Transvaginal natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (vNOTES) adnexectomy for benign pathology compared with laparoscopic excision (NOTABLE): A protocol for a randomised controlled trial

Jan Filip Baekelandt (Corresponding Author), Peter A. De Mulder, Ilse Le Roy, Chantal Mathieu, Annouschka Laenen, Paul Enzlin, Steven Weyers, Ben W.J. Mol, Jan J.A. Bosteels

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Introduction Natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) uses natural orifices to access the cavities of the human body to perform surgical interventions. NOTES limits the magnitude of surgical trauma and potentially reduces postoperative pain. Our group published a protocol on a randomised study comparing transvaginal NOTES (vNOTES) versus laparoscopy for hysterectomy (HALON). We simultaneously designed a similar randomised controlled trial (RCT) comparing vNOTES with laparoscopy for adnexectomy. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first RCT comparing vNOTES with laparoscopy for adnexal surgery. Methods and analysis The methodology of the Notes Adnexectomy for Benign Indication versus Laparoscopic Excision (NOTABLE) study is similar to that of the HALON trial. Women aged 18-70 years with an indication for benign adnexal surgery will be eligible. We will use stratification according to adnexal size. Entrants will be randomised to the laparoscopic treatment (control) or vNOTES (intervention). Participants will be evaluated on days 0-7 and at 3 and 6 months. The primary outcome will be the proportion of women successfully treated by removing an adnexa by the allocated technique without conversion. We will collect the following data (secondary outcomes): Proportion of women hospitalised on the day of surgery, postoperative pain scores measured two times per day from day 1 to 7, total dosage of pain killers used from day 1 to 7, hospital readmission during the first 6 weeks, dyspareunia and sexual well-being at baseline, 3 and 6 months using a validated questionnaire (Short Sexual Functioning Scale), health-related quality of life at baseline, 3 and 6 months after surgery using a validated questionnaire (EQ-5D-3L), duration of surgical intervention, infection or other surgical complications and direct costs up to 6 weeks following surgery. For the primary outcome measure, a one-sided 95% CI of the difference in the proportions of women with a successful removal of the uterus by the randomised technique will be estimated. Non-inferiority will be concluded when 15% lies above the upper limit of this 95% CI. Ethics and dissemination The study was approved on 1 December 2015 by the EthicsCommitteeof the Imelda Hospital (registration no: 689), Bonheiden, Belgium. We aim to present the final results of the NOTABLE trial in peer-reviewed journals and at scientific meetings within 4 years after the start of the recruitment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number018059
Number of pages10
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

M1 - 018059

We thank the vNOTES investigators’ team for taking care of the study participants. We also thank Amanda McPhail for language correction and editing of the manuscript.


  • adnexectomy
  • minimally invasive surgery
  • notes
  • randomised controlled trial
  • salpingo-oophorectomy
  • vNOTES


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