March 13, 2009

Woman’s kidney removed via her navel

A team of surgeons in Spain removed a cancerous kidney from a woman via her navel.

Dr. Antoni Alcaraz of Hospital Clinic de Barcelona said that by using the navel the recovery time is reduced by half and the surgical results are far better than those of conventional laparoscopy.

The operation was carried out with material specially designed to be able to work from the navel, access that requires control and precision, Alcaraz said.

Alcaraz said that the operation was carried out by his team Feb. 17 on an 85-year-old woman who had been diagnosed with kidney cancer. Three days after the operation, the woman was discharged to her home with no symptoms.

This new port of entry presents several advantages besides the aesthetic advantage of not leaving scars, as patient recovery times are cut by half, there is very little risk of hemorrhage and pain is minimal as there are few nerve endings in the surrounding area, Alcaraz said. Furthermore, it is a technique that can be used on both men and women, unlike transvaginal nephrectomy, which is only possible in women.