First Completely Transvaginal Nephrectomy

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An illustration showing how surgeons performed a transvaginal nephrectomy.
An illustration showing how surgeons performed a transvaginal nephrectomy.

Jihad Kaouk, MD, Director of the Center for Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery, and his team performed the world's first completely transvaginal nephrectomy on March 13, 2009.

The procedure involved inserting a small, single-channel, 5-mm port in the umbilicus to inflate the abdomen with carbon dioxide and thread a small scope, which visually assisted with the placement of the vaginal port.

The surgical team then made a single incision in the vaginal wall and placed a multichannel port through which the entire surgery was performed. The kidney surgery took four hours following the insertion of the vaginal port, and the patient was discharged less than 24 hours after the procedure.

Previously reported cases of transvaginal nephrectomy involved performing some aspects of the surgery through a multichannel port in the umbilicus using the standard laparoscopic approach and combined vaginal approach. In the method employed by Dr. Kaouk and his team, the entire kidney surgery was performed transvaginally.

The surgical team included Raymond R. Rackley, MD, Courtenay Moore, MD, Wesley M. White, MD, Raj K. Goel, MD, Stacy Brethauer, MD, Michael S. Ingber, MD, and Georges-Pascal Haber, MD.

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