By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It might seem strange but it is actually a logical approach to surgery: using the body’s natural openings to perform common procedures.

At the University of Pittsburgh, this theory is being looked at carefully and operations are being performed. The natural opening surgery cuts down on scars and speeds healing time. For abdominal surgeries, going through the body’s natural cavities like the mouth or rectum can eliminate the need to cut through sensitive tissues.

This is all possible because slender instruments have been developed which can be inserted into the natural channels, along with devices that provide light and a video camera lens at the site of surgery. One of the most dramatic examples is surgeons removing brain tumors through the nose.

As the technology improves, some things once thought impossible are becoming commonplace.

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