Will Doctors Soon be Taking Out Your Appendix Without Cutting You Open?

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It sounds like the stuff of Star Trek, but a California-based medical device company – Minos Medical Inc – believes that this futuristic idea will soon be a reality.

Today the appendix is removed (appendectomy) by either traditional open surgery or by keyhole techniques known as laparoscopy. Both of these methods have one major disadvantage; they both invade the abdomen of the patient. According to Minos Medical Inc’s medical director Prof. Christoph Gasche, this can increase the risks of infections, adhesions and other serious complications.

Minos Medical Inc hopes to avoid entering the abdomen with an innovative new procedure called APPENDOECTOMY(TM) that approaches the appendix via the colon.

“By approaching the appendix from inside the colon, we avoid the need to incise the abdominal wall and pass near critical structures inside the abdomen,” says Prof Gasche. “This should bring major benefits to both patients and clinicians. Hopefully we will be able to avoid the need for general anaesthesia and should see faster recovery with much less pain.”

With an estimated 800,000 appendix procedures performed each year in the western world, the proposed APPENDOECTOMY system would be able to help a lot of patients and potentially reduce a lot of health care dollars.

“We hope to revolutionize first the appendix procedure, and then a host of other procedures,” says Brad Sharp, CEO of Minos Medical Inc. “So far we have tested our system in the lab and demonstrated that our unique appendix inverting procedure seems to be feasible. Our first results were presented at DDW in May last year and we have had a lot of interest since then. There’s a long way to go, but we really do believe that soon we could be taking out the first appendix with no incisions using the APPENDOECTOMY system.”

Natural Orifice surgery (or NOTES) is seen as a next major frontier in the world of medicine, offering the hope of eliminating incisions from many procedures. This will not only offer cosmetic benefits, through the elimination of unsightly scars, but also clinical benefits that are associated with such incisions.

As new medical frontiers are passed, it really seems that the fantasy world of Dr McCoy and Star Trek could soon be a reality.

For more information on Minos Medical Inc visit http://www.minosmedical.com

APPENDOECTOMY is a trade mark of Minos Medical Inc.

STAR TREK is a trademark of CBS Studios Inc.

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