US surgeons have succeeded in removing part of a patient's stomach through her vagina, paving the way for a new, less invasive form of obesity surgery.
The 'gastrectomy' procedure was carried out at the University of California San Diego Centre for the Future of Surgery on 29-year-old Maria Soto, who weighed 253 pounds before surgery despite only being five feet tall.
Ms Soto revealed: "I chose this surgery because I needed to lose weight and wanted a procedure that offered less pain and fast healing.
"I liked this option because there were only two small incisions and a short hospital stay."
During the 75-minute procedure, surgeons removed 80 per cent of the patient's stomach so that she now feels full after eating less.
Dr Mark Talamini, professor and chair of surgery at UC San Diego Medical Centre and president of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, commented: "Our goal is to continually improve and expand surgery options using emerging technology so that patients experience less pain and better outcomes."