Background: Transgastric and transvaginal approaches in natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) are the most commonly used, although the transcolonic approach may have some advantages.
Objective: To develop a workable technique for transcolonic NOTES.
Design: A nonsurvival study followed by a survival study in a porcine model. Transcolonic peritoneoscopy was performed with the use of a novel intracolonic occlusion balloon. The colotomy was closed with endoclips. A necropsy and histologic evaluation were performed 2 weeks after surgery.
Setting: Academic hospital, health science research center.
Subjects: Fifteen female Yorkshire pigs (5 nonsurvival, 10 survival).
Interventions: A balloon-tipped catheter was placed proximal to the colotomy site. The balloon was inflated to occlude the colonic lumen. An endoscope was inserted through the anus. Colonic incision was created with an endoscopic needle-knife at 15 to 20 cm from the anal verge. Peritoneoscopy was performed. The colotomy was closed with endoclips.
Main outcome measurements: Rates of complications, survival, healing, and adhesions.
Results: Two initial experiments were complicated by bowel distension and contamination of the incision area by colonic content. In the remaining 13 pigs, the experiments were performed with the use of the intracolonic occlusion balloon. No complications were documented. Necropsies were performed 2 weeks after surgery. Gross and histologic evaluations demonstrated near complete healing. Minimal adhesions were identified in 4 of 10 pigs.
Limitation: Imperfection of the prototype balloon.
Conclusions: Excessive bowel distension and fecal contamination because of spillage from the proximal bowel may be barriers to performing transcolonic NOTES. Isolation of the operative area by splitting the bowel and sealing the colonic lumen with the balloon above the colonic incision may overcome these problems and optimize the technique.