By Chuck Shepherd, News of the Weird
Update: Experimental “natural orifice” surgery might be health care’s next big thing following its U.S. introduction last year at Columbia University (as reported also in “News of the Weird”), where doctors removed a woman’s diseased gall bladder not by an abdominal incision but through her vagina.
In March, doctors at UC-San Diego Medical Center removed a woman’s appendix through her vagina, and a man’s through his mouth. (A microscopic camera must be inserted through the abdomen, however, to guide the surgeons.) Pain and healing time are usually less than half that of ordinary surgery, but the risk of internal infection is greater. The next step, doctors say, will be removing kidneys through the anus.