Gallbladder removed through woman's mouth

Jun 22, 2007

An Oregon doctor is the first surgeon in the United States to remove a woman's gallbladder through her mouth.

Dr. Lee Swanstrom performed the surgery last month at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital and Medical Center in Portland, Ore.

Using special endoscopic tools that include a camera, Swanstrom cut a hole in the patient's stomach to reach the gallbladder. He cut away the diseased gallbladder and pulled it through the incision and her throat and out her mouth, the Oregonian newspaper said Friday.

Swanstrom said the surgery has been performed in Brazil but this was the first time it was performed in the United States.

The newspaper said he is a member of a group of doctors and medical device manufacturers working to develop "natural orifice" surgeries to help eliminate pain and scarring and reduce recovery time.

In April, a team of surgeons in New York removed a woman's gallbladder through her vagina.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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