PORTLAND, Ore. --An Oregon surgeon has performed gall bladder surgery that removes the organ through the patient's mouth -- the latest example of surgeries that avoid major incisions and rely on the body's own orifices instead.
Dr. Lee Swanstrom of the Oregon Clinic claims the procedure, performed in May on a 35-year old woman at a Portland hospital, was the first of its kind in the United States. He said it had already been performed in Brazil.
Instead of cutting into the abdomen, tiny instruments were sent down the woman's mouth into her stomach. Swanson then cut a small hole in the lining of the stomach to reach the gall bladder, remove it and pull it out through her mouth.
Physicians in New York conducted gall bladder removals through the vagina earlier this year. A boy's brain tumor was recently removed through his nose in Pennsylvania. And doctors in India say they have performed appendectomies through the mouth.
Doctors say the majority of discomfort and recovery time after conventional surgery is due to the incisions.