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Appendectomy, Through Your Mouth

An appendectomy, or removal of the appendix, is considered a very simple operation. The surgeon makes a small incision in the patient’s abdomen, cuts through some muscle, finds the appendix, and removes it. The patient feels some discomfort (read: annoying pain) for a few days afterward as the incision heals, and then under normal circumstances, the patient is out the door. Here’s an article about a new technique that involves snaking surgical instruments down the patient’s esophagus, cutting through the stomach lining, and removing the appendix from, well, the inside. It sounds a little unsettling and there are numerous risks: stomach bacteria getting into the body cavity, internal bleeding, possible punctures in places that are best left unpunctures. But there also may be some rewards: no scar, possible lower chance of post operative infection, less recovery time.

Appendix-removal via the mouth leaves no scar,” New Scientist, April 30, 2007.


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