Physicians at Saint Louis University Hospital Performing Endoscopic Suturing, Avoiding Open Surgery 
Thursday, 21 November 2013 
ST. LOUIS – By using the body’s natural orifices, gastroenterologists at Saint Louis University Hospital have a new option for some patients who would otherwise need an open surgery, avoiding incisions and scarring and allowing patients a quicker recovery.

In a procedure called “endoscopic endoluminal suturing,” physicians run a flexible tube through the patient’s mouth to the esophagus or the stomach rather than creating an open incision to repair issues such as:

 -          gastrointestinal bleeds

 -          bariatric repairs

 -          fistulas

 -          ulcers

The repair is done using the suturing system’s surgical instruments inside the flexible tube. By using a camera in the suturing system, the physicians watch their progress on a high definition monitor.

“There is no incision, no scar and it generally allows a patient to return to work in 24-48 hours,” says Samer Alkaade, MD, SLUCare gastroenterologist at Saint Louis University Hospital.

In addition, the procedure is performed in an endoscopy lab with a patient typically going home after the procedure. With an open incision, a brief hospital stay is often necessary.

“This endoscopic surgery takes advantage of a natural orifice – the mouth or the rectum – so we can deliver surgical tools to targeted areas in the esophagus, stomach, upper small intestine, or the distal part of the colon and the rectum,” says Jason Taylor, MD, SLUCare gastroenterologist at Saint Louis University Hospital. “It’s far less invasive than what’s usually involved in surgery.”

Physicians do say there are some minor side effects patients should know about after the procedure as nausea or a sore throat may be experienced briefly.

For more information about the endoscopic suturing procedure at Saint Louis University Hospital, call 314-577-6000.


About Saint Louis University Hospital

Saint Louis University Hospital is a 356-licensed bed quaternary/tertiary referral center located in the heart of the city of St. Louis. Approximately 75 percent of patients are drawn from a 150-mile radius. Through affiliation as the teaching hospital for Saint Louis University, the hospital provides patients and their families with an environment of medical innovation. Working in this endeavor are the hospital’s medical staff partners, SLUCare, the physicians of Saint Louis University. The hospital admits more than 17,000 patients annually, performs more than 200 organ transplants a year and is a Level I Trauma Center that treats more than 2,000 major trauma cases a year. For more information, please visit


Jason Merrill