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Kidney removed via nurse’s belly button

In what is claimed to be a pioneering kidney surgery, a doctor has removed the vital organ of a 30-year-old British patient through an incision in her belly button.

world Updated: Apr 06, 2009 01:18 IST

In what is claimed to be a pioneering kidney surgery, a doctor has removed the vital organ of a 30-year-old British patient through an incision in her belly button.

Dr Abhay Rane of East Surrey Hospital in Britain, used a revolutionary procedure, called single incision laparoscopic surgery, to remove Susie White’s kidney in a surgery which has left no visible scars.

“This procedure is perfect for those who don’t want to be left with an unsightly scar. This is the future of surgery. It is what people will demand, and will become the norm,” the Daily Mail quoted 50-year-old Rane, who led the operation, as saying.

The surgery involved making a hole less than one inch wide in the patient’s navel through which doctors inserted up to three specially made surgical tools that are a fraction of an inch wide — half the size of standard equipment.

The internal area was filled with gas to separate the organs and allow greater flexibility. The kidney, seven inches long, was then wrapped in a small net bag and broken up while still inside her body, using a series of tiny blades.

The whole bag containing the reduced organ was then removed through the incision. The patient, a nurse, was able to return to work just three weeks later, half the usual recovery time, the newspaper said.

“I was nervous at being the first European patient but I’ve seen Mr Rane operate and I trust him. The incision caused no discomfort and it was really only internally that I felt any pain, but that’s only to be expected.

“I haven’t gone off and had my belly button pierced but I could — there’s nothing to stop me. The results have been fantastic,” White said.

Experts have welcomed the surgery. Catherine Greenaway of Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust said: “The work by Dr Rane and his colleagues is groundbreaking and puts the NHS at the forefront of eliminating post-surgical scars.”