That’s right. According to the New York Times, a team of surgeons at the Columbia University Medical Center performed a laparoscopic gallbladder removal through the vaginal canal. The procedure was a successful experiment designed to demonstrate the feasibility of such a scarless operation and to further the understanding of a necessary surgical technique:
The New York patient, 66, had her gallbladder removed on March 21 and is recovering well, said her surgeon, Dr. Marc Bessler, the director of laparoscopic surgery at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Bessler said he thought it was the first time the operation had been performed in the United States, and he plans to show a video of the operation at a gastroenterology meeting in Las Vegas on Sunday.
“Going through a natural orifice, the mouth or rectum or vagina, to get into the abdomen and do an operation, is being excitedly worked on by a whole lot of people,” Dr. Bessler said, adding that companies were beginning to make special surgical tools for the operations and that doctors had formed an organization called Noscar (www.Noscar.org), which stands for Natural Orifice Surgery Consortium for Assessment and Research.
The idea is part of a broader trend to make surgery less and less invasive.