Toronto Star Jul. 8, 2004. 01:00 AM
Doctors test new surgical method
WASHINGTON—A new surgical technique might help doctors operate
on internal organs without making cuts in the skin, researchers
Using a flexible mini-telescope called an endoscope, surgeons
said they could go in through a patient's mouth and make a cut
in the stomach wall to reach abdominal organs. They believe
such a method would allow patients to heal more quickly after
Tests on animals showed they could get through the stomach wall
and the thin membrane surrounding the stomach called the peritoneum
to repair the intestines, liver, pancreas, gall bladder and
They call the new method flexible transgastric peritoneoscopy,
or FTP, and describe it in the July issue of the journal Gastrointestinal
"FTP may dramatically change the way we practice surgery,"
Dr. Anthony Kalloo of Johns Hopkins University, who led the
"The technique is less invasive than even laparoscopy because
we don't have to cut through the skin and muscle of the abdomen,
and it may prove a viable alternate to existing surgical procedures."
A laparoscope is a fibre-optic instrument inserted through the
abdomen to give a view of the organs.
The abdomen contains the stomach, bowels and reproductive organs.
“The technique is less invasive than even laparoscopy because
we don’t have to cut through the skin and muscle of the abdomen,
and it may prove a viable alternate to existing surgical procedures.”
The researchers, at a network of several medical schools in
the United States and Hong Kong, have tested their technique
on pigs using standard endoscopic equipment. They are hoping
for the development of specialized equipment before they begin
tests on people.
In one experiment they took liver biopsy samples from pigs,
which recovered completely with no signs of serious infection
or other complications, they said.
“Because the lining of the stomach repairs faster than skin,
recovery times should be reduced,” Kalloo said in a statement.