The latest step toward engineering artificial life.

Science, technology, and life.
June 29 2007 7:45 AM

Identity Transplant

The latest step toward engineering artificial life.

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A U.S. surgeon removed a gall bladder through the patient's mouth. The procedure had been done previously in Brazil, but this is the first time it has been done in the United States. Method: Thread the instruments through the esophagus, then use them to snip a hole in the stomach, cut out the gall bladder, and pull it back out through the mouth. Rationale: less pain, scarring, and recovery time than you'd get from an incision in your abdominal wall. The surgeon says this method could turn gall-bladder surgery into a doctor's-office procedure. Doctors had already removed a woman's gall bladder through her vagina. Why switch to the mouth? Surgeon's answer: "Since only half the population has vaginas we were looking for a more universal platform." (For previous updates on natural orifice surgery, click here, here, and here.)

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