Objectives: Although adhesions can be removed by adhesiolysis using laparotomy or laparoscopy, they typically recur sometimes with equal severity. It is suggested that minimizing the invasiveness of the operative technique by using natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) may reduce adhesion re-formation. The aim of the study was to evaluate the feasibility and safety of adhesiolysis by using a novel transgastric NOTES approach and collect pilot data on adhesion recurrence after transgastric NOTES adhesiolysis.
Methods: One nonsurvival and 5 survival female pigs were used in this experimental survival study. Interventions included (a) induction of adhesions by laparotomy, (b) 2 weeks survival, (c) transgastric NOTES adhesiolysis with endoscopic evaluation and scoring of adhesions before and immediately after adhesiolysis, (d) 2 weeks survival, and (e) necropsy with endoscopic and necroscopic evaluation and scoring of recurrent adhesions. Main outcome measures were (a) survival and complication rates and (b) assessment of adhesion formation and re-formation using the Hopkins Adhesion Formation Score.
Results: No mortality and no complications were observed. A total of 11 adhesions formed before the adhesiolysis in 5 survival study animals. All were successfully divided. The frequency of adhesions and median adhesion formation score decreased significantly immediately after adhesiolysis compared with that prior to the procedure (frequency, 11 vs 0, P = .011; the median score = 2.0 [range 1-3] vs 0.0 [range 0-0], P = .004). The treatment gains maintained at 2 weeks after the adhesiolysis.
Limitations: The limitations of this study were the low number of study animals and short-term follow-up data.
Conclusions: Adhesiolysis using NOTES transgastric approach is feasible, safe, and effective with minimal adhesion re-formation.