With the help of new technique called NOTES (natural-orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery), the surgeons inserted the endoscope through a one-inch incision behind the uterus and into the patient's body cavity.
Using that scope, the gallbladder was detached and removed through the incision behind the uterus. The area where the gallbladder was removed was then sutured.
"This procedure marks the culmination of 15 years of advances that have made surgery less invasive in order to improve safety and reduce recovery time," said Dr. Marc Bessler, director of laparoscopic surgery and director of the Center for Obesity Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and assistant professor of surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
"Internal incisions, such as in the uterus, are less painful and may allow for quicker recovery than incisions in the abdominal wall," Bessler added.
In addition to gallbladder surgery, the NOTES procedure can help in appendectomy, abdominal exploration and biopsy.
Currently the procedure is only available through the uterus. In the future, NOTES may be performed though the mouth or the rectum, making it available to men.