Feasibility of radical sigmoid colectomy performed as natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) using transanal endoscopic microsurgery

Surg Endosc. 2007 Oct;21(10):1870-4. doi: 10.1007/s00464-007-9552-x. Epub 2007 Aug 21.


Background: Natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery (NOTES), a recent development in the field of minimally invasive surgery, may offer advantages over open and laparoscopic surgery. Most investigations to date have focused on small end-organ resections, and none have described en bloc regional lymphadenectomy. This study aimed to describe a method of anal transcolonic sigmoid colon resection.

Methods: A fresh frozen then thawed cadaver model was used. Three male human cadavers were subjected to transanal sigmoid colon mobilization, high vascular ligation, en bloc lymphadenectomy, and stapled end-to-end anastomosis performed by a single operator using transanal endoscopic microsurgery instrumentation.

Results: The findings showed that NOTES sigmoid colon resection with en bloc lymphadenectomy and primary anastomosis can be performed successfully. The critical steps of the procedure were (1) luminal suture occlusion of the sigmoid colon, (2) transrectal bowel division, (3) entry through the mesorectum into the presacral space, (4) en bloc mobilization of the sigmoid colon mesentery off of the retroperitoneum, (5) high ligation of the superior hemorrhoidal artery, (6) transanal delivery of the intact sigmoid colon specimen, (7) extracorporeal division of the colon, and (8) creation of a stapled end-to-end colorectal anastomosis. Postprocedure laparotomy confirmed adequate lymphadenectomy and anastomosis with no untoward events.

Conclusions: It is possible to complete the critical steps of a NOTES sigmoid resection, en bloc lymphadenectomy, primary anastomosis, and retrieval of an intact specimen without any incisions using transanal endoscopic microsurgery instrumentation.

MeSH terms

  • Cadaver
  • Colectomy / methods*
  • Colon, Sigmoid / surgery*
  • Colonoscopy / methods*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microsurgery*