Published online Nov 16, 2016. doi: 10.4253/wjge.v8.i19.684
Peer-review started: April 28, 2016
First decision: July 20, 2016
Revised: August 8, 2016
Accepted: September 13, 2016
Article in press: September 18, 2016
Published online: November 16, 2016
We conducted a literature review of natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES), focusing on urologic procedures with gastrointestinal tract access, to update on the development of this novel surgical approach. As part of the methods, a comprehensive electronic literature search for NOTES was conducted using PubMed and Cochrane Library from March 2002 to February 2016 for papers reporting urologic procedures performed utilizing gastrointestinal tract access. A total of 11 peer-reviewed studies examining utility of gastrointestinal access for NOTES urologic procedures were noted, with the first report in 2007. The procedures reported in the studies were total/radical nephrectomy, partial nephrectomy, adrenalectomy, and prostatectomy. The transgastric approach was identified in five studies examining total/radical nephrectomy (n = 2), partial nephrectomy (n = 1), partial cystectomy (n = 1), and adrenalectomy (n = 1). Six studies evaluated transrectal approach for NOTES, describing total/radical nephrectomy (n = 3), partial nephrectomy (n = 1), robotic nephrectomy with adrenalectomy (n = 1) and prostatectomy (n = 1). Feasibility was reported in all studies. Most studies were preclinical and acute, and limited by concerns regarding restricted instrumentation and infection risk. We concluded that gastrointestinal access for urologic NOTES demonstrates promise as described by outlined feasibility studies in preclinical models. Nonetheless, clinical application awaits further advancements in surgical technology and concerns regarding infectious potential.
Core tip: Gastrointestinal (transgastric and transrectal) access is technically feasible for natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) in a number of major urological procedures, and is an attractive alternative with similar outcomes and distinct advantages compared to transvaginal NOTES. The recent adaptation of robotic technology to transrectal NOTES points the way toward future horizons. Further testing and device development is required prior to clinical application.