Need Your Gall Bladder Taken Out? Say 'Ahhh'

Controversial surgeries avoid scars by using existing orifices
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 21, 2008 11:56 AM CDT
A new surgery doesn't require an external incision.   (Shutterstock)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – A new surgery technique aims to send patients home without a scar —but you might have to put your gall bladder where your mouth is to do it. The Washington Post takes a look at surgeons who operate purely through existing bodily openings, largely the aforementioned gall bladder being removed orally. While some are hailing a surgical revolution, many health experts are concerned that the procedure’s popularity could soar before it’s properly studied.

“This could be the endpoint in innovation, going from big incisions to little incisions to no incisions at all,” says a surgeon. But another is sure “those who haven't been trained are going to take a weekend course and start offering it.” Thus far, about 40 Americans have undergone the process; 400 have tried it worldwide. Many, but not all, patients have been satisfied; one reported “excruciating” throat pain afterward.