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UCSD Surgeons Perform Complex Surgery Using One Small Incision

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Aired 8/17/09

Surgeons at UCSD have removed a cancerous kidney and reconstructed a patient's bladder using a single small incision in the navel. Doctors say it's the latest development in minimally invasive surgery.

— Surgeons at UCSD have removed a cancerous kidney and reconstructed a patient's bladder using a single small incision in the navel. Doctors say it's the latest development in minimally invasive surgery.

Minimally invasive surgery usually involves a number of separate incisions for each medical instrument and organ removed. The single-incision method requires only one small cut through the navel.

Dr. Ithaar Derweesh is an associate professor of surgery at UCSD. He says so far, the results have been encouraging.

"Half of the patients that we're seeing being done by this approach are not even requiring any post-operative narcotics," Dr. Derweesh said. "So we're not using any narcotics for pain control."

Derweesh said the goal is to decrease surgical trauma, and speed the recovery process.

He hopes the development of new technologies will expand the kinds of surgeries that can be performed with a single incision.

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