The MicroAccess Approach: A Novel Method to Access Internal Organs via Natural Body Tracts Pilot Feasibility Study of the Transesophageal Thoracic Surgical Access
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Background: The idea to enter the thoracic cavity via the esophagus or the abdominal cavity via the stomach (or any organ alongside the GI tract) was first described by the authors. The Transesophageal surgical approach was never attempted in literature before. The development of the novel Transesophageal access devices as one aspect of the MicroAccess approach could potentially have a significant impact in the way current surgical techniques are implemented. 4Typothesis: The objective was to evaluate the feasibility and the safety of the MicroAccess Transesophageal devices in animals to achieve intrathoracic and/or intracardiac access. Methods: The MicroAccess Prototype devices were studied in four dogs. The procedure consists of four distinct techniques: ( I ) secure and seal an esophageal segment (2) Esophageal capture, puncture and insertion of surgical device in to the posterior mediastinum, (3) Pericardial capture, puncture and insertion of a guide wire into the pericardial space and (4) insertion of a catheter inside the left atrium. The procedure was done under dual ultrasonic guidance from the esophageal position and under direct endoscopic visual guidance in the intrathoracic position.