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Gallbladder removed through mouth in new surgical technique

Los Angeles Times, July 8, 2010

As part of the trend in developing surgeries without external wounds, surgeons last week removed a woman's gallbladder through her mouth. The operation was performed as part of a clinical trial at UC San Diego School of Medicine. The surgery is called NOTES -- which stands for natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery. The idea is to use the mouth or vagina as routes to parts of the body requiring surgery. In traditional laparoscopic -- or minimally invasive -- surgery, doctors make several small incisions through the abdominal wall and insert a tiny camera and tools to remove the gallbladder or appendix. That type of surgery is a big improvement upon the long, open incisions that patients used to require.