Flexible endoscopy has evolved to the point that it includes many endoluminal procedures that once required open or laparoscopic surgery, for instance, antireflux surgery, pyloromyotomy, mucosal and submucosal tumor resections, and even full-thickness resection. However, these procedures remain technically demanding due to flexible technology issues: difficult imaging, limited energy devices, lack of staplers, unsatisfactory suturing abilities, and so on. Transgastric laparoscopy or hybrid laparoscopy/flex endoscopy has been described for almost two decades as an alternative to a pure endoluminal approach, mainly for pancreatic pseudocyst drainage and full-thickness and mucosal resection of various lesions. The approach has never been widely adopted mostly due to cumbersome and difficult to maintain methods of gastric access. We propose to expand the indications of transgastric laparoscopy by using novel endoscopically placed ports to replicate endoscopic procedures particularly in the difficult to access proximal stomach such as endoluminal antireflux surgery. Under general anesthesia, five female pigs (mean weight: 27.6 kg) had endoscopic placement of 3, 5 mm intragastric ports (Endo-TAGSS, Leakwood KS, USA) using a technique similar to percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy. A 5-mm laparoscope was used for visualization. Laparoendoscopic-assisted plication of the gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) was performed using 3–0 interrupted sutures (PolysorbR , Covidien, Mansfield, MA, USA). A functional lumen imagine probe (EndoFLIPR , Crospon, Inc., Galway, Ireland) was used to measure diameter, cross sectional area (CSA), distensibility, and compliance of GEJ before and after intervention. Once the TAGSS ports were removed, the gastrotomies were closed by using endoscopic over-the-scope clips. At the end of the procedure, animals were euthanized. Five laparoendoscopic-assisted endoluminal plications were performed. The mean operative time was 65.6 min (Endoscopic evaluation: 3.2 min, TAGSS Insertion: 11 min, EndoFLIP evaluation + GEJ Plication: 43.25 min, gastric wall closure: 15 minutes). In all cases, this technique was effective and allowed to achieve an adequate GEJ plication by endoscopic grading and EndoFLIP measurements. Median pre-plication GEJ diameter (D) and median pre-plication GEJ cross-sectional area (CSA) were 11.42 mm (8.6–13.6 mm) and 104.8 mm2 (58–146 mm2). After the procedure, these values were decreased to 6.14 mm (5.7–6.6 mm) and 29.8 mm2 (25–34 mm2) respectively (p = 0.0079). Median pre-plication distensibility (d) and compliance (C) were 7.87 mm2/mmHg (2.4–22.69 mm2/mmHg) and 190.56 mm3/mmHg (70.9–502.8 mm3/mmHg). After the procedure, these values decreased to 1.5 mm2/mmHg (0.7–2.2 mm2/mmHg) and 52.17 mm3/mmHg (21.9–98.7 mm3/mmHg) respectively (p = 0.0317). No intraoperative events were observed. Endoscopically, all valves were felt to be transitioned from a Hill grade 3 (normal state for the animal model) to a Hill grade 1 at the procedure completion. A hybrid laparoendoscopic approach is a feasible alternative for performing intragastric procedures with the assistance of conventional laparoscopic instruments; especially in cases where the intervention location limits the access to standard endoscopy or where endoscopic technology is inadequate. Further evaluation is planned in survival models and clinical trials.
- Hybrid surgery
- Laparoendoscopic collaborative surgery
ASJC Scopus subject areas