensation of pain,” Narula said in a news release. “The only discomfort may come from a small incision at the naval where a small endoscopic camera is inserted to provide visibility to the surgeon while he uses the laparoscopic instruments.”
Other perks include no visible scarring and a shorter stay in the hospital. The patient in this case went home just hours after the surgery was performed.
The pilot program is sponsored by the Natural Orifice Surgery Consortium for Assessment and Research.