Surgeons Who Helped Pioneer Revolutionary Technique Present International Course on NOTES Surgery

One of First Courses to Address Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgical Techniques for Access to Internal Organs Through Existing Body Openings<br><br>NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center, Weill Cornell Medical College Host Event

Dec 14, 2007


What may be the first international medical education course on the advanced minimally invasive technique called NOTES—natural-orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery—was presented by the surgeons who helped pioneer the revolutionary technique, which allows for minimally invasive surgical access to internal organs through existing body openings.

The ACCME-accredited course attracted worldwide attention, with close to 200 attendees representing eight nations, including the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, France, Greece, Italy and Japan. The event took place Dec. 10–11 at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

In March 2007, medical and surgical endoscopists at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center removed a woman's gall bladder through her vaginal wall using a flexible endoscope with only minimal external incisions; the surgery is believed to have been the first of its kind in the U.S.

Designed for gastroenterologists and other surgical specialties, the course offered presentations about the benefits—including reduced pain, quicker recovery time and absence of visible scarring—and challenges of NOTES.

The course was led by NewYork-Presbyterian's Drs. Marc Bessler (director of laparoscopic surgery and director of the Center for Obesity Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia and assistant professor of surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons), Jeffrey Milsom (chief of colorectal surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell and the DeCosse Distinguished Professor of Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College) and Peter D. Stevens (director of endoscopy at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia and assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons).

Surgeons note that advances in minimally invasive surgical techniques over the last 15 years have dramatically reduced the number of open abdominal surgeries necessary—eliminating a great deal of the associated discomfort. This latest revolutionary advance—abdominal surgery through a natural orifice—represents the culmination of this progression. In the future, some abdominal surgeries will be possible without any external incisions, and through any natural orifice, including the mouth and rectum.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital—based in New York City—is the nation's largest not-for-profit, non-sectarian hospital, with 2,242 beds. It provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine at five major centers: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Allen Pavilion and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division. One of the largest and most comprehensive health-care institutions in the world, the Hospital is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. It ranks sixth in U.S.News & World Report's guide to "America's Best Hospitals," ranks first on New York magazine's "Best Hospitals" survey, has the greatest number of physicians listed in New York magazine's “Best Doctors” issue, and is included among Solucient's top 15 major teaching hospitals. The Hospital is ranked with among the lowest mortality rates for heart attack and heart failure in the country, according to a 2007 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) report card. The Hospital has academic affiliations with two of the nation's leading medical colleges: Weill Cornell Medical College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Columbia University Medical Center

Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in pre-clinical and clinical research, in medical and health sciences education, and in patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, public health professionals, dentists, nurses, and scientists at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. For more information, visit

Weill Cornell Medical College

Weill Cornell Medical College—Cornell University's Medical School located in New York City—is committed to excellence in research, teaching, patient care and the advancement of the art and science of medicine, locally, nationally and globally. Weill Cornell, which is a principal academic affiliate of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, offers an innovative curriculum that integrates the teaching of basic and clinical sciences, problem-based learning, office-based preceptorships, and primary care and doctoring courses. Physicians and scientists of Weill Cornell Medical College are engaged in cutting-edge research in such areas as stem cells, genetics and gene therapy, geriatrics, neuroscience, structural biology, cardiovascular medicine, AIDS, obesity, cancer, psychiatry and public health—and continue to delve ever deeper into the molecular basis of disease in an effort to unlock the mysteries behind the human body and the malfunctions that result in serious medical disorders. The Medical College—in its commitment to global health and education—has a strong presence in such places as Qatar, Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Germany and Turkey. With the historic Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, the Medical School is the first in the U.S. to offer its M.D. degree overseas. Weill Cornell is the birthplace of many medical advances—from the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer to the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., the world's first clinical trial for gene therapy for Parkinson's disease, and, most recently, the first indication of bone marrow's critical role in tumor growth. For more information, visit

Media Contact:

Bryan Dotson