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Winthrop University Hospital

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Office of Public Affairs
Contact: Wendy Goldstein

Winthrop-University Hospital

(516) 663-2234


Advanced Interventional Endoscopist at Winthrop-University Hospital Leading the Way

Mineola, NY – There was a time when laparoscopic surgery was the most innovative and least invasive way of making internal repairs to the human body. Today, a handful of surgeons are exploring a new approach to surgery known as N.O.T.E.S. – natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery. The approach involves passing an endoscope – a thin tube with a built-in camera, light and miniscule tools – through the natural orifices of the body in order to perform surgery non-invasively, leaving no external wounds or scars.

On November 15, Dr. Stavros Stavropoulos, Director of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and Director of the Advanced Endoscopy Program at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, NY, performed back-to-back highly innovative NOTES procedures on two patients. These procedures are aimed at curing a disease that was long overdue for improvement in treatment options.

The disease shared by these two patients is Achalasia - a disorder of the esophagus, the tube that transports swallowed food from the mouth to the stomach, that makes it difficult for swallowed food and liquids to pass into the stomach. The normal esophagus is a muscular tube that contracts in order to push the food towards the stomach, a function called esophageal peristalsis. A muscular ring at the end of the esophagus, called the lower esophageal sphincter, acts as a valve between the esophagus and the stomach. It is normally in a contracted (closed) state to prevent acid from the stomach from refluxing back into the esophagus. However, when food is swallowed an esophageal contraction starts carrying the food towards the stomach, nerves signal ahead to the lower esophageal sphincter to relax (open) and allow passage of the food into the stomach. After food passes through, the sphincter immediately contracts again and stays closed to prevent reflux of acid and swallowed food back into the esophagus.

In Achalasia, a condition that affects approximately 24,000 Americans, due to disease of the nerves of the esophagus, there are no coordinated contractions pushing the food towards the stomach and the lower esophageal sphincter does not relax to let the food enter the stomach. This results in food and saliva accumulating in the esophagus until the accumulated fo

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