Natural orifice specimen extraction for colorectal surgery: early adoption in a Western population

Michelle Zhiyun Chen, John Cartmill, Andrew Gilmore*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: Natural orifice specimen extraction (NOSE) challenges the limits of minimally invasive colorectal surgery by exploiting a natural opening for specimen delivery. Technically challenging, it is less painful, requires smaller wounds and abolishes the possibility of incisional hernia. These advantages of NOSE are seen in the obese (body mass index [BMI] >30 kg/m2). This audit aims to demonstrate the feasibility of NOSE colectomy in an Australian population. Method: Prospective data collected from 2007 to the present were retrospectively analysed. Only patients with mucosally benign colorectal conditions were included: complex diverticulosis, post-malignant polypectomy and volvulus. Left sided mucosal malignancies were excluded. Study end-points included postoperative length of stay, anastomotic leak rate and wound complications. Results: In total, 159 patients underwent NOSE, mean age 59 years (19–88), mean BMI 28.2 kg/m2 (17–45). Ten (6.2%) patients developed retroperitoneal small bowel herniation; seven required further surgery. There were five (3.1%) anastomotic leaks, seven (4.4%) postoperative ileus and three (1.9%) anastomotic bleeds. One (0.6%) patient had a superficial wound infection. There were no port site hernias. Patients with BMI <30 kg/m2 (98 patients) and BMI >30 kg/m2 (59 patients) were compared; there was no difference in anastomotic leak rate (P = 0.60), complication rate (P = 0.71) and length of stay (P = 0.63). However, duration of operation increased with BMI (P = 0.000). Conclusion: This large series of NOSE colectomy from Australia suggests that NOSE is comparable to conventional laparoscopic colectomy in terms of postoperative outcome. Given that obesity has not featured in the NOSE literature, our study suggests that NOSE, for benign disease, is safe in obese patients, without added morbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)937-943
Number of pages7
JournalColorectal Disease
Issue number4
Early online date23 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • colorectal surgery
  • natural orifice specimen extraction
  • NOSE


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