London: Unbelievable it may appear, but doctors say they can now remove a patient`s appendix through their natural orifices like the mouth, vagina and rectum.
In fact, over 1,000 patients in Europe and the US have undergone the so-called natural orifice surgery, which many surgeons see as the biggest advance in science since keyhole was pioneered.
Instead of cutting the skin, the new approach uses natural orifices -- the mouth, urethra, vagina and rectum -- as internal highways to access and remove or repair internal organs, the `Daily Mail` reported.
The technique offers the multiple attractions of scarless surgery, reduced pain because of fewer and smaller incisions, and lower risk of infections, say the experts.
"The outcomes can be as good as the conventional approach with some advantages, including lower risk of infection," said Dr Julian Teare, consultant gastroenterologist at the Imperial College London.
She added: "This is a new and rapidly evolving concept for intra-abdominal operations that offers the potential for a revolutionary advance in patient care."
In the surgery, the surgeon works with an endoscope – a long, thin flexible tube that carries a light video camera and other equipment. This is inserted into appropriate orifice.
To remove the gallbladder, the surgeon puts an endoscope through the patient`s mouth and uses a tiny blade to make an incision in the stomach. They can then gain access to the gallbladder, a pear-shaped organ used to store bile.
A balloon is inflated to expand the opening, and the gallbladder is cut into pieces so it fits into the endoscope and can be removed orally.
Theoretically, there should be less pain and adhesion formation (adhesions are the bands of scar-like tissue that can form between two surfaces inside the body and cause them to stick together), said Dr Mikael Sodergren at the Imperial College London.